Are you looking to bring home a new furry friend to make your household feel even more complete? The sheer number of options available to you can be mind-boggling, to say the least. The thing is, every single breed of dog – even every individual dog – is different, with unique needs and personalities. Add to that the many ways you can bring one home – pet rescues, shelter adoptions and breeders – and you have one giant pooch-shaped headache. Today, let’s go over a few dog breeds that are often overlooked yet may be perfect for your living situation.
The smaller cousin of the greyhound, whippets are energetic little bundles of joy who become very attached to their owners. While they sometimes suffer from separation anxiety as a result and some people are turned off by their slender build, these sweethearts are worth it for every minute of fun, joy and laughter you’ll experience. Celebrities such as singer Alison Goldfrapp are proud owners of these good-natured, friendly dogs, and for good reason: They offer the perfect mix of happy-go-lucky, playful ball of energy and the ultimate Netflix-and-chill buddy. They love to laze around and take it easy as much as they adore zipping around for a good bit of daily playtime. Provided your whippet has a healthy amount of exercise and a place to run, it’ll make for an ideal dog for smaller homes… and even larger apartments in some cases.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Want a dog that’s big on personality but small on size, yet isn’t too tiny to the point where it’s ultra-fragile? Go with a spaniel. With a beautiful, flowing long coat available in many different colours and patterns as well as that sweet little face that can melt any heart, these dogs have a lot going for them when it comes to looks… but it doesn’t stop there! They also have a sweet-mannered temperament and absolutely love to be part of a family. They’re amazing with children, very easy to care for, and are a generally healthy breed. Don’t forget, you can always settle for their relative, the beloved and slightly larger cocker spaniel if you can’t find one of the King Charles variety.
Famous memes aside, the iconic shiba inu is often forgotten in some parts of the world not just because they’re nearly impossible to find (seriously, good luck), but also because of their independent nature. Sharp-witted, aloof and more cat-like than most dogs, this astonishingly beautiful breed knows everything about you before you do. Shibas are highly inquisitive, bending to your training efforts only when they feel like it’s worthwhile to them (so be sure to put in the effort and a few bags of treats). They might sound like a dog suited to experienced owners only, and you’d be right, but if this isn’t your first rodeo then they are a fantastic choice. The trick to owning a shiba inu is to genuinely care. You can’t get one and think it’ll let you get away with keeping it in a crate all day while you go to work. If you treat them with the same level of respect as you would with a family member, then they’ll become a very loving, friendly, and sociable dog that is certain to give you many years of wonderful memories. This dog makes darn sure that the respect goes both ways, and at times it may even train you to do things the right way!
These dogs are worth the time and money invested, simply put. Just be willing to take owning one seriously and don’t let them rule the house!
A unique breed with an even more unique larynx (meaning they yell instead of bark – and nowhere near as often as you may think), the basenji is emerging as a popular choice for folks looking for a small-to-medium sized dog with a big heart and plenty of personality. With their adorable scrunchy forehead and expression, perky ears and a love for all things play-related, these dogs are bred to be beautiful and highly practical pets. Be aware that they are hunting dogs and need to be treated as such when it comes to interacting with other animals, though you may be able to train them from a young age to be even more sociable than they already are by nature. Like shiba inus, they require more training and actual effort, but this is a no-brainer – after all, surely you knew owning a dog would involve even a little work! The payoff is an energetic, exciting and fun-loving companion who is sure to reduce stress and help you make the most of every day.
These are just a few of the many great dog breeds out there – some of which may or may not be available in your area. It’s always best to try to find a pet through a local, reputable animal rescue or shelter instead of a breeder – after all, there are so many animals in need – but if you’re dead-set on a specific breed for any number of reasons (current living situation, lifestyle, allergies, home size, etc.), then we won’t judge! After all, every breed is different in many ways. Be sure to check with the Canadian Kennel Club for their updated breeder directory for available puppies and only deal with registered, trustworthy individuals. If there’s not a puppy available in the breed you’re interested in, be sure to give local shelters and rescues another chance – you may fall in love with a dog in need and end up saving its life!