If you’re a first-time dog owner, there are plenty of things you might not know about your canine friend. For one, there’s a common misconception that all dogs are energetic and high-maintenance. In fact, many people that choose a cat over a dog will do so because they think cats are easier to look after. Let’s face it, cats are pretty lazy animals. They like to lie around a lot, they don’t need to be walked, so they’re much easier to take care of.
However, it’s not true that all dogs are energetic. There are plenty that can be quite lazy and low-maintenance. So, how do you know if your dog needs to be walked with and played with loads?
Know the breed
When it comes to a dog’s energy levels, its breed will be a massive factor. Some breeds are naturally more energetic than others, so they need way more exercise. For instance, a Border Collie is one of the most active dog breeds around. This is because they have been bred for centuries to help herd sheep or cattle. So, they’re used to spending a lot of time on their paws running around. If you’re ever been to one of those stunt dog shows, the dogs will almost always be Border Collies because they have so much energy. If you don’t own a farm and use them as a sheepdog, you’ll need to walk them multiple times per day because it’s in their nature to be active.
By contrast, you have a whole host of dogs that have low energy levels. A lot of small dogs fall into this category because they’re small, so they can’t afford to be too energetic or they’ll burn out. But, some of the calmest and laziest dogs include the Basset Hound, Bulldog, and Bull Mastiff. These breeds are known to be very low-maintenance, with regular walks not required to maintain their health and wellbeing.
Know the dog
As well as researching the dog’s breed, you should learn more about the dog itself. Are you adopting it from a shelter or buying it from a breeder? Generally, adoption is the best way to go, and this could mean you have a dog with a history behind it. Learn as much about it as possible from the shelter/owners, so you know what its temperament is like. You could discover that they are super energetic for their breed, meaning they need more walks than you might expect. Or, they could be very docile and relaxed, so fewer walks are required.
The same goes for anyone buying from a breeder - ask about the puppies and the parents. If the parents were energetic, it stands to reason the puppies will be too.
Having an energetic dog isn’t a bad thing at all. The problem is when people get a dog and it is more energetic and high-maintenance than they expected. So, they don’t take care of it properly, and this can impact the dog’s wellbeing. Always be aware of what you’re getting into before you get a dog for the first time. If you don’t think you can look after one with a lot of energy, be sure to look for low-energy dogs instead.