What kind of puppy is best for you?
Thinking of taking the leap and adding a new member to your family? Find out what kind of dog you should get based on your lifestyle!
Why do you want a dog?
For protection purposes/ as a guard dog
As a family pet with kids
As a working/performance dog (agility, herding, etc.)
As a companion for an adult
Companion for elderly person
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What kind of house do you live in?
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Where is your home located
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Do you have any kids in the house
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How many hours in the day do you plan to leave the dog by itself?
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How many hours in a day do you plan to exercise your dog (play,train,walk)
1 to 2h
2h or more
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Is excessive barking a problem for you?
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Is obedience and training something you plan to do with your dog?
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How affectionate do you want your dog to be?
Very affectionate, wants to play with you often
Does not go out of his way to seek attention
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Have you had a dog before, or been an experienced dog handler?
Yes, very experienced with dogs
Moderately experienced (e.g. never owned but did petsitting)
No, have never owned or really handled dogs before
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How energetic do you want your dog to be?
A dog with endless energy, always up for playing!
A dog who is ready to go home after a couple hours.
A dog who is a happy with few walks a day.
A dog who is not really too interested in going outdoors.
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How often do you plan to groom your dog?
1-2x a month
Once a week or more often
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How much would you be willing to spend on a dog?
Less than $20 a month
$20-$60 a month
$60 or more
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How often do you plan to take your dog to the veterinarian?
At death's door.
Only when it's sick
Once a year for annual check ups
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Shepherds, in general (australian, german, belgian), are very smart dogs who are affectionate and eager to please their owners. They are often territorial and will act as watchdogs. They are also extremely high energy dogs and need either daily long walks or an outdoor play area. Since they have been bred as guard dogs in the past, they are also more predisposed for aggression towards other dogs / strangers. People who want a loyal companion and are able to put the time in to exercise and train/socialize their dog would be ideal owners for these breeds.
Terriers are a bundle of energy! These small to medium sized dogs are fiesty and some of the most playful breeds around. Generally bred to hunt and kill vermin, these dogs are also tenacious creatures. Since there is such a range of terriers, you can choose between different profiles. Some breeds (e.g. border terriers) are more trainable then others (e.g. fox terriers). Small terriers like yorkies and silkies are also more likely to snap at kids compared to others. Owners should be aware that though terriers make great pets overall, they can be harder to train compared to other breeds.
Hounds are some of the calmest and most unobtrusive dogs you may meet--until they catch a whiff of some scent! Hounds were bred as hunting dogs and they reportedly have an exceptional sense of smell. These dogs are generally low energy, docile, and rarely snap at kids. Conversely, these dogs are also not as affectionate as other breeds, and in general harder to train for obedience. Families with children looking for a low maintenance, lethargic dog would find these breeds an ideal pet.
Golden and Lab retrievers are some of the best family pets that you can have! Their low aggressiveness combined with an extremely affectionate nature make them perfect for kids. These dogs are also very playful, and will require a household where they get lots of interaction. Finally, retrievers are very trainable and eager to please their owners and can also make great field dogs.
Poodles are another breed often seen as family pets. They are playful, affectionate, and extremely intelligent. The smaller toy and mini poodles are much more reactive towards kids and may snap at them compared to the standard large poodle. Standard poodles are also promising watchdogs and can be used for household protection. Any family looking for a family pet, that is trainable and protective may consider getting a poodle.
Spaniels are another breed group that generally rank low on on aggression, rarely snap at kids and have affectionate natures. This trifecta of characteristics make them highly desirable as family pets. These dogs are in general more excitable compared to other family dogs like retrievers. The spaniels also have more variability within their group- cocker spaniels are extremely affectionate, mediocre at training, but very reactive (can snap at kids), as compared to Brittany spaniels that are a little less affectionate, but less reactive and easier to train. All the spaniels however, need moderate amount of exercise.
Boxers are the clowns of the dog world and can be some of the goofiest dogs around! Given their playfulness and patience around kids, they make great family pets. They are also not too reactive, moderately trainable, and affectionate. Boxers also have the added bonus of being good guard dogs, and can be protective towards their owners.
Reconsider getting a dog
Getting a new puppy or adult dog requires a considerable amount of time and money commitment. If you do not have that time/money, reconsider your decision and maybe wait until later. Being prepared for a new dog will help you and your new dog acclimatize smoothly and lead to a solid bond for both of you. Don't get a dog unless you are ready for it!