Wednesday, February 29, 2012
We know how important it is to pick the right dog for your lifestyle. An energetic person will love the lively energy of a Border Collie or a Terrier breed, but some people would rather chill out on the couch and cuddle with a laid back dog. If you're looking for a mellow canine companion, here are a few breeds to consider.
The Mastiff is a large, muscular dog. In fact, it's one of the largest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and known affectionately as “the gentle giant.” However, don't underestimate this dog. Although they are friendly and gentle, they were bred to be guardians and will protect their family and home. A Mastiff is a quiet dog who is happy lounging on the couch (of course, then there's no room for you!) or going for a walk. He may be a couch potato, but daily exercise is still needed to keep him healthy.
The Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, reaching speeds over 40 mph. Their natural prey is rabbit and hare, but they were also used to hunt deer, stag, fox and wild boar. When they aren't working, this dog breed is the ultimate couch potato and as mellow as you can get. I know from experience how happy these dogs are. My great aunt and uncle raised Greyhounds and Whippets. As a kid, I loved visiting them because I got to play with the dogs. Greyhounds are loving, but can be a bit aloof when it comes to strangers. Just like any dog, they need exercise and excel at lure coursing, racing and agility. However, if you're as mellow as the dog, he will be happy with daily walks. If you're interested in adopting a Greyhound, please check with the National Greyhound Adoption Program. They are always looking for suitable homes for retired racing dogs.
The Great Dane is another one of the giant breeds that is about as mellow as they can get. Like the Mastiff, this dog is also referred to as a gentle giant. They are great around children and like to play. It's important to teach this dog not to jump up on people because they can easily knock someone down if they try to look someone straight in the eye to say “Hi.” Great Danes make wonderful watchdogs, they are brave, loyal and can be aggressive if they feel it's necessary to protect their family. This dog may be mellow, but he still needs regular exercise to keep him healthy.
The Basset Hound is a well behaved, sweet dog and is a direct descendant of the Bloodhound. As you might guess, the Basset Hound is likely to follow his nose if he catches a scent that interests him. It's not a good idea to let him wander around off leash, unless he's in an enclosed area. This dog is highly motivated by food and will do almost anything for his favorite CANIDAE treat. Daily walks and lots of playtime in an enclosed area outside will satisfy his exercise needs.
The Chihuahua is a big dog in a little body, so don't be fooled by his size. He's brave, proud, affectionate, and can be an adventurous dog when given a chance. Because of his size, it's tempting to carry him around instead of letting him walk on his own four feet. However, he is not an accessory and should never be treated as such. He requires little exercise, but still needs daily walks and some time outside in a safe area where he can stretch his legs. Small dog syndrome can be a problem, but as long as he understands he is not the leader, this breed makes a great pet for families with children who are taught how to properly handle him.
The Bichon Frise is a powder puff little dog that loves everyone, including kids and other pets. He's intelligent, gentle, confident, quiet and affectionate, an independent dog who wants to be with his family as much as possible. This dog responds well to training and, like the Chihuahua, needs his owner to be his leader to keep him from developing small dog syndrome. He makes a good watchdog and if you want a dog you can teach tricks to, this is the dog for you. Daily walks with some time to run around in an enclosed area will take care of his exercise needs.
These are just a few of the great mellow dog breeds that can fit into a more laid back, couch potato type of lifestyle. Your best bet is to carefully research the breed before bringing a dog into your home. If you like to stay home and chill out on the weekends, you don't want a dog that tugs at your pant leg to go for a jog. You will be happier with a mellow dog who appreciates a good couch, just like you.
Top photo by Andy Chase
Bottom photo by Nicole Sikora Heschong
Read more articles by Linda Cole