Monday, July 13, 2009

The Best Dogs for Less Active Families

By Anna Lee

If you and your family are not very active, but you want to get a dog, you need a breed that will work well with your particular lifestyle. If your family is more laid back and easygoing, you probably shouldn't get a high energy dog that needs a lot of exercise, such as a Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever or German Shepherd.

Perhaps you have a physical limitation when it comes to taking a walk. You would still like to walk your dog, so what kind of dog would be best? Do you prefer to sit inside on the weekends and cozy up on the sofa with a good book? You want a dog that would not mind being right there on the sofa with you. You can have some popcorn while your dog enjoys some CANIDAE® treats!

In cases such as those what is not needed is a dog breed that requires action, like a Border Collie, or the aforementioned Springer Spaniel. One thing I noticed in doing research is that most of the dogs requiring less exercise are the small breeds. Although some breeds require a less-than-normal amount of exercise, they still require some exercise. A daily walk and some play time will keep them happy. The politically correct term for this group of dogs is “lower exercise demand dogs.” Here are some of my picks for this category.

Bichon Frise: the Bichon is happy to be with you and stay by your side. They do not require a yard but do need a daily walk and a little play inside. The Bichon is a gentle dog that is easy to train. The Bichon loves everyone, from children to adults. At 7 to 12 pounds, this breed is the perfect size to sit on your lap for hours!

English Bulldog: His appearance makes us fearful of him, but he is one of the gentlest dogs and is excellent with children. The Bulldog will get along fine with other family dogs, but have been known to be a little scrappy with unfamiliar dogs. They tend to snore quite loudly but if your spouse’s snoring doesn’t bother you, the bulldogs won’t either! They are physically inactive and great for someone who wants company in the house instead of company running a marathon. Weight averages 51 pounds for females and 55 pounds for males.

Dachshund: these little guys are clowns, and I have personal knowledge of that. A few years back we entered our lab in a dog contest sponsored by the Mandrel Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN. The first year Abby won first prize. The category? The Loudest! She out-barked several other large dogs. The second year we ran into some heavy competition and she lost to a Dachshund. It was a little embarrassing for poor Abby! The new champion had been trained to put on quite a show which included the loudest and shrillest bark I’ve ever heard. Dachshunds prefer families with older children and they require at least a daily walk. If you have a fenced yard they enjoying running free. The standard size hits about 11 pounds top weight.

Pekingese are small dogs that are very affectionate with their owners. They will try to dominate you. Therefore, you must show them that you are the boss. A daily walk is all the exercise they require. The smallest variety is 6 pounds for a ‘sleeve’ Pekingese. Average weight for the regular Pekingese is 10 pounds.

Toy Poodles are happy-go-lucky dogs, although they have a tendency to bark too much. They will play and run outdoors, but are happy to return back to the comforts of home! If you have a fenced yard you can let them play until they tire out. The Toy Poodle hits 9 pounds top weight.

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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