You finally have the time and funds to get a dog! How exciting!

Dog doing a happy dance on his back legsBut with over 350 dog breeds in the world , how do you know which type of dog is best for you? Dog laying down tilting head back and forth with question marks on its head.

Know what you want and what you and your pup need before bringing a dog home so you can both live happy lives together.

Yard Size

Before adopting your dog, think about how much outdoor space you have. Think about the dog's energy level.

Some energetic, smaller breeds, like corgis or Boston terriers, require larger yards. If you don't have a yard, daily walks are a must.

Small Yard

  • 200-500 square feet

  • Smaller, less energetic breeds

  • Room to do their business, get fresh air

Medium or Large Yard

  • 500 or above square feet

  • Larger, more energetic dog breeds

  • Room to run, roam, or play fetch

Dachshund running through a backyard

Temperament

Research breed temperaments to see which dog matches your energy and attention level. Temperament means an animal’s personality, makeup, disposition, or nature.

Dog is being asked to go for a walk and responds by jumping near the front door excitedly

  • Looking for a lap dog? Avoid high-energy breeds such as border collies or huskies.

  • Looking for a running buddy? Choose a dog with endurance like a Rhodesian ridgeback or Australian shepherd.

  • Looking for a family dog? Choose a dog known for being good with kids such as golden retrievers or beagles.

Dog is tucking in a young baby with its nose

Quiz

You're at the shelter and you're looking for a dog that will go for a daily walk, but mostly wants to be your lap dog. Which dog should you choose?

Winston, who's running in circles.

Jack, who's giving you kisses and wags.

Penny, who's avoiding you.

Hugo, who's chasing every dog he sees.

Time

Dogs should have at least 2 hours of social time per day with either their humans or other dogs.

Do you have time for a high-energy breed that needs frequent walks and mental stimulation? Think Labrador retrievers, Dalmatians, or Weimaraners. Corgi puppies running in grass

Or maybe you'd prefer a low-energy breed that does well with one walk a day. Think basset hounds, pugs, or French bulldogs.

Dog cuddling with owner to sleep

Grooming

Decide if you can handle a shedding dog — or not!

Shedding Dogs

  • Usually shed year-round

  • Some breeds shed seasonally

  • Daily or weekly grooming

  • Major fur clean up

Non-shedding dogs

  • Usually best for those with allergies

  • Daily or weekly grooming

  • Minimal fur clean up

Dog getting blow-dried. Fur is flying everywhere, with caption

Take Action

Think about what you're willing or can provide for your dog. Then go out and make your doggy dreams come true! Woman holding dog

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This Byte has been authored by

LM

Laura Mintert

Learning Designer