Don’t Rush! This is a Commitment
As many dogs will live 12 years or more, buying a dog is a real commitment. Don’t leave this to a spur of the moment decision – we recommend that you do some research, find out what breed is going to be perfect for you and your lifestyle. Take into consideration factors such as how much exercise the dog will get, who lives in the house (i.e. children or elderly family members) with the pet, and how much time your dog will have to spend alone.
Purebred versus Rescue
Some consider cross-bred dogs to potentially be healthier – this could save you money in the long run; it is not a guarantee, but by outbreeding instead of planned breeding (like in a kennel), there can be fewer genetic problems and a healthier dog in general. However, consider that many reputable breeders will provide a guarantee for health and temperament at time of purchase. Also, they have known their dogs for generations, which allows for a more predictable personality.
Puppy versus Adult Dog
Does your lifestyle accommodate the time requirements of an untrained puppy? Remember that for their first few months puppies take up a lot of time and energy. They often need to be let outside to relieve themselves in the middle of the night – a habit that they usually outgrow. Ask yourself, how upset would you be to find a pair of your shoes chewed by a teething puppy? Would an adult dog that can sleep through the night and relax alone while you are busy be a better fit? Have you had a dog before? Ultimately some breeds are a better choice for first time dog owners.
Pick a puppy that will fit your lifestyle and personality
Be honest – if you don’t like exercising everyday then it is not a good idea to pick a high energy dog. Do you like to groom? A long haired dog may need daily grooming to prevent matting. Ask yourself, what activities would you like to participate in with your dog — occasional exercise or an agility champion? Are you looking for a friend for your child or a companion to watch television with?
There are a lot of sites available that have quizzes that you can answer to try and narrow down the breeds best suited to you – here are some examples:
Another option would be to attend a local dog show (usually more in the warm months) so that you can speak with a variety of breeders and see what the dogs look like. Maybe you will see a breed there that you never considered.