How to Find the Right Dog for You

Bringing home a dog is a big deal.  You’re adding a new member to your family who will need time, attention, exercise, socialization and maintenance needs met. 

It’s not just a major time commitment but also a financial commitment for many years to come.  If you’re reading this article then you’re doing exactly the right thing, being curious about what types of dogs will fit nicely with your life!  We’ve compiled a list of things that every potential dog owner should consider before deciding to bring a dog home. 

Are You Ready for a Dog?

First, it’s imperative to know if you’re really ready to bring a dog into your life.  Taking stock of how much free time you have daily, how much dog ownership costs annually (food, training, vet care, etc.) and how much you’re home are all great places to begin evaluating if you’re ready.  Also, think about the things you have readily available to you that your dog will need, such as someplace to get exercise.  If you live in an apartment and have to travel to get your dog the exercise it needs, you’ll need to take that extra time and effort into consideration.

Purebred or Shelter Dog?

There are pros and cons to both purebred dogs and shelter dogs.  Purebred dogs are often more costly, require research on breeders and you can be at the mercy of when litters are born. However, you also increase predictability with genetics and behavior traits and you can begin your dog ownership adventure at 8-10 weeks.  Shelter dogs are often less expensive, need loving homes and are often readily available but you rarely know for sure what you’re getting or know what types of circumstances landed them in the shelter to begin with.  Even if you’re able to find a puppy at the shelter, you’ll have to go through the cost of a DNA test to discover the breed composition (and genetic health issues).  You also run the risk of supporting puppy mills.  With all of that said, we’ve also seen some really great shelter dogs and likewise have seen clients pay a lot of money for a purebred dogs that haven’t been responsibly bred and have behavior issues and/or genetic conditions.  Ultimately, it’s a personal decision on which is right for you but, with a little extra forethought, narrowing down your new addition will be an easier and more informed decision.

What Breed is Right for Me?

Unless you know a great deal about dogs, we always recommend you enlist the help of a dog professional to help you choose the right breed for your life.  If you’re super active and want your dog to join you in many of your activities, you’ll want to opt for a dog that’s capable of keeping up with you such as a herding or hunting breed.  If you live in an apartment and would rather your dog eliminate on a pad, a smaller, less energetic dog may be right for you.  A professional can help you decide on the right age, size and breed for your situation.