Did you know that 38.4% of households in the U.S. own at least one dog? This is higher than any other pet ownership percentage.

Dog’s really are “man’s best friend.” However, if you aren’t yet a dog owner but are contemplating adopting a pup for your family, you have a lot to consider.  

Before diving in and picking a dog, you need to learn how to choose a dog breed. Keep reading for some helpful tips to ensure you get a dog that will fit with your family.

Create a Checklist

When considering the different breeds available, there are a few things to think about first. Some of these include:

  • What dog breed fits well with your home and lifestyle?
  • Do you have allergies that may require you to look for non shedding dogs for sale?
  • Do you have the financial resources to care for a dog?
  • Do you have the time to take care of a dog?

When you are thinking about adopting a dog, remember, this is a lifetime commitment. You should never decide to adopt on an impulse. Make sure you conduct plenty of research before making this commitment.

Dog Breeds Are Not One Size Fits All

You need to consider what size dog you should bring home carefully. As you start to narrow down the options that will fit your lifestyle well, consider the size dog that will “work” with your home.

For example, if you live in a studio apartment, a Great Dane may not be the best option. However, don’t let size be the only factor you consider.

Different breeds require different amounts of activity and exercise. Smaller dogs are usually much more hyper and need time outside to be worn out. Larger dogs also need more exercise, but they are usually lazier.

Most dogs – regardless of breed – also require a lot of attention.

If you live in an apartment, you should consider if you are willing to go up and down the stairs multiple times per day to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercises. While pee pads are an option; letting your dog know they can “go” indoors is not the best lesson.

Living in a rural area has certain considerations, too. You should consider where your new dog will spend most of its time.

For example, smaller dogs, such as a Pomeranian, may be difficult to keep clean and well-groomed, with bugs, stickers, and dirt getting tangled in its long hair all the time.

Training Considerations

Training your dog can be quite beneficial to you, your neighbors, and the dog community as a whole. Even if you send your pup to obedience training, you must dedicate time to work with them regularly to reinforce what they have learned.

Along with obedience training, some dogs require socialization training if they are skittish or shy.

If you have a dog who will spend a lot of time outdoors, be sure you have a quality fence so they stay where they are supposed to be. If there are leash laws in your area, make sure you abide by them.

Understand the Potential Veterinary Expenses

Did you know the cost of a pet during its lifetime can be more than $20K? The costs for a veterinary visit vary based on the service needed.

Along with regular vaccines and teeth cleanings, you will also have to pay for unexpected accidents and illnesses. The little things will start to add up too. This includes items like:

  • Grooming
  • Microchipping
  • Flea medication
  • Dog beds and blankets
  • Toys
  • Dog bowls
  • Leashes
  • Food

You may also have to hire a dog sitter or dog walker if you work long hours or must have to travel.

If you are worried about the cost of ownership, don’t buy a purebred. Instead, adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. Not only is the cost much lower, but the benefit of helping a dog with no home or family is huge.

Mutt or Pure-Breed?

Selecting the right breed is simple if you take the time to do your research. You should consider your lifestyle when selecting a pet.

Also, if you have children, you need to consider the breed that will be best for them. Some of the most popular breed options are highlighted below.

Toy Group

Some of the toy group options include the poodle, pug, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, and King Charles spaniel. If you have a smaller apartment or home, these are great options. Keep in mind, though, that these dogs are small but playful, hyper, and tough.

Herding Group

This group consists mostly of sheepdogs and collies. They are great for families and farms. Also, they are easy to train and great companions.


This group includes the Jack Russell terrier and miniature schnauzers. You can find options that range from small to large, but they are extremely energetic.

These dogs have big personalities and require owners who can handle their attitude.

Sporting Dogs

Examples of sporting dogs include cocker spaniels, Labradors, and Weimaraners. These dogs enjoy activities where they have the chance to run and roam free. They also need a lot of vigorous exercises.

Working Group

This group of dogs make great watchdogs and are great for families with children. Some examples include Great Danes, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, Akitas, and boxers.

Hound Dogs

Hounds are known for their energy and ability to hunt. Examples include hounds, dachshunds, and beagles.

Now You Know How to Choose a Dog Breed

As you can see from the information here, there are several things to consider when you are ready to bring a dog home. The tips here will help you learn how to choose a dog breed and find the best one for your family.

Did you find the information here helpful? If so, check out some of our other dog-related blogs. We are focused on all things to help you enjoy being a dog owner.