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What are resources to figure out what is the best dog for me?

asked 2014-09-24 15:40:37 -0600

I've seen quizzes online, but I'm wondering if there is a better way to figure out what kind of dog is best for my lifestyle?

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This is a great question. Many breeds are happy to be indoors alot and are easy to train. Other breeds require more outside time and need an owner committed to training. Knowing yourself, your lifestyle, and what you want from the relationship with your puppy pal is the first step. Do you want a walking or jogging buddy? Are you committed to walks and exercise with your pup? Do you want a fur pal that fits an apartment lifestyle? Are there breed or weight restrictions in your place of residence? Do you plan on traveling with your pet? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Grooming and breed related health problems are another consideration. Most good dog breed books list disposition and health issues.

Dee A.'s profile imageDee A. ( 2015-08-27 22:05:14 -0600 )edit

7 Answers

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answered 2014-09-24 16:09:34 -0600

After you do some research online, find a meet-up group for your prospective breeds and see how the dog behaves "in real life" - you can also visit agility trials, dog shows, or other dog-friendly events around your town to get to know as much as possible before you pick a breed.

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https://www.akc.org/breeds/index.cfm good place to start learning about breeds!

Paula P.'s profile imagePaula P. ( 2014-09-24 17:19:03 -0600 )edit
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answered 2014-12-04 10:33:23 -0600

Quizzes and breed descriptions can only get you so far. Go visit some shelters and hang out with the adoptable dogs. Finding a couple breeds you're interested in can be helpful, but every dog is an individual, so wanting a golden retriever or a yorkie should really be secondary to finding a dog with a personality that is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. Many rescues will let you foster dogs for a while to see if they're a good fit. If you have your heart set on a particular breed, try and find a breed rescue. There are so many absolutely wonderful dogs in rescues.. personally I would never consider looking anywhere else.

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answered 2015-08-27 14:19:43 -0600

You can also try fostering dogs. This will not only give you experience with that particular breed of dog, but you will have the option of adopting THAT dog if you feel he/she fits your lifestyle and routine.

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answered 2015-08-27 14:15:01 -0600

I agree with Katia, on watching dogs through Rover. My husband wasn't a big fan of watching several types of dogs in our house, but he's come around and it's helped us in deciding which type of personalities we're interested in. Must love playing ball. Must love other dogs, men, & children. The breed of dog isn't something we're interested in.

You can also try going to the animal shelters. When you see THE DOG, you know instantly :)

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answered 2015-08-27 15:33:41 -0600

I love the book The Right Dog For You, by Daniel F. Tortora, PhD. It covers over 100 breeds and discusses many characteristics of each breed, and definitely covers your own personality, lifestyle, etc. It was originally published in 1980, so does not include some of the newer hybrid breeds, like labradoodles. It's still available on Amazon.

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answered 2015-08-27 13:50:01 -0600

I've found that dog sitting for Rover is the best way for me to meet all of the different breeds. It's also a great way to see exactly how much time and commitment owning a dog will take.

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answered 2015-08-26 16:36:00 -0600

I'm a big fan of lists to help get clear what I'm looking for and how it will fit into my current lifestyle; in this case the "it" is a dog. :)

Some good questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you want to adopt or buy outright (usually related to whether you're cool with a mixed-breed dog or you really want a purebred)?
  2. Do you have a size preference? You might have limited/unlimited space where you're living, or just prefer a certain size dog.
  3. Low or high-maintenance characteristics? Longer-haired dogs or those that require regular grooming/clipping will take more of a time commitment than those that don't. Also dogs that shed a lot you'll want to take into account how you'll manage that in your home.
  4. Low or high-energy characteristics? Are you an active person or prefer to chill? You want a dog that fits well with your personality and lifestyle.
  5. Trainability and intelligence? As much as we might want to say every dog is trainable in the right hands (and I believe it), you'll want a dog who responds well to your individual approach. Are you good at being consistent, calm and encouraging to your dog? Or do you need a dog that's more forgiving of any inconsistencies?

Of course you should be flexible enough to compromise based on your specific situation for the good of the dog. For example you might really, really, really want a purebred border collie but you live in a 500sq ft apartment in the city and gone the majority of the day - you might expect your highly intelligent and active dog to feel a bit bonkers in this situation.

Go visit shelters and hang out with the dogs. PetFinder is also good for connecting you with dogs that are available for adoption through smaller rescue groups.

If you're set on a purebred dog, google search some of the characteristics you're looking for and research the breeds. You can lookup local breeders for those breeds that you connect with the most and talk to them about their dogs.

Being prepared with even a basic outline of what you're looking for will help you out when you're suddenly surrounded by all those cute puppy dog eyes. :)

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