Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Royal Canin. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, but all opinions are my own. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.
This is Bitty (as in Itty Bitty). We also call her Fred for some reason which none of us can seem to remember. Bitty has been part of our family since before we had the kids. Bitty is a purebred West Highland Terrier. She’s almost 12 years old, which means she’s an old lady. She’s still a happy, easy going dog and the kids love her.
We’ve recently been considering getting another dog because the kids have been asking (read: begging for one.)
When considering bringing home a new dog to make part of the family, it’s important to keep in mind that every dog breed was designed for a specific purpose to fill a specific need. Bitty’s breed used to hunt fox, badger, and otter and also killed vermin such as rats. We call Bitty our Great White Hunter, because she loves to hunt things down in our backyard. We’ve found rabbits, snakes, squirrels and even rats that she’s proudly brought to the backdoor as gifts. If we can understand the job for which breeds were originally created, it gives us a glimpse into why our dogs do the things they do. It definitely explains why our dog likes to hunt so much!
How To Chose A Dog For Your Family
What dog is right for your family? Well, according to the American Kennel Club, that depends on many factors.
Temperament: Are you an active family? You many want an active dog. Do you want a dog with a strong will or that you can easily train? A friendly dog or a dog that is loyal to your family and aloof toward strangers? Do you live in a big home or small apartment? Certain dogs can be left alone for long periods of time while others will become bored and destructive.
Puppy or Adult: Yes puppies are cute, but they also require A LOT of work and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. Adult dogs-whether purchased directly from a breeder or adopted may be ideal for families that don’t or cannot invest a lot of time and energy into raising a dog. Mature dogs also tend to be calmer, house-trained and know some basic obedience.
Size: If you get a puppy, most are cute and little. Many don’t stay that way for long! Big dogs eat more (and make bigger messes!) while smaller dogs may be more active and need to burn off energy. Make sure to do your research and find out how big the dog you’re family is considering will actually get.
Other Things To Consider: Other things to consider are whether you want a male or female dog, grooming needs, and health. Some breeds need a very specific diet, while others will eat just about anything. Because every dog is different, with individual traits and needs, Royal Canin™ developed breed-specific diets to provide your particular breed with the best overall nutrition possible.
You can find more information about what dog is right for your family and things to consider at AKC.org.
Another cool way to find out what type of dog might be right for your family is by watching a dog show. You can learn a lot about the different breeds and even about breeds you may have never seen! Dog shows are meant to determine which dogs are most suitable for the purpose for which they were bred, and should contribute to the gene pools of their breeds. How well a dog matches its breed standard will determine how well the dog places.
It’s a fun show to watch…especially because you never know what a dog might do! Tune in to the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin on the Hallmark Channel on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6-9 p.m. ET/PT. The show will be anchored by AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo and sportscaster Jason Knapp and will feature special appearances by celebrity Jerry O’Connell. While we get to watch on the 23rd, the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin was held in Orlando, Florida from Dec. 17-18, 2016.
More than 5,000 dogs will be competing in the three-hour special, and America’s most beloved dog breeds will be featured. That’s a lot of dogs to check out! You’ll also get to watch the winners from each of the competition categories, highlights from the Agility and Dock Diving competitions, and some of America’s brightest up and coming Junior Showmanship handlers, culminating in the crowning of Best in Show.
We’ll be watching, will you?