So you want to grow your family by a dog? Yay! At Petology, we couldn’t be happier or more supportive of your decision to add a furry friend to your home! Maybe you find yourself asking, How do I choose a dog? Good question, choosing the right dog is a big deal and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Regardless of whether you adopt from a shelter or buy from a dog breeder, your journey should start with identifying the breed of dog that’s right for you. Maybe you find yourself asking, Why is that such a big deal? Again, good question, let’s explore the answer. Getting a dog is a big decision and it should be a forever decision. In order to make sure it’s a forever decision, you want to make sure you’re being realistic and honest with what you can and cannot handle. It’s a really good idea to sit down generate a list of what you’re looking for in a dog. If you’re getting a dog with a partner or a spouse, make sure you’re doing this part together and you’re both on the same page.
The truth is, it’s so much easier to go into the process knowing exactly what you’re looking for in a dog and what you’re capable of handling in both your life and your home. When you show up at the shelter and they show you an adorable fluffy pup with bright eyes, of course you’re going to melt and ooh and aah. But when they tell you that the dog is a breed that’s on your ‘No List,’ and that dog barks a lot and has an active temperament—both of which are also on your ‘No List’—you can feel confident in saying, “While this dog is super cute, it’s not the right fit for me.” No guilt, no acting on the emotions of the moment, just a confident decision rooted in forethought and intention. And remember, the best interest for a dog is a forever home with pet parents that know have actively researched, know exactly what their capabilities are, and are fully committed to the dog’s exact breed and temperment. It has to be a perfect match and that’s worth holding out for (on both sides). When you find the perfect dog that’s on your ‘Yes List,’ you can give the most confident “Yes!” because your decision will be rooted in intentionality and commitment.
As you research breeds and think through logistics, keep in mind that there are over 340 breeds of dogs throughout the world and each breed has its own unique characteristics, traits, and temperament. Think about what the specific needs are of that breed. It’s not about good or bad when it comes to characteristics; it’s all about compatibility. For example, choosing a Poodle, Bichon Frise, or an Afghan Hound requires more grooming. Do you have the time and budget for that? The size of the dog will determine the amount of food you will need to buy or the exercise you’ll need to make sure he/she gets. Think through the space you have and whether your yard is fenced. Will your dog be home alone during the days? If so, you might want to think about whether you get a dog breed that’s not known to bark a lot (unless you want to annoy your neighbors!). Will the dog be around children? If so, you want to consider a breed that’s known for to be good around children. Are you a clean freak? If so, you might want to consider a breed that isn’t known to shed much. Just keep asking questions, researching breeds, and making your list. Here are some the most popular options to consider when thinking about choosing a dog (it might be a good idea to start with your answers to these questions first and then use your responses to guide you to the right breed):
And once you have found the right breed for you, the search can begin at local shelters, breed rescues and/or breeders.
We’re so happy for you, congratulations!