Why do you want to get a dog?
What’s your main reason for getting a dog? Is it for your kids, for companionship, or to have a pet for play and exercise? Thinking about this first will help with your breed choice later.
Level of activity: couch potato or fireball?
This answer will depend on your lifestyle and how much time you can devote to your dog. In other words, don’t get a sporting or hunting breed if you can’t spend time outdoors with him. Keep in mind, puppies and toy breeds need play time too.
Size: From tote-sized to massive
The cute puppy will eventually grow to full size and that size needs to be accommodated. Whether you live in an apartment or home, your space may dictate the size of your dog. A Chihuahua will be at home either way, but an Akita will have a tight fit in a small space.
Personality traits count
Your dog will be a part of the family for many years, so make sure he has a personality you can live with. Is his breed known for being playful or stubborn? Does he take to training easily?
Active breeds need time and space to run off their energy. But if a long walk or exercise is the last thing you want to do after work, a cuddly low-energy breed may suit you best.
Do you have time to groom your dog a few times a week? If not, consider a breed with a short, low-maintenance coat.
When looking for your family’s new best friend, make sure he fits your lifestyle and time commitment! Even when adopting, it’s possible to find specific breeds through rescue groups and shelters.