Choosing the puppy that best matches your lifestyle is one of the most important decisions you will make, and essential to the success of your relationship with your pup.
What kind of coat will your puppy grow into? Each puppy is different, regardless of breed, and there are many different coat types. However, as a general guide:
Short coats: These coats don’t tangle or mat, but they do shed heavily twice a year. Examples of breeds with short coats include, but are not limited to: Pointers, Weimaraners and Boxers.
Mid-length coats: Breeds with this coat will shed heavily twice a year, however the daily upkeep is usually minimal. This type of coat is easy to brush, and will rarely mat. Examples of breeds with mid-length coats include, but are not limited to: the Tibetan Spaniel, the Brittany and the Borzoi.
Double coats: Examples of breeds with this coat include German Shepherds, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Australian Shepherds, among others. These breeds have a long undercoat with a short outercoat. It rarely mats, but sheds heavily twice a year.
Long coats: This type of coat is usually silky and flowing, and needs daily brushing to prevent matting. Examples of breeds with this coat include, but are not limited to: the Afghan Hound, the Irish, English and Gordon Setters, the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier.
Curly coats: An example of a breed with this coat is the Poodle. These coats will need regular grooming and haircuts, or professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks.
Wire coats: Examples of breeds with this type of coat include the Wire Fox Terrier and the Scottish Terrier. These breeds may need to be clipped every 6 to 8 weeks.
Activity level, personality and trainability
Just as there are many different coat types among breeds, the activity level, personality and trainability of puppies will also vary, depending on the individual puppy. However, as a general guide:
High activity level: Cocker Spaniels, Jack Russell Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs are just a few of the breeds known for high activity levels. These breeds are usually well-suited to families and people with active lifestyles.
Less active breeds: Chow Chows, Great Danes, and the Basset Hound are a few examples of less active breeds, usually best-suited for senior citizens, or people who prefer a laid- back lifestyle.
Personality: Some breeds, such as the Bichon Frise and the Shih Tzu crave being with their owner as much as possible and are best for people who are at home most of the time. Others, like the St. Bernard and the Akita will bond with their owners but usually don’t feel the need to follow them from room to room – these puppies are often more aloof.
Trainability: Every puppy needs training and each will learn differently. However, some breeds are traditionally easier to train, such as the Standard Poodle and the German Shepherd, among others.
Just like people, puppies are individuals, and as a result their coat, activity level, personality and trainability will vary, despite their breed. However, a pup’s breed does provide the best guide to what he will be like.