Tag: Sam Howell

Perfect families!

What are the best dog breeds for families.

Again I am drawn to The Dodo and to an article that was published earlier this year. It is not a long piece but it seems to be full of common sense.

Have a read and tell me your thoughts.

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These Are Some Of The Best Dog Breeds For Families

And why you should find one at a rescue 🐶👪

By SAM HOWELL, Published on the 26th April, 2021

Adopting a dog is one of the most exciting ways to grow your family.

But you might be wondering if certain dog breeds are better for living with families than others.

The Dodo spoke with Iris Ulbrich, a behavior consultant and owner at Trust Your Dog in Los Angeles, who explained why you should actually pay more attention to a pup’s personality than his breed.

The best dog breeds for families

While there are some dog breeds that tend to be a bit more inclined for family life, it’s super important to remember that breed is not everything.

“Yes, there are characteristics that are tied to dog’s breed, but a lot has to do with the quality of breeding as well as the first few months of a puppy’s life,” Ulbrich told The Dodo.

What’s most important is an individual dog’s personality because, ultimately, that will determine whether or not he will work great in a family environment, regardless of his breed.

With that in mind, here are some dog breeds that — on average — tend to have traits that make them good family pets:

  • Labradors
  • Golden retrievers
  • Collies
  • Wheaten terriers

“Both [Labradors and golden retrievers] are very friendly, active, good with kids and eager to please,” Ulbrich explained.

As for wheaten terriers, they don’t shed. So if someone in your family has allergies, these terriers could be a good fit.

“Collies are very devoted family dogs and can be both very active but also know how to relax and be calm at home,” Ulbrich said.

That being said, these are just generalizations! There are some labs out there who are absolutely terrible with kids — and literally millions of individual dogs from breeds not on this list who are perfect family pets. 

Which is why your best bet is to go to a rescue center, where adoption counselors can match you with a pup who has the exact personality you’re looking for.

Personality traits that make a dog the best fit for a family

Since personality is far more important than breed when finding your perfect pup, you should know which traits to look for in your family’s potential new addition.

After all, a rescue is going to help you find a dog that’ll vibe with you and your loved ones, since you’ll be able to pick a pup with a fully formed personality. If you get a puppy from a breeder, on the other hand, you’ll have no idea if he’ll grow up to be a good match for your family.

When it comes to finding the best dog for your family, here’s the personality traits Ulbrich recommends you look for.

“A healthy amount of energy in combination with eagerness to please their owner is usually a great combination,” Ulbrich said.

And since families are all different, it’s actually most important to look for a dog that’ll mesh with your family’s interests, hobbies and lifestyles.

“An active and outdoorsy family with slightly older kids that live in a house would pick a different dog to a family that lives in an apartment and has twin toddlers,” Ulbrich explained.

In those cases, both of those potential pups might not even be any of the breeds listed above, since it all boils down to each individual pup’s personality.

“A dog’s demeanor also plays a big role in [a] successful family integration,” Ulbrich said. “I try and recommend people ask a trainer to temperament test a puppy before making a final decision on breed and particular puppy within a litter.”

And since that individual temperament is so important, any dog breed can be the best dog breed for your family.

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I hadn’t thought of it before but Iris Ulbrich stating that personality was far more important than the breed of the dog. Of course! Perfect sense! And always take in a rescue dog!

Having a dog in an apartment.

Lots of people who don’t have a yard still want a dog!

We are incredibly lucky in that we have many acres for our dogs, and our horses, to play in. Mind you, it is at times like the present where our acres are not such a brilliant idea. Times in the Summer that bring drought and the ever-present risk of a fire storm.

But taken in the round we are grateful that we ended up living in this property.

Not all people are as lucky as us but for them a dog or two is just as important. So what is the truth of having a dog in an apartment.

That is why I am so pleased to share this recent article from The Dodo with you.

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How To Make Your Dog Happy Living In An Apartment

No yard, no problem!

By SAM HOWELL

Published on the 1st March, 2021.

So you’re dying to have a dog, but you’re worried he won’t be happy in your apartment.

Do you really need a giant house with a big yard to give your dog the best life?

The Dodo spoke with Mikayla Park, director of adoptions and education at Wags & Walks, to bust that myth wide open.

Is living in an apartment worse for your dog?

Great news! The idea that a dog can’t be happy in an apartment is totally a myth.

“There is no one perfect environment in which to introduce a new dog,” Park told The Dodo. “Everyone has the ability to give a dog a happy and fulfilling life regardless of the size of their home, and the presence of an outdoor yard space.”

If you’re waiting to adopt a dog until you have your own yard due to personal preference, that’s totally understandable.

But the only real requirement for having a pup of your own is a willingness to love and take care of him — even if that means getting creative about outdoor time.

“Adopting a dog is about making a commitment to give that dog everything they need for the rest of their life,” Park said. “It might be a bit more work if you don’t have the ability to open a door and let your pup go outside, but it is by no means impossible, nor does it make your home any lesser a home in which to have a dog.”

Getting your dog outside when you live in an apartment

Going out to do his business, soak up the sun or just run around and smell all the smells is super important for your dog.

But just because you don’t have a backyard or live in an apartment, that doesn’t mean your pup can’t get that quality outside time.

“Outdoor time is a vital part of this daily routine, but it’s more about the way you spend that outdoor time than the mere presence of it,” Park explained. “Dogs thrive on having jobs, on pleasing their humans, on working their brains! Challenge them to work while they are outside with you.”

So instead of just idly letting your dog get his zoomies out when you pop outside, you can actually use this time to engage his brain — such as by slipping some training time in on your daily walks.

“Don’t just let them wander at the end of a leash,” Park said. “Practice your commands, work on eye contact [and] run them through sits and stays and recall. Buy a treat pouch and take it with you when you go, so that you can reward for good behavior and mark victories!”

This will help tire him out so he’s not bursting with energy when you return to your apartment. And with enough active walks or dog park trips, any pup can be happy (regardless of where he lives).

Things that’ll make your dog happy inside an apartment

While your dog definitely needs outdoor enrichment, there are plenty of things that will help keep him entertained while he’s inside your apartment.

“There are lots of wonderful products out there to help you in maintaining a happy and balanced dog without a yard,” Park said. “Brain games like treat puzzles and Kongs are fabulous ways to create some mentally stimulating entertainment.”

Plus, believe it or not, your dog’s bed can even help with that indoor enrichment.

“Buy a raised-place bed and practice having your dog stay there while you cook dinner,” Park explained, noting that this can actually be a fun mental game for some pups. “If they get up, lead them right back onto the bed. They cannot move until you give them the signal to do so. Sound boring? You would be surprised how hard it is for some dogs to make their bodies sit still for 20 minutes.”

So, there are plenty of ways you can give your dog a happy life with lots of enrichment while living in an apartment.

“Not having a backyard is certainly a bit of a challenge, but one that any adopter is capable of rising to meet, with dedication and time,” Park said.

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As was said earlier on in the article: “But the only real requirement for having a pup of your own is a willingness to love and take care of him.

My experience is that huge numbers of people are really committed to loving their dogs. Simply because a dog offers in return unconditional love. It’s a short statement of just two words. But it is a profound quality of our dogs and one that at frequent times has Jeannie and me, and tons of other people, lost for words!