What Best First Dog Breed is Right for Me?

Picking the best first dog breed that is right for you can be intimidating.

With 100,000 animals abandoned each year, my country, France, holds the sad European record for animal abandonment. So Mom and I know how it is important to find the right dog. You don’t want to do the same that all these owners because you have chosen a breed that is not at all adapted to you. All the puppies are cute and make you fall for them. But a dog is above all a living being…

Below, you will find the elements to take into account when you wonder what breed of dog you should get.

8 things to consider when choosing the right dog breed

Choosing the right size of dog.

Size is obviously a fundamental element of choice.

When Mum visited the breeding, she was hesitating with the Maltese bichon. She had fallen in love with the character of the westie, but she knew that I would not be able to take the plane to go on a trip with her.

Airlines that accept dogs on board usually limit their weight to 6kgs. Even a female westie weighs more. The Maltese bichon was a better option for air travel.

Of course, your dog can travel in the hold, but I’m not a piece of luggage and Mom would be too scared that I would be lost or stolen!

A small dog can also be taken almost anywhere. I rarely leave Mommy. She and I are a little inseparable – wait, I need to kiss Mom right now as I become a bit emotional thinking about our relationship.

Which breed your home is suitable to?

The size of your future dog and your home are data that go well together too. Living in an apartment with a large dog, especially if you are often away or can’t take your dog for daily walks, is a very bad choice.

When we lived in Anglet, a couple owned a border collie dog. Living in an apartment and the few outings made him very aggressive. He attacked me when I was a baby and he attacked all the neighbors. During the day, he cried a lot because of his owners’ absence. No doubt this dog was really unhappy and had nothing to do in this flat with such owners.

So check if your dog’s breed can stand living in an apartment and if he can stay more or less long alone. Even if this is the case, gradually get him used to longer and longer absences. Don’t forget that your dog was living with his mother and siblings. He didn’t use to be alone. Even an independent breed and dog needs adaptation…

Mom’s parents had a Brittany spaniel. When he stayed alone and was in the yard, he would scream to death, disturbing the neighbors. Inside, he would destroy everything. One day, he even tore all the linoleum out of the room he was in.

Do you live in a hot or cold country? I don’t want to follow Mom to Tribal India: it’s much too hot there. But, even in the winter, I love to roll and crawl in the wet grass. I’m a proud Scot, so I am comfortable with cold weather. I even recently put my face in the snow as it was so funny!!!

Westie Jahan in our garden in front of our house
A westie may be small, he loves to run very fast in the garden.

Which breed’s character is right for you?

No matter what some people say, each breed has predominant traits. Did you know that the westies breed was created to hunt foxes in burrows? Well, I have never hunted, and yet I often enjoy crawling like my ancestors in the burrows!

You can read the article on the development of westie up to one month below. You will see that a lot of things could already be known about me from a very young age…

It is therefore important to find out about the character of your future dog. As a westie, I am extremely affectionate and very glue-pot. Mom loves it. On the other hand, an acquaintance who thought I was super cute and wanted a westie changed her mind when Mom explained to her that I follow her everywhere. Is this an independent breed or not? A dog can be both independent and a glue pot. When I’m in the orchard, I don’t care much about Mom unless she’s with me. I even often ignore her when she opens the windows and say me hello. Inside, I’m with her all the time.

Westie Jahan on old stairs in the South-East of France
Westie Jahan travelling in the South-East of France

The behavior of the puppies in the puppy litter.

One can see very early the future temperament of the puppy in a litter, as well as its future physiognomy.

Is it a breed that barks a lot? Mom, for example, doesn’t like small dogs because many of them bark for nothing. With me, she doesn’t mind because I’m just doing my job of dog protection and I have a big dog voice.

Is it a quiet race? Yes, a dog sleeps a lot, but when he is awake he can be very restless. As a westie, I love to play the clown, run, jump, play with Mom or others, with my toys… I am full of life and good mood.

Is it a guard dog?

Is he a hunter? Who says terrier for example says digging and holes… So I have predispositions for that, but this behavior corrects itself very well. I only make holes at the beach or when I see friends making them. I never make holes when Mom looks at me as I know she won’t be happy. And as a westie, I love Mom to be happy thanks to me the whole time.

Your Lifestyle.

Are you rather active or quiet? Some breeds, such as hunter breeds or breeds bred for carriage driving, need a lot of exercise.

Mom had a female husky, which her parents had gifted her. The problem was that she was in college, only came home on weekends and was the only one to take her for a run in the woods. Although Haida had a big yard and a large garden at her disposal, she was running away from home on a regular basis. Wouldn’t you want to give your child this kind of poisoned gift? Mommy’s mother ended up giving Haida without Mommy’s permission and without even allowing her to say goodbye! More than 20 years later, Mom is still angry with her. Once again, a dog is neither a toy nor a whim.

Although the westie is small in size, it is very muscular. I always accompany Mom on her long mountain hikes. Neither the length nor the difference in altitude frightens me!

Ease of education.

If this is your first dog or if you don’t have the time or desire to learn how to train your dog, choose a breed that is easy to train.

The best first dog breed for you won’t be the same according to the time and energy you can dedicate to your dog’s education.

When I was little, a neighbor told Mom that I would never obey. Mommy read a lot of books and websites about dog training and westies. Even so, it wasn’t easy: I had an extremely dominating temperament. For a while, I was testing Mom so much that it was a constant struggle. She often cried about it. Luckily, the vet showed her how to put me in a good position of submission. By dint of doing this at every rebellion, I ended up accepting Mom’s authority and became a very, very obedient little westie.

We also had a big communication problem, because of a particular trait that is rarely talked about in books and on the internet…

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The composition of your family.

Do you have children and is it a race that supports them?

Do you have other animals with whom your future dog will have to live? When we adopted my cat brother Siam, Mom knew I loved cats: I always played with a little cat neighbor in Anglet. Mom made sure that Siam would accept me by making us meet at the pet refugee. We get along so well together that I can bite him, lick him, pull his ears, play with him, run after him, sleep with him… Unfortunately, he has become wild again since we have been living in the country. I am now the only one who can always approach him. Even Mom can’t anymore!

Hypoallergenic dogs.

Yes, there are breeds of dogs called hypoallergenic and I am one of them! If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, this can be an excellent solution.

Your budget.

Your new companion will cost you more or less.

Several factors must be taken into consideration:

  • Its size: a big dog will eat more than a small one.
  • Its potential allergies: some breeds tend to have food allergies. Certain brands of croquettes without cerealsOrijen, Taste of the Wild – should solve the problem. If this is not the case, it will be necessary to invest in special veterinary kibbles, treatments…
  • Its grooming: the westie, for example, needs to be depilated. I reassure you, it’s not painful. It is only a matter of removing the dead hairs and the groomer completes the grooming by clipping in certain places.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine w/Roasted Bison & Venison 14 lb

Dog breed selector quiz.

There are online questionnaires to help you choose your dog’s breed.

Click here to access the most popular dog breed selector quiz

However, this is not an exact science. For example, the tests don’t mention westie for Mommy, even though there is no dog more suitable for her! When she tried this English dog breed selector quiz, westie doesn’t show up and it was mostly breeds she doesn’t like at all…

Dog breed selector quizzes are fun but it’s better to ask yourself the right questions above, to determinate which breeds you like the most, them search for the temper of these breeds.

FAQ on how to choose the best dog breed for you.

Can you have a large dog while living in a garden-less apartment in the city?

It all depends on the breed. Some large dogs need less exercise than others, so it’s important to learn about the breed’s characteristics.

Are all small dogs fragile?

No. All terriers in particular are very muscular and lively dogs that like to exercise.

Do I need a large dog for hiking?

No. Westies are small dogs. However, they can hike in the mountains for a whole day. This is also the case with other breeds of small dogs.

Do all small dogs have frequent and annoying barks?

No. Some small breeds bark more than others. Some small dogs have the voice of a large dog. This is the case of the westie.

Conclusion – Best First Dog Breed.

So, if you want to be sure to pick the best first dog breed for you, you should consider:

  • his size.
  • your home.
  • his temper.
  • your lifestyle.
  • the level of education required.
  • the composition of your family.
  • the allergies in your family.
  • your budget.

Well there you go, I think I’ve given you all the elements you need to choose the best first dog breed for you. If you have any other tips, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.

Once you know which dog is right for you, all you have to do is figure out where to buy your dog!

If you have a relative, friend or acquaintance who is looking for information on how to choose their dog, don’t forget to send them my article!

For more articles on how to choose your dog, consult the section here

This article contains compensated links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Consult the disclaimer on the site for more information.

How to choose the right dog breed
What Best First Dog Breed is Right for Me?

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