How to Choose a Dog Breed?

When you are considering getting a dog, there are many different factors that you will need to take into consideration, the most important obviously being the type of dog that you will select.  There are nearly 500 different breeds of domesticated dogs available, and that just includes straight breeds. There are also thousands of ways for those breeds to be mixed together.  When you need to determine which breed of dog would best fit into your lifestyle, here are some things that you should take into consideration.


The first thing to think about is the size of your new dog.  If you live in a small apartment with very little outdoor space, then most likely you will not want to get a large dog.  The opposite is not necessarily true however, because in most cases a small dog can live anywhere.  Yard space is a bigger factor than indoor living space for bigger dogs, and if you don’t have a large yard but you do live near a dog-friendly park, a larger breed might actually be a good choice for you.

Your Available Time

Time may not seem like a major consideration when selecting a dog breed, but quite honestly some dogs really do require continuous attention for many different reasons.  Active dogs require a tremendous amount of exercise to stay healthy; sometimes several hours of walking and running are necessary every day.  Long-haired dogs require a significant amount of grooming, which can mean a large time investment on your part if you are not willing or able to have your dog professionally groomed.


When you are trying to decide what type of dog breed would work best for you, consider the things that you would like to do with your new pet.  Do you plan to play Frisbee and run on the beach? Or, would you prefer a dog that is content to sit near your feet while you work or read?  Or, do you intend to become involved in dog shows?  Each of these activities is best suited for a particular breed of dog. For example, a German Shepard or Labrador Retriever would make an excellent running or Frisbee partner.  On the other hand, a poodle will have little interest in becoming your jogging partner but would enjoy being shown frequently.  A Jack Russell Terrier is never going to be a lap dog, but a cocker spaniel would relish the idea of sitting near the fire for hours on end.

Is this Your First Dog?

If you are looking for the right breed, and you are a first time dog owner, you will definitely want to select a breed that is better for first-time dog owners.  Something like an Akita, German Shepard, Boxer or a Dalmatian may seem like a great idea – at first.  But, be aware that if you don’t have experience with dogs, you are in for quite a challenge.  A better choice might be a Greyhound, a Boston Terrier, a Golden Retriever or a Bull Terrier.

Do You Have, or Plan to Have Children?

A common misconception is that many breeds just simply should not mix with children. Actually, any dog will be a good match for a family with children if he or she has been properly trained by one of the household adults.  If you are planning to adopt an older dog, you should be very cautious about mixing the dog with your children until you have a good idea of how the dog is going to behave.  And, never leave your children alone with the dog until it has been living in your home for quite some time.

Overall, selecting a dog breed is truly a personal decision. You should take into consideration the items above, to rule out breeds that just might not work for you.  And, you should also consider any mitigating circumstances – like extended travel, etc. that might have an effect on the type of dog that you decide to get.

If you have any suggestions on how to choose a dog breed please let us know in the comments of this post.

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