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What You Should Know When Choosing a Dog

Gaye Mandel

Posted on March 13 2020

Finding Your Best Friend

Are you scrolling through Instagram all day long looking at Yorkies, Great Danes, Whippets or maybe a Goldendoodle or a Beagle? If you’ve fallen in love with the look and temperament of a specific breed you might have your mind set on it being the perfect one for your family. But not every type of dog will suit all families.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what would be the best dog for my family, you’re not alone. Every dog lover wants their dog to be as happy and comfortable with their new family as you are with them. And with so many amazing breeds to choose from, finding the right one can be a tough choice! We are here to help make choosing the right dog for your family easier. See our tips below to help determine what dog breed is best for my family.

Don’t pick a dog just because you like the way it looks. Always consider the needs of your desired breed and the needs of your family. There is a dog to suit every lifestyle. You may consider adopting a non pure-bred dog for the best of multiple breeds.

What to Consider

Choosing the right dog for your family can feel like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many things to consider when choosing a dog. Before you pick a puppy or adult dog, you need to give serious thought to the needs of the dog and your family. Be realistic and try not to look at your family’s situation through rose tinted glasses. We know you love dogs but providing your dog with an ideal home for their needs is just as important as finding one that you like. Remember, just because you like a specific breed of dog does not mean that they will mesh well with your family dynamics.

  • Temperament – temperament of a dog is one of the most important things to consider when making your decision. Though every dog can bring love to its family, not all dogs will do well in an environment with children. If you have young children you may wish to choose a dog that is calm, loyal and sensitive. A higher energy dog who is more playful can still be a great choice for your family. Simply consider if the temperament of the dog works well with your family and try to find a balance between everyone’s needs.
  • Size of dog – the size of your dog should compliment the size of your home and the space available for the dog. Though some dog owners who live in smaller spaces have large dogs, many find that smaller dogs are better suited for smaller spaces. Additionally, some dogs need lots of room to run and would benefit from having a larger home with a yard. Not having a yard is no reason to delay having a dog though. If you’re tight on space, make sure you take your dog for lots of walks so they can get the exercise they need.
  • Needs of your family – sometimes families choose a dog to be a companion for an anxious child or a child with autism. National Service Dogs is a great resource for families who have specific needs for a service dog in their home. Other needs such as allergies and physical limitations should also be considered when choosing a dog. There are many “non-shedding” breeds that may work better in your situation.
  • Time commitments – busy families should consider how much time they have to offer to their dog. All dogs need lots of love and affection, but some dogs need more attention than others. Be realistic about what you can offer before choosing a breed. There will certainly be a dog that fits perfectly into your family, but you need to be mindful of what your dog will need from you too.

is your dog compatible with your family

Though you should consider these factors when looking for a new dog, don’t be discouraged if you fall in love with a pup who doesn’t quite fit your requirements on paper. Just like humans, every dog is different. Get to know older dogs or puppies before you consider bringing them home. Sometimes despite their biologically ingrained tendencies, great breeding, and blood lines, dogs break the mold and act differently than what’s expected on paper.

Which Dog is For Me?

You’re a dog lover, so you already know how important it is to provide the best environment possible for your new dog. Consider starting your search for a new dog by looking for breeds that compliment your lifestyle and family needs. It might take a little bit of time and research to find them, but there is a perfect dog for your family. See our list below for examples of dogs that may be a good fit.

Dogs that need more space – if you’ve got room to spare, these dogs may be perfect for you

  • Border Collies
  • Beagles
  • German Shepherds
  • Huskies

Dogs that are good with children – if you have small children in the home, these dogs make great first pets

  • Collie
  • Irish Setter
  • Golden Retriever
  • Newfoundland

Dogs for apartments – small space is no issue for these dogs, they will be content in your tiny home.

  • Chihuahua
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Shi Tzu
  • Dachshund
  • Pug

Rescues Are A Great Option Too

Sometimes we get so excited about the look of a breed of dog that we forget to consider rescued or non pure-bred dogs. Though rescues are sometimes older, you might just find the most loving and loyal friend at a shelter. Some rescues will even have a mix of purebred and mixed breed dogs.

By choosing a dog from a rescue you might be able to get the best of more that one breed. Mixed breed dogs can be gorgeous pets who exhibit the best traits of the breeds they come from. Consider visiting an animal rescue such as Dog Tales or your local Humane Society to meet adoptable dogs and learn more about their personalities, temperament and the situation they came from. You may represent the happiness you’re both looking for.

Rescue or purebred, finding the perfect pooch is both exciting and challenging. Go with your gut and find a best friend that feels at home with you and your family. There might still be bumps along the way but providing love and patience will help keep everyone happy as you welcome and get used to a new member of your family.


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