Learning how to choose the right dog breed is a BIG DEAL. While you may be drawn to a photographic Frenchie or huggable Husky, the truth is, there’s a lot more to finding the best dog for your lifestyle than first impressions. With some careful consideration, you can find a dog that isn’t just adorable, but also checks all your boxes for the best canine companion.
So, pre-order your dog treats and toys and make space on the couch, because you’re well on your way to finding your furrever friend!
How to choose the right dog breed for your family
Family is by far the biggest factor in choosing the right dog for your household. If you have children, for example, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the top child-friendly dogs. But, just because you don’t see a dog on the list, doesn’t mean it’s not the right breed for your family. Here are a few other ways to think about whether a dog breed will fit in with your family dynamic:
- Gentle dogs are typically better for very young children. There’s nothing cuter than a picture of a toddler cuddling a terrier, but when it comes to young kids, you might be better off with more even-tempered personalities. Bulldogs and Bull Terriers are relaxed, patient puppers who get along swimmingly with very young children. Take a look at our list of Eight Calmest Dog Breeds for more ideas.
- Medium-to-high energy dogs can be a dream for older kiddos. Now, if we’re talking about kids who are bouncing off the walls with energy, you can take your search in a completely different direction! Boisterous kids can get along well with equally playful dogs like Corgis and Vizslas.
- Very social dogs will fit in well with large families. Some dogs enjoy an always busy household, while others would prefer to have their alone time. If your home is always filled with playing kids, band practice, family game night and more, a highly social dog, like the Bull Arab or Cocker Spaniel, will fit right in..
One thing to remember is that no matter if a dog makes the list of family-friendly dog breeds, all dogs need proper socialisation, training, and care to become a loving member of your pack. Always supervise children around dogs and teach every family member how to interact safely with dogs.
How to choose the right dog breed for your personality
Whether you have a big family or are living on your own, personality is another huge factor when deciding how to choose the right dog breed. Here are a few ways that your personality can help guide your choice:
- You’re very active. Is your free time packed with adventure and outdoor activities? Then, you’ll love a highly energetic breed like the Belgian Malinois. If, on the other hand, your active lifestyle will mean that you spend a lot of time away from Fido, you’ll want to stick with a more independent pup like a Maremma Sheepdog.
- You’re a happy homebody. Velcro dogs, like the American Staffordshire Terrier, are going to be the perfect match for anyone who wants a constant companion for their time spent at home. Most velcro dogs are quite cuddly, although some just want to be near you without curling up on your lap.
- You’re a natural-born leader. Some dogs have strong personalities and will benefit from an Owner who can confidently fill the role of dedicated at-home trainer and staunch rule setter. Highly intelligent, clever, or somewhat stubborn dogs, like the Westie, for instance, are best-suited for Owners who will gladly fill the leadership role.
- You’re on the less-assertive side. Not all of us want a dog breed who will challenge us at every turn. You might find that a go-with-the-flow dog, like the Papillon, is more your speed.
- You enjoy having friends over. If you’re a social butterfly, you’ll want a doggo who acts as the perfect welcoming committee! Poodle hybrids, like the Sheepadoodle, are not only bubbly and friendly, but their hypoallergenic coats will be ideal for your range of houseguests.
Deciding how to choose the right dog breed for your personality can feel a bit like taking a silly personality quiz. But, the truth is, keeping your own habits, hobbies, and needs in mind is a key way to find your perfect doggy match.
How to find the canine companion for your climate, outdoor environment, and home
In addition to specific tasks and jobs, a dog breed’s history has a lot to do with the climate of their homeland. Salukis are primed for desert sands, Catahoula Leopard Dogs for humid swamplands, and fluffy Huskies for Siberia.
Now, that doesn’t mean that your dog’s background will make them miserable in your climate. But, you’ll want to take special precautions to keep heat-loving dogs warm in winter and winter-loving dogs cool in summer.
Whether you live in the country or city should also play a role in deciding how to choose the right dog breed. Having a nervous Chihuahua in an area where they could be targeted by wildlife, for instance, isn’t the best environment for that doggo. Likewise, a nature-loving Komondor dog might not be totally happy in the middle of a big city.
Just as important as where your home is located is your home layout itself. In truth, many dog breeds will adapt to the size of your home as long as you’re able to fulfill their exercise needs and provide them with ample outdoor time. But, if you’re in a very small apartment, a high energy dog or large dog breed will be the epitome of a bull in a china shop. And, you might want to consider low-barking breeds if you share walls with neighbours.
Dig a little deeper when considering a certain breed
Once you’ve taken into consideration your family dynamics, lifestyle, and living conditions, you’ll have a great framework for finding the right dog breed. But to really land on the ideal doggo for you, don’t overlook these final factors:
- The health profile of a breed. In a perfect world, our puppers would never inherit diseases that would make them anything less than healthy. But in reality, while all dogs can develop health problems, some dog breeds are more prone to genetic conditions than others. Brachy breeds, for instance, might not be compatible with families who travel on planes often because of their respiratory conditions.
- Breed restrictions in your area. If you’ve fallen in love with a dog breed, check with your local council to make sure there are no restrictions in place to prevent you from bringing home your dream dog. Dogo Argentinos and Japanese Tosas are two examples of dog breeds that aren’t welcome everywhere.
- Tips from fellow Dog Owners. When in doubt about whether a dog is right for you, look to the Dog Owners with first-hand experience! Dog forums are a great place to see what challenges, joys, and everyday quirks come with a certain breed.
- Your own experience! By far, the best thing you can do when deciding on a breed is to spend time with real life doggos. Attend agility shows and flyball competitions. Invite your Dog Owner friends and their Fidos over for a visit. Over time, you’ll get a better sense of which pupper personality is most compatible with your own!
Now you know how to choose the right dog breed, what are your next steps?
You’re ready to research, reflect, and eventually reach a decision on the type of dog that’s right for you! All that’s left now is to stock up on doggy supplies, sign up for your raw food meal plan, and start thinking up names.
Now that you know how to choose the right dog breed for you, we’d love to know which one you’ll welcome into your family!