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Choosing A Dog Breed

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Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds!

How To Choose A Dog Breed

So you're ready to bring a new family member into your household - you've decided to get a dog. You understand what is required to become a responsible dog owner - and are prepared to do it.

You're now in the process of choosing a dog breed that will suit your lifestyle, personality and requirements. This is an important long term decision for you and anyone you live with. It pays to put in some research to ensure you reach the right decision.

When you visualize the type of dog you picture yourself living with for the next 15 years the dog's breed is just one of the many factors you need to consider. It is a vital piece of the puzzle but merely because you pick out a breed with some qualities you desire does not automatically mean you will end up with your "perfect dog". What it does mean is that you will probably discover a breed of dog which is compatible to you and has the potential to be everything you had hoped for.

Jump To My List Of Popular Dog Breeds

Dog Breed Pictures

The other just as crucial ingredients (along with the dog's breed) that combine to determine what type of dog you will share your life with are:

  • Where you purchase your dog from - always buy from a conscientious and reputable dog breeder if possible.

  • Which puppy you choose out of the litter.

  • The puppy socialization your dog's breeder and then you give to the dog.

  • Will this breed be right for your children?

  • The Obedience Training you provide - this includes things like household etiquette, leash training and the basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, down etc...

The above ingredients all come together to determine the health, well-being, character and behavior habits of your dog.

When choosing a dog breed it's a good idea to talk with people who have first hand experience with the breed you are interested in. Your local veterinarian, dog breeders and obedience trainers are a valuable source of information. Also if you visit any dog shows you can talk with the owners of just about any breed - this will make the picture clearer for you.

Right here on this page you can continue your dog breed research by taking the dog breed recommender test and browsing through the extensive list of dog breeds.

Choosing A Dog Breed -
Some Questions To Ask Yourself

  1. What size of dog breed do you favor? Size does matter but it doesn't necessarily mean that a big dog needs a big yard and a small dog breed is suited to apartment living. Some large breeds like the docile Greyhound are perfectly suited and easy to manage in a smallish yard.

  2. Can you handle a dog that sheds heavily? Almost all dogs shed to some degree but some like Golden Retrievers, Pugs and Dalmations are shedding machines! Unless you are prepared to allocate some dog grooming time each day you may be better off with a breed that sheds minimally.

  3. Is it important that your dog is good with children? Do some research to discover which dog breeds are best for children - there's lots of great options.

    Dog Breed Selection

  4. How important is it for your dog to be well trained? Some breeds are more suited, willing and capable if you plan to get involved in advanced obedience training - does this apply to you?

  5. Will your dog be living with other animals and dogs? Many breeds find it difficult to happily coexist with other animals, while there are some dogs that love the company of others.

  6. What energy level should your dog have? Do you long for a dog who lounges around on the couch with you or one who continually drops a ball at your feet looking for a game? It's important for the human-dog relationship that you share a similar level of energy to your dog. Please note that energy level comes down to each individual dog rather than by breed.

  7. Is affordability an issue for you? Think not only of the initial purchase price but also feeding, grooming and health care - with some dogs the list goes on and on....

  8. Do you want a dog who will guard you and your possessions or one that may just "sound the alarm" and act as a watchdog?

  9. Is it likely that your lifestyle, commitments or requirements will change drastically in the next 12-15 years? Choosing a dog breed is an important long term decision - it pays to look ahead for the wellbeing of the dog.

  10. Will your dog be left home alone for long periods? Many dog breeds (such as Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas) suffer badly from separation anxiety if left alone and bored for long periods. If your career demands a lot of your time you'll need to consider your choice of breed carefully - you may even want to reconsider your decision to get a dog at all.

  11. Will your dog be an inside dog, an outside dog or a bit of both? Some breeds are simply not suited to being kept outside and it's not fair to enforce this upon them.

  12. Will your climate present any problems to your chosen breed? Dogs that were bred for specific purposes and in one part of the world will often find it hard to climatize into other areas.

  13. Does the breed you are interested in have any breed specific health problems? Again this is just a matter of doing some research and talking to people who would know. Common breed specific problems are hip dysplasia, various eye problems and skin conditions.

  14. Do you have a secure and large enough property to safely confine your dog? Puppy proofing your home checklist.

  15. How much and what kind of exercise are you prepared to give on a daily basis? This is an important one, if you are not prepared to properly exercise your dog the dog's energy will come out in other, destructive ways. Some dogs don't require much exercise at all - they'd rather curl up with you on the couch.

  16. Will you be able to get your chosen breed in your area? It's no good falling in love with a certain breed only to find out that you cannot source a puppy in your area.

  17. What is your level of experience with dogs? Some dog breeds are not recommended for first time dog owners - they will walk all over you!

  18. What was the breed originally bred for? Many breeds still retain the strong drives and instincts which they were bred for. For this reason if you enjoy having a nice and tidy flower garden you may want to avoid some of the terrier breeds (they love to dig!).

  19. Do you suffer from any dog related allergies? Hypoallergenic dog breeds such as Poodles, Bichon Frise and the Bedlington Terrier have a decreased tendency to cause allergic reactions.

The above questions are designed to make the process of choosing a dog breed a clear and straight forward process - if answered truthfully!

As soon as your new dog arrives home is the time when your hard work begings. You will be responsible for shaping his/her character and behavior habits and helping him to thrive in our human society. To learn how to properly bond with and train your dog I recommend you study and closely follow this Comprehensive Dog Ownership Package.

Dog Breed Picture

Dog Breed Recommender

Try this online Choosing A Dog Breed Questionnaire to further narrow your search. You can find answers to questions such as "What is the best small dog breed?" and "What is the best dog breed for children?" plus much more...

Click here to start the Best Dog Breed - Selection Tool


List Of Dog Breeds - Dog Breed Information

Top 34 AKC Dog Breeds in order of popularity. Information includes choosing a dog breed, dog breed profiles and dog breed pictures.


ATTENTION: For Those Getting a New Puppy

All dogs, regardless of breed type need to be raised, trained and cared for in a responsible and informed way. If it's your wish to raise a happy, healthy and well adjusted dog then I'd suggest you get involved in this great community of dog lovers - Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer. It's the best investment you'll ever make for you, and your dog.


Want more information on a breed not listed here? You can check out PetGuide's dog breed info pages and learn more about each dog's history, temperament and suitability as a member of your family.




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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.