How to be a Great Dog Parent

When It Comes to Choosing a Dog Breed, Consider the Home First

Life with a pet is better in virtually every way. For most, the most rewarding pet is a dog, but choosing a breed is not always an easy task. Potential owners may be unsure what to consider when weighing different breeds, aside from cuteness of course. That said, there are a number of more rational criteria which can be used to make sure both you and your dog have a fruitful existence. One place to start when considering which type of dog you will take home is the home itself.


(Photo via  Pixabay )

(Photo via Pixabay)

Know Your Surroundings

We might find that work, finances, family, or life in an urban environment leave us with few options when it comes to housing. For many, especially young people, this will mean living in an apartment, whether it is in a sprawling city or elsewhere. Apartment-dwellers are somewhat limited when it comes to picking a dog breed that will fit their lifestyle.

BarkPost lists some lazy dog breeds that are more likely to adapt to apartment living. Many of these dogs are also compact in stature, and having a lighter dog will help reduce the racket. Some ideal breeds are the adorable Shih-Tzu, the loud-haired Chow Chow, and the ever-moping Basset Hound. Choosing an apartment-ready dog will make life easier for you and your neighbours.

Those who live in traditional homes have far more freedom when it comes to choosing a breed. Homes with large yards may provide the space necessary for larger, more energetic dog breeds to stretch their legs regularly. A slideshow from PawCulture lists some more energetic dog breeds that would be the perfect exercise partner for more active owners. Once an owner chooses the breed they want and takes home their newest family member, they should take steps to make the dog as comfortable as possible.

Bringing Your Pup Home

The time which a dog needs to unwind after being brought home from a shelter, pet store or breeder’s home is called decompression. Whether you ultimately choose a puppy or a seasoned rescue, a certain level of training and discipline must be instilled once you arrive at the casa. Clear the Shelters advises that owners be prepared for this acclimation process to last as long as several weeks. This means establishing the bathroom location and routine, first and foremost.

The ASPCA recommends dog-proofing your home before bringing your pal into the fray, removing sharp decorations or hazards to the pup’s health. This also means protecting your own belongings, hiding shoes and other items that may be prey for a teething puppy. Be sure that if you’re taking in an elderly pet, that you modify your home accordingly. Don’t forget to have fun with your dog as quickly as the training period is done.

The Best Friends Animal Society offers an array of activities that involve owner and dog getting out and having some fun. Fetch, hiking, day trips, Frisbee, backpacking, and dog parks are just some of the many options that will help form the bond between dog and owner. Taking frequent walks will allow your dog to quickly get familiar with the neighbourhood while getting some well-needed exercise. For those who will be working a traditional job – particularly those living in apartments – acquiring the services of a professional dog walker is a compassionate move to keep your dog occupied during work hours.

When it comes to prepping the home itself, make it a dog haven. Have a comfortable bed in place, a crate for rescue dogs who are used to sleeping in an enclosed space, and of course, plenty of toys. All of these steps will aid the sometimes-rocky transition that is bringing a dog into a new home.



Much can be done to ensure a relationship between canine and owner can be fulfilling and eventually unforgettable. Like any good relationship, one between dog and owner requires effort on both sides. For the owner, it means choosing a compatible breed and preparing the home for that dog’s arrival. The dog, meanwhile, must be compliant when it comes to establishing training and routine that will last throughout their life. With these two parties giving a little bit, the road to an unbreakable bond is underway.

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(cover photo via 

Written by guest blooger 

Jessica Brody