Beautiful Golden Retriever Sat in a FieldSo you’ve decided to get a dog! That’s wonderful! Now comes the hard part.

Deciding what kind of dog to get is as important, if not more so, than the decision to get a dog.  After all this is a relationship that should last many years!

Asking The Tough Questions

Whether you decide to adopt or go to a breeder you need to consider several factors when selecting a dog.

  • Why do you and your family want a dog?
  • What size dog would work best for your lifestyle?
  • What about energy level and age?
  • Do you have small children?
  • Do you plan to exercise with your dog or just let him out into the back yard?
  • How much can you afford to spend on dog food per month?

Be honest and realistic with your answers.  While it may be tough to admit you won’t jog with your dog every day, you’ll be relieved when your new dog is satisfied with a walk around the neighborhood.

Research Online 

There are many resources online to help you choose the best pup for you and your family which ask these questions and more.  You can take quizzes online at Animal Planet or DogTime.

The American Kennel Club’s website has profiles on each of it’s 160 registered breeds.

A Personal Experience

Personally I have used the tools and profiles available at DogBreedInfo.com.  Their list of pure and cross breed dogs will amaze you.  Start with the  detailed quiz to help you select the right type of dog.  Then read up on their suggestions in the pure and cross breed profile section.  They detail important information such as exercise and space needs, grooming needs, life expectancy, known health issues, they even have information on the historical origins of several breeds.   After you’ve selected your dog, read the sections on understanding dog behavior and raising a puppy.  These articles will help prepare you to raise a happy, well behaved dog.

dvm-44A Lifelong Friend

While you typically can’t choose your family, in the case of man’s best friend you do have a say! Ask the right questions and do the research; you’ll be rewarded with years of happiness!

One side note.  When it comes to mixed breeds, while shelters make great guesses at mixed breed dog’s lineage, one puppy can look much like the next.  Make sure to consider the advantages of a slightly older dog.  Not only will you be more sure of their needs and dispositions, you might just be saving a life!  Petfinder.com is a great way to find a specific mixed breed dog or any number of other pets looking for a home.

As always, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions please contact Midlothian Animal Clinic.