By Karen Soukiasian
If you are contemplating including a new puppy or dog into your life, make an honest assessment of just what your lifestyle really is. For example, if you’re a couch potato, get a couch potato dog, not a high energy dog that needs lots of exercise and attention.
It could be the difference between peaceful co-existence and exasperation!
Keep in mind, all puppies have an over-drive lever, but most do eventually settle down to a more breed specific level of energy as they mature.
Like people, dogs come in a wide range of energy levels. Getting the energy level perfect for your lifestyle and get-up-and-go level may mean reconsidering the breed you are presently drawn to. Truth is, lazy dogs do best with lazy owners!
All too often, we get the wrong dog, for the wrong reason. Take a look around.
How many people do you know have the right dog for their energy level and lifestyle? For your sake and your future dog’s sake, now is the time to be honest!
Your neighbors have an adorable Beagle. That never-ending bundle of energy is included in most of their non-stop activities. The family enjoys the company of their faithful hound when they go boating, swimming or camping. Their pet thrives on the interactions and adventures. This family loves sharing their adventures with their pet and their dog is keen on being included. This isn’t the perfect dog for you!
Next, you have friends who enjoy a somewhat active lifestyle, and are owned by an endearing English Bulldog, whose furrowed face reminds you of Winston Churchill, sans cigar. Churchill’s idea of exercise is waddling from one room to another, only because he’s afraid he may miss out on a tidbit that hit the floor.
OK, you may squeeze a short burst of uncharacteristic energy out of him. But truth be known, for the most part a wobble around the block is more than enough physical exertion for this stubby, little guy. He’s much rather plop down in front of the air conditioner than chase anything but a treat. The real problem comes when the family wants to include him in their activities.
Even though Churchill doesn’t find the thought of moving faster than a snail appealing; he nonetheless either creates an award-winning dramatic performance, because he’s left home alone or he just doesn’t give a toot!
The problems gradually manifest when this active family feels disappointed or resentful, because they know Churchill doesn’t really take pleasure in participating in their activities. That means either modifying what they do to suit him, or exclude him from most of their activities. This could be the perfect dog for you.
Finally, you have friends that are considerably allergic to any form of physical exertion but they love huge dogs. Their beloved Old English Mastiff, also known as a “gentle giant,” suits their lifestyle to a tee! A walk around the neighborhood, a little playtime in the backyard, and this guy is ready to stretch out for a nap for the rest of the day. It’s a perfect match! This could be the perfect dog for you too!
The popular breeds below, are quite content limiting their oomph level to some degree of activities in the apartment or house, a fair size backyard to romp around for awhile and perhaps a walk or two a day.
Unlike extremely high-energy dogs, once these dogs have had a little exercise, they are quite content to plop down and relax. So, if you’re a couch potato or have a couch potato family, here are a few suggestions for a couch potato dog that may fit perfectly into your kick-back, relaxed lifestyle.
Toy Breeds (up to 10 lbs)Yorkshire Terrier (Toy), Bolognese, Chihuahua, Poodle, Havanese, and Maltese
Small Breeds (up to 25 lbs.): Yorkshire Terrier, Pekingese, Japanese Chin, Boston Terrier, Shit Tzu, Dachshund, and Pug
Medium Breeds (up to 55 lbs.): American and English Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Bassethound, and Saluki
Large Breeds (up to 90 lbs.): Greyhound, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle, Bloodhound, and Doberman Pinscher
Giant Breeds (over 90 lbs): Mastiffs, Great Dane, St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Irish and Russian Wolfhounds and Newfoundland
Bottom line: Older dogs of even the most active breeds tend to slow down as they mature. That is something to keep in mind if you plan to rescue or adopt a dog. An older Lab or even a breed as on the go as an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie does tend to slow down as they age. Older dogs are often passed by at shelters, but they still need forever homes and they just might be the perfect match for you and your family.
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