How To: Choose a dog

Choose a dog

Bringing a pet into your household is an important decision. Consider these factors when choosing a breed. Watch this video to learn how to choose the right dog breed for you.

You Will Need

* Time for thought and discussion

Step 1. Assess your situation

Assess your situation. Do you have children? Do you own or rent? How big are your living quarters? How much time and money can you devote to a dog?

Step 2. Consider dog size

Consider the size of dog you prefer. Large breeds need more exercise, more food, and more space. Small dogs may require protection in cold weather.

Large dogs often have shorter life spans than medium or small dogs.

Step 3. Consider temperament

Consider the breed temperament. Do you want a mellow dog or a watchdog? Do you need a dog that does well with children?

Step 4. Consider gender

Decide whether you want a male or a female dog. The choice is important if you want to breed your dog, but there's little difference in temperament between genders.

Spay or neuter your dog if you do not plan to breed them.

Step 5. Consider health care

Consider health care needs. Certain breeds require more attention. Breeds with long coats or with respiratory challenges, for example, require more care.

Step 6. Do research

Do some research to find the breed that best matches your needs. A good place to start is the American Kennel Club, at

Step 7. Choose your dog

Buy from a reputable breeder, and get a certified pedigree if you purchase a purebred. Or adopt a purebred or mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter – many of these animals need loving homes. Even mutts may retain breed characteristics from their ancestry, and they're often hardier than purebreds.

Step 8. Enjoy

Enjoy your new companion! There's a good reason dogs are called our best friends.

FACT: The American Kennel Club recognizes over 150 breeds of dogs.

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1 Comment

very good informational video.

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