Choosing a Dog: Size and Activity Levels
No matter how much you love a certain breed, bringing one into your life might be asking for unhappiness if your dog’s size and activity levels don’t match up with your lifestyle. Plenty of people living busy urban lives long for a big, energetic dog to be their companion, but if you live in a small apartment and barely have time to eat dinner some days, a boxer or an Irish Setter might not be the best choice. Likewise, if you’ve got a sprawling backyard that’s more like a fenced-in wilderness and love going for long runs, a pint-sized French Bulldog might not suit your life.
Size and energy level are two distinct categories; there are very high-energy small dogs, and some of the most massive dogs are dedicated couch potatoes. Still, they are important to consider together as a small high-energy dog can be kept happy by a determined city-dweller, but large, high-energy dogs thrive best when they have plenty of room to move. Before even thinking about what dog breeds you might be interested in, write down what your life is like, and what you’re looking for from your dog. Do you want a buddy to watch movies with as you wind down from a long day, or do you want to spend your evenings playing with your pup at the dog park? Do you live in a studio apartment, a sprawling farmhouse, or somewhere in between? Once you’ve established what you’re looking for in terms of both size and energy level, you can begin your search; it can be tempting to throw your needs out the window when you come across an incompatible (and adorable!) breed, but staying logical is the best way of ensuring a happy match.