The Dog Word

How to Choose a Breed

Using our suggestions and considerations on how to choose a breed that is right for your family can make all the difference in a happy life with the dog you choose.

There are more than a few things to consider when figuring out how to choose a breed that is right for you. A family with children might want to look for a more social and sturdy dog, like a Labrador Retriever. They will not just tolerate children but thrive on the presence of the family. Breed also influences personality and behavioral tendencies as well as the kinds of activities a dog might enjoy. For example, most Retrievers love to swim and play fetch.

How to Choose a Breed

It is also important to think about other factors like the amount of energy they have and exercise that will be needed for a happy dog. The hair factor might matter, and so you’ll want to look at grooming requirements. Even if you are adopting from a shelter you should still think about the breed(s). It is important to do your research because breed tells you a lot about a dog.

How to choose a breed becomes a very personal task as you ask yourself what kind of personality would be a good fit for you. You also have to consider what level of responsibility you are willing to take on in terms of what it requires to take care of certain breeds. Below is a list of questions you can ask yourself to help you narrow your search based on the general responsibilities of having a pup.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Think about these questions to help you decide which dog breed is best for you:

•           How much time will you have to exercise a dog every day? You can look for a low energy breed versus a higher energy one if you know you won’t have tons of time.

•           How much grooming are you willing to do? Some breeds might require daily brushing or clipping.

•           Are you prepared to fulfill breed specific traits, like the Australian Shepherds strong will to herd?

•           Are you prepared to take care of the dog for the full length of its lifespan? Larger breeds tend to live shorter lives, while smaller breeds can live for 15 years or longer

•           Are you prepared to take the necessary time for training? Dogs with a more difficult training level will require more effort.

•           Are you prepared to pay for and seek outside help if required for a breed that is more difficult to train?

•           Does the cost of food make a difference? Smaller animals eat less and cost less in general. The larger the dog the larger the expense.

•           Do you have the yard space for a breed with high energy and exercise needs?

•           Will you be travelling a lot and able to find easy accommodation with or for this breed?

•           Will you be around other people, children, or small pets and does this breed get along well with others?

There are plenty of things to consider and you must consider all of the above if you want to make the best decision for yourself. It shouldn’t take all the fun out of it, but asking yourself those questions should narrow your search. As you research breeds you’ll find, like on our website, each breed is described in terms of personality, energy and exercise requirements, training level, and all about physical features including grooming requirements, and more. This information is there to help you decide if a dog is right for you.


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