German Shepherd Puppy

Find Your Perfect Dog

Picking a Dog is Nothing To Sniff At!

Searching for your first dog is an exciting time! Finding your new best friend and forever pal is exhilarating. Day dreaming of afternoons in the park, playing in the yard and sharing adventures. It is going to be perfect! But there’s one thing you haven’t considered; what dog will work best for you? There are almost 200 registered breeds in the US and over 340 worldwide. That’s a LOT of pups! Not to mention, that’s just the purebreds; what about all those adorable mixed breeds? How do you choose?!

Fear not, future dog parent! When looking for a new dog, consider these factors.

Malamute Puppy On the BeachSize Matters

Let’s start with the basics of appearance. What size do you want and what size environment will they live in? The place where your pet lives will be their entire world for the majority of the next 10 to 15 years. For example, having a St. Bernard sounds like great idea, except you only have one bedroom, no yard and one couch. Think about what spaces you will be sharing because sometimes, a smaller pet might be a better match. Big dogs are also going to eat more food than smaller ones. If you are tight on money, a smaller pooch might be a cheaper choice.

Grooming

Next, it’s important to consider how much work you want to invest into grooming your dog. While short-hair breeds only need a bath and nail clipping, most long-hair breeds need professional grooming. Think about how often you can spend money on a groomer or if you can wash them yourself.

Exercise Requirements

Synder the Pitbull-Boxer Mix Barking

This is the most important item on this list. If you are not interested extensive and regular exercise, do not get a high energy pet. When you have a high energy pet in a low activity household, they will get bored and become frustrated. This may lead to destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking. Pick a pet that will have energy levels that you are comfortable with. A dog cannot change this, so it is up to the owner to know what works best for their lifestyle.
 
For example, Synder (above) is a Pit-Boxer mix and her exercise requirement is very high. She goes on walks three times a week, has an acre of fenced yard, two dogs to play with and plays fetch daily. And yet she is still not tired. Synder is a 100% energy dog that is constantly exercised and still destroys toys out of boredom. If you are a new dog owner with no yard or desire to walk a lot, a high energy dog is not right for you. But, there are tons of pups that would be happy to sit and watch TV or relax outside instead. From the 100+ pound Bullmastiff to the ten pound King Charles Spaniel, there is a best friend for everyone.

Social Pups

Pitbull Boxer and Chihuahua PlayingFinally, decide on who your dog will be spending time with. Is it only you and your pooch or are there other pets, roommates, kids, or strangers they will be encountering daily?

For example, a Bullmastiff might not be good for new parents because it accidentally could knock a child over. A Shih Tzu, while small, loves to be under foot and can trip seniors or children. The Akita and Chow are protective breeds, and might not react well to strangers. Some breeds, like the Golden Retriever, are notorious for being great with new people.

Every Dog Is Different

They will not react the same way to every situation, no matter what their breed and training is. Training and socialization are important for creating a good temperament. But as an owner you should always be aware of how your pet reacts to strangers, other animals and children. No matter the breed or age, training is imperative when your pet will be around other people and animals.

Mix It Up

two dogs playingWe have mentioned several breeds that are great, but a purebred isn’t always an option. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a well behaved, calm pup. Tons of mixed breeds are perfect for single people and families alike. As someone with three adopted mixed breeds, I can assure you they will love you the same!

Adopt

If you want to adopt, check out your local shelters and humane societies. You may decide that instead of a puppy, a senior dog might be a better fit. Most shelters have profiles on each of their pets and have a good idea of who might be right for you. If you are going to buy a purebred, make sure you do research on what you are buying and where you are buying it from. Another option is to check with rescues to see if they have any surrendered purebreds.

No matter the breed, mixed or pure, take time to carefully consider your lifestyle and how a pet may fit into it. Try taking this quiz from the American Kennel Club to find out what dog breeds might be best for you!

Looking for more information on picking a dog? Read more here:

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