Choosing the Right Dog Breed for My Family

I’m excited to feature another dog to our family in 2021! I’ve been carefully choosing the proper dog breed for us (over analyzing, for sure).

I’m scripting this to:

Show how important it’s to carefully choose any dog or puppy
Process my choice (writing helps me do so)
Document my life with dogs
Choosing the proper dog breed for us
In the last 3 months, I even have spoken by email or phone with 9 different breeders, 3 shelters and 1 rescue group.

I’ve filled out their questionnaires, asked many of my very own questions, weighed the pros & cons of every option, followed them on Instagram and emailed past puppy buyers.

Talking with all has been a positive experience.

After lots and much of thinking, i made a decision i would like a field-bred Labrador from an honest breeder.

choosing the proper dog breed
I really enjoy working with breeders who love and support their breed and focus on:

and the dogs’ abilities to thrive doing their work.
I expect tons from my dogs.

I push them physically as we train for trail marathons. We exerting in agility. And now that I sleep in Montana (vs. San Diego), I decide to train my dogs for hunting.

I am excited about all of those training adventures. My heart is full when I’m working with my dogs. i really like learning along side them and watching what they will do.

The right dog breed is different for everybody
Choosing the proper dog breed has been very difficult on behalf of me . I’ll only get to possess numerous dogs in my life; i would like to settle on them wisely.

To be honest, I’m worried I’ll be tired of a Lab. They’re with great care ordinary and everybody has one – permanently reason, they’re nice dogs!

On the plus side, Labs are generally calmer and far easier to coach than a weimaraner, my current dog. (Although “calm” is all relative. What’s “calm” on behalf of me could be “hyper” for somebody else!)

Knowing what i would like during a dog
Here’s what I’m trying to find in my “perfect” dog. in fact there’s no such thing as this imaginary perfect dog.

Long distance trail running buddy. 3-4 miles most days and 10+ miles on some weekends. (once age appropriate)
Friendly with dogs, kids, cats and strangers.
Able to train for agility for fun and lightweight competition.
Has an “off switch” within the house while I’m working, assuming I’ve done my part to supply exercise & training.
Calm at breweries, patios and through travel (with training).
Sticks close when hiking & running off leash (with training).
Able to train for hunting as a hobby and perhaps hunt tests.

And … it’s not all about ME. I also got to confirm that I’m providing the simplest home for whatever sort of dog i select . I do feel I can provide an honest home for any of the sporting breeds.

So … why not another weimaraner?
You might wonder, why is she curious about a Lab vs. a higher-energy athlete like another weimaraner?

It’s a troublesome choice on behalf of me . But what it comes right down to is i really like my high-energy endurance athlete, Remy. But I don’t necessarily need TWO extremely high-energy dogs immediately . (Perhaps at some point!) I definitely have vizslas, German shorthairs and Brittanys on my brain … but perhaps for the longer term .

Plus, Labs are athletic too
The Lab breeder I’m working with breeds dogs for hunting. She tells me all of her dogs are very athletic and can observe running partners, even up to 10 miles.

These Labs are calm within the house but have an intense working drive around birds and guns. they’re clearly strong and fast within the field, very fit and muscular. i will be able to not have a fat Lab, I promise you that!

Still, I’m not convinced ready to |i’ll”> i will be able to be able to take a Lab on 10-mile runs. i actually hope so, but it depends on the dog. Either way, I’ll still have Remy for long-distance running.

Other benefits of the Labrador dog breed
Labs are (generally) easy to coach . I view Labs as athletic dogs who don’t necessarily need constant “busyness” like my weim.

I feel Labs are an honest breed for my first real sporting dog and hunting companion. i’m very excited to start training a retriever for hunting.

My weimaraner Remy has potential to be a dog too, and that i have just began to work with him through our local NAVHDA group. But i’m also curious about training a dog from the very beginning. it’s a replacement experience on behalf of me .

Choosing the proper dog breed for weather
Labs have a thick coat to guard them from Montana’s long, harsh winters. the sole months we didn’t have snow in 2019 were July and August!

A Lab’s coat also protects her from the summer heat. We live at 5,000 feet elevation, therefore the sun are often intense here also . For this reason, and since of all the running I do, we are going with a yellow Lab vs. chocolate or black.

And Labs are faraway from perfect!
A purebred Labrador retriever are often many things … low energy and delicate … overly excited over toys or sticks.

They’re strong and have a tendency to leap on people, pull hard on the leash, go crashing after a ball. My Lab mix Ace knocked me flat on my back just one occasion going after a ball. He didn’t even notice he hit me! (I cried.)

Labs shed tons (like, A LOT) and are susceptible to joint problems. They’re slow to mature mentally and young labs are unfortunately labeled “hyper” by many of us . This label is accurate.

Some Labs are even as nuts as a weim or a vizsla.

But every dog is a private . I wrote about this HERE.

Good breeders and genetics can only do such a lot .
As dog owners, it’s up to us to try to to the simplest we will through training, socialization, exercise, finding the simplest vet. Feeding healthy food. Making smart choices on spaying & neutering.

And in fact , taking the time to settle on the proper dog or puppy for our current situation. We’re lucky to possess numerous options.

I’m excited for our next puppy. I can’t wait to satisfy her! it’ll presumably be over a year before our puppy is even born. Good breeders often have waiting lists of several months or maybe a year. Once all is confirmed, I’ll keep you posted.

Remy are going to be so excited to possess another dog around. He absolutely LOVES other dogs, and he shared our home so well together with his sister Raven back in January.

While sweet Raven wasn’t the proper dog for us, she helped show me how good Remy is with a buddy. and the way all of my time spent training him (hours and hours) really has paid off.

Believe it or not, Remy will actually be an honest role model! (Now that’s a scary thought! Haha.)

I can’t await 2021!

If you’re willing, please share about the choice making (or lack thereof) once you chose your dog.

Let me know within the comments! Thank you!

Lindsay (and Remy)

Lindsay Stordahl is that the founding father of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw food for pets and running with dogs.

Related posts:

What good breeders and good rescues have in common
Reasons to shop for a puppy from a breeder
How to piss off a Labrador owner
Best dog breeds for farms
How to choose a puppy (Puppy in Training blog)

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