Are you trying to find a dog but do not know what breed to get? We will help you find the perfect puppy in 9 easy steps!
Although they are the same species, it is surprising how dogs can differ based on breed. Having a small Chihuahua is very different from a giant Great Dane.Many potential puppy parents wonder how to choose the best breed of dog, so if you ask this question, you are not alone.After all, a dog usually has a 10-year commitment. You want to find a suitable breed for you!
Let’s go over all the things to consider when choosing the best breed of dog for you, your family, and your lifestyle. In the end, you will have a much clearer idea of the breed that is specifically suited to you and may even keep the top 2 or 3 picks.
1 . Why do you want a dog?
First things first, let’s mention why you would like a dog. This will guide you more than you think!
For example, do you love to snuggle on the couch and want a little ball of fur to curl up on your lap and keep you company? Or do you love the outdoors and want an energetic and robust puppy to accompany you? Or imagine a dog that loves to play with you and your family?
Stop for a moment , close your eyes and believe it. What you see first is the best answer.
2 . What kind of dog did you have when you grew up?
Believe it or not, the type of dog you grew up with often has an impact on the type of dog you want when you are older. Growing up, we were a family of Labrador Retrievers. This is probably due to the fact that my dad, my uncles, and our family friends were all hunters, and Labs are an exceptional hunting dog.
We had a super sweet chocolate lab called Sadie. My uncles and my dad’s friends also had Labradors.
So when it came time to get a dog, guess what breed I chose?
You guessed it: a labrador.
It’s what I knew and what I felt comfortable with.
On the other hand, our next door neighbors have always had Maltese dogs, and when their puppy recently passed away, they got a new dog of the same breed.
That certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a different type of dog in any way. It’s just that people often have a comfort level with the canine that they were conditioned to grow up to.
3 . Do you have any allergies?
Here’s the elephant in the allergy room – Dogs can be terrible for allergies.
Growing up, my friend Abby had terrible allergies. When I slept at home, I had to take special medicine to avoid having an attack. Even then, she always seemed a bit nervous.
When she grew up and wanted a dog for her family, she found that Goldendoodles were a perfect fit for her.
The Goldendoodle is considered a hypoallergenic breed, meaning they have a dander-free coat that greatly reduces allergy problems.
If you have allergies, don’t despair. It is still possible to get a dog. It is only recommended that you find one that is hypoallergenic.
4 . Who lives in your home?
Another important thing to think about is who lives in your home.
Is it just you? Or do you have a partner? Roommates? Children?
This is incredibly important to consider. Especially if you have little ones at home.
If you only have one other adult (or adults) in the home, check what their comfort level is and find a breed that you agree with as well.
And if you have children, we highly recommend that you choose a breed that is well suited to the demands of living with tiny humans. Children are mischievous, impulsive, and curious creatures, and not all races are suitable for this.
5 . Where do you live?
As you think about which breed of dog is right for you, where you live is incredibly important.
It goes without saying that certain breeds are not designed for small spaces.
With apartments and certain townhouses or smaller houses, a large dog like a German Shepherd or Rottweiler won’t have the room it needs.
Also, if you rent, always check the pet policy for any restrictions. Many policies have strict parameters on what proportion a dog can weigh and sometimes even restrict the breeds allowed.
This also applies if you live in a community with a homeowners association. Before getting a dog, read the statutes carefully and see what they say about pets.
For example, when he owned a townhome, the association only allowed dogs up to 35 pounds. (My dog Toby is over triple that size, so it was a good thing I moved in!)
Consider the weather
The weather can also come into play when looking for the best suited breed. Some dogs are better suited for certain types of weather.
However, with today’s modern conveniences like air conditioning and heating, you can certainly be more flexible than ever with the type of furbaby you bring home. But it’s still worth considering.
We live in Minnesota, where temperatures are often cool, cold, or icy. The months of July and August, on the other hand, are incredibly hot and humid.
Our neighbors used to have two large huskies with thick, giant coats. These dogs loved cold weather, but they got really miserable in the summer, when the temperatures reached 85 degrees. They sat in the shade looking grumpy and exhausted for those 8 weeks.
In this case, owning a Husky might not be the best idea for those who live in arid climates 365 days a year.
As you search for a puppy, think about the climate you live in and whether or not there are dogs that are better suited to your climate.
City versus suburb versus country
Another factor is the city you live in. Is it a city full of great buildings without limits? A suburb with courtyards and green spaces? Or a rural area with an infinite surface?
I can’t imagine living in a crowded center with our dog Toby, as he is a giant laboratory with tons of energy and the need for constant exercise. But other dogs will do well in that environment.
It all depends on where you live and what dogs you are looking at.
6 . How much time and energy do you have?
Dogs are a LOT of work. (Do not let anyone tell you otherwise).
But some dogs require far more effort than others.
Prospective puppy parents should always make sure they have the time, energy, and resources to care for a dog, regardless of breed.
But that level of attention can increase depending on the dog.
I love having a vigorous dog like the Labrador Retriever. Our dog Toby needs three walks a day, but this is great for us because it helps us stay active outdoors, especially in winter.
Kyle and I work from home so we have a lot of time to spend on it. Plus, labs are great with kids, and it melts my heart to see him interact with our daughter Elise.
Would you recommend this breed for someone who is less active or works long hours? Absolutely not.
It is always a good idea to be 100% realistic about how much time and energy you have because it is not fair to the dog if this does not suit his needs.
7 . What is the dog’s temperament?
Like appearance, a puppy’s temperament can vary greatly depending on the breed. And it’s absolutely critical to figure out how a dog will act based on its breed instincts.
If you are zoning a potential dog, do a little research on the breed’s temperament. Sure, there are some outliers, except for the foremost part, a dog will act accordingly.
Years ago I was in a dog park and I came across a man with a Shiba Inu. It was my first time meeting someone with this breed, and I was very intrigued because I only knew a little about Shibas and thought they were possibly the cutest canines I had ever seen.
While watching the dog play, I realized that the Shiba was more distant and distant compared to the other dogs, so I asked about the breed.
“Shibas are amazing,” said the man. “It’s like having the personality of a cat within the body of a dog.”
I love cuddling and playing with puppies so this would not be the breed for me. But this boy loved that the Shiba was more independent and lonely. (Like many other Shiba parents).
If it were only for size and looks, this might be the pup for me. Fortunately, I discovered temperament before making a decision that just wasn’t the right one.
8. How much does the race cost?
Owning a dog is not cheap, but some breeds are more expensive than others. Cost is a consideration and it’s always a good idea to get the big picture before you commit.
Things to think about include:
- The initial expense – How much does the dog cost from the beginning?
- Veterinary bills – Does the breed have certain health problems that will cost a good amount of money in the future?
- Danger – What cleaning does it involve? Will you need to take the dog to the groomer to get its hair cut regularly, etc.?
- Food – How much will be the cost of food and snacks? Does your dog have a huge appetite that will cost you extra money?
- Other expenses – What other expenses could they involve? For example, is it an energetic breed that may need a doggie daycare while you’re at work?
By understanding all the costs involved (or as much as you can at this stage), you will ensure that you can properly care for your dog.