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Before you decide to adopt a dog, ask yourself these questions. Do you have time for a dog? Do you have enough space in your home for a dog?

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Can you afford to care for them, including veterinary expenses? Do you have time to train them? Are you prepared to take on these responsibilities for the entire life of the dog, which could be years? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then the next step is to decide which type of dog is best for you. For starters, factors to consider include size, coat, and level of activity. Size matters.

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Would a big dog or small dog fit best in your family? Big dogs need more space, eat more, and absolutely require training to make them well-mannered. Can you afford to feed a lb. Saint-Bernard-Mastiff mix?

How to choose the right dog breed for your family

So when a husky-German shepherd puppy in need of a good home popped up on Instagram, I tracked him down, we video chatted with his family, then decided to bring him home. If I sound like a proud dad, well, it's because I am. You will be cleaning pee and poop, you will not be sleeping, and you will lose furniture, clothing, and other possessions to the process.

Adopting a juvenile dog say one to three years old , still gets you in at a time when their personalities are pliable, and gets you past all that puppy hassle.

How to choose the right dog breed for your family

But they will come with some personality traits gained from whatever they were doing before you came along. Adopting an adult dog nets you less frenetic energy and the ability to see their mature personality and physical form before you commit. An adult dog is also more likely to come with some behavior issues, but you will at least likely be able to identify those issues ahead of time.

Teddy was about five months old when we adopted her two months ago.

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That means she shows signs of fear and uncertainty easily, and is hyper-competitive with our other dogs for resources. It also likely means that you live in a city. That can create problems for potential dog owners, who may be subject to size restrictions, but need a dog large enough to join them outdoors safely. A coyote will have no trouble carrying off a dog weighing up to 30 pounds, and you probably want your dog to be at least 45 pounds or so if you want peace of mind on off-leash hikes and camping trips or just while your dog plays in the yard.

Because larger dogs are generally calmer dogs, they can actually make better companions if you live in an apartment or small home. Beyond the need to worry about coyotes and the tendency of larger dogs to be calmer, I struggle to see a practical consideration in choosing the size of a dog. But you probably do have a personal size preference, so just go with that.

Those two factors together generally result in a healthy animal. Still, it was crucial that I made sure she was healthy both physically and mentally before deciding to bring her home.

Choosing the Right Dog

My first resource was the rescue organization itself. People who run those tend to be pretty experienced with dogs, and are invested in making sure their animals go to the right homes. When thinking about which dog breed you should get, don't discount mixed breeds! These unique breeds combine the appearance and personality of different pure breeds, however it's more difficult to figure out which breed will take the lead when it comes to their looks and personality.

sandratanneonet.ml Mixed breeds, also known as mongrels, cross-breeds or 'purebred mutts', come from a largely non-pedigree background, with an advantage of a wider genetic pool often making them healthier. Pet shelters and rescue organisations are a great source of pure breeds and mixed breeds looking for loving homes, and the shelter's caring staff will help find the right dog for you to match your individual needs.

We understand that the bond between people and their dogs differs from one household to another, that's why we'll show you which breeds seem most suited to your preferences, as well as those which might not be. Our dog breed selector tool can help steer you in the right direction, leading you closer to your perfect match.

Whether you know the breeds you like already, or you need a helping hand, our dog breed selector tool is here to help you to find your perfect four-legged friend.

How to Choose the Perfect Dog Breed Just for You