How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Family

Making the decision to get a dog is a big one. Dogs require time, commitment, love and money.

Some people know exactly what breed of dog they want to get when the time comes to bring a dog into their house. Others, though, have no idea. Some travel blindly to the adoption shelters or pet stores and try to make their decision that way.

If you really want to bring a dog into your family, the following are some things to consider in order to make the best possible decision.

Think about size.

The size of a dog should play an important role in your decision making process. Larger dogs will require more food and more space to run around while smaller dogs will eat less and need less space. If you live in an apartment, it may be a better idea for you to get a smaller dog. (Also, some apartment complexes require that your dog doesn’t exceed a certain weight, so take this into consideration if you’re renting.) If you have a large yard and a spacious home, a larger breed dog could be a good fit for you. If you’re on the fence with your decision, make sure your reluctance isn’t based on common myths about owning a larger dog.

Think about age.

If you’re going to adopt a dog from a shelter, you’re going to find dogs of all ages available for adoption. Most people want to adopt the puppies because they’re “cuter” than the other dogs and it allows them to be the only family a dog knows. But puppies usually require a lot more work. You need to housebreak them, train them and get them on a routine, all of which can be time consuming and exhausting.

Older dogs do have their fair share of behavior issues, but they are usually already housebroken and usually know basic commands, so aside from introducing them to your family and making them comfortable in your home, there is not much work to be done. If you don’t have a great deal of time to invest in training a dog, an older dog could be a better companion.

There are also plenty of senior dogs available for adoption at local shelters. While most people tend to overlook senior dogs because they feel as if they’ll get sick too quickly or they will die too soon, senior dogs can make great loving companions.

Think about your family.

There are certain dogs that are better breeds for certain types of families. For example, if you have small children in the house, you will want to make sure that you choose a dog breed that can handle loud noises and lots of people in the house.

You may also want to think about the reason for getting a dog. For example, do you want a dog for protection? If so, then you will want to choose a dog that can be protective of their family and not docile to everyone they meet.

Think about your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle is important to help determine your breed. For example, if you enjoy running and want a dog that will run with you, it’s important that you choose a dog that is made for running, such as a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Some dogs, such as Pugs, are prone to respiratory issues, making them less likely to enjoy running with you.

You should also make sure that your lifestyle could accommodate the needs of the breed you choose. For example, if you live a couch-potato lifestyle, it’s not a good idea to choose an energetic dog that needs to run and play for the majority of their day.

Author: Ashley Smith is a freelance writer for, busy mom of 2 and a dog owner. Ashley uses her love of writing to share articles on a variety of topics.