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Lifestyle: A Ruff Guide To Dog Ownership

By Victoria Whinnett from House of Barks,489 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.

Ellie and Victoria from House of Barks

Did you know there are over 200 types of purebred dogs alone, and that’s before you even take into account mixed breeds. If you're thinking about getting a dog, there are many factors to consider when deciding which breed is right for you.


A key consideration in choosing your perfect pup is how active you are. The marathon runners or avid park goers amongst us would be suited to dogs like Kelpies or Australian Sheep Dogs, while greyhounds might suit homebodies, as they love to lounge. Other less active dogs include Great Danes (yes you read that right) and at the other end of the size spectrum, French Bulldogs, King Charles Cavaliers, pugs and Shih Tzus.

Household Make-up

Another factor to consider is who is going to be around your dog and when. There’s a reason you might see so many families with cavoodles; their even temperament and people-oriented nature make them great around children. Other popular dogs for active families include beagles, cocker spaniels, and golden retrievers.

Alone Time

And while dogs are generally a social species and like to be around people and other dogs, some breeds you can leave alone for longer periods of time include Labradors, Swiss Mountain dog varieties and Corgis. However, don’t fret if you don’t have the ideal set up for your perfect breed, dog daycares or even dog walkers can help provide companionship, mental stimulation and physical exercise for your pup if you’re away from home more than they’d like or you don’t have as much time to exercise them.


A key factor in determining what kind of dog would suit you best will be influenced by your living arrangements. If you have lots of space you may want to cuddle up to larger dogs such as a Collie or beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog. If you have a smaller square footage, consider a so-sweet-butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your mouth Maltese or a trendy bichon frise. Noise is another factor to consider as dachshunds are another great choice, but be warned, this little but mighty breed will often bark at any unusual noise, so make sure they have some nice quiet surroundings.


Typically pure breeds end up having a higher adoption cost and more vet care costs than mixed breed dogs, and you should also factor in food and all the treats you’ll buy your pup too. Grooming costs can also vary depending on the size of your dog and its coat. After all, there’s a big difference in the amount of effort that goes into an Afghan Hound as compared to a schnauzer.

Whatever your perfect breed is, they can all benefit from activities like dog daycare to help provide socialisation with other dogs, stimulation through activities as well as pats and cuddles all in a safe, purpose-built environment.

House of Barks opened two years ago with the ambition to provide a local dog daycare where pups would be treated with the same love that their owners give them at home. The staff grew up surrounded by animals and have qualifications in animal studies and/or related fields such as grooming

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