There is no one way to judge whether a breed of dog is “good” or not. Dogs are individuals and have different personalities, temperaments, likes and dislikes. Choosing a specific breed of dog gives you a clue about some of these factors. You must examine your wants, needs and lifestyle to determine whether a dog is a good match for you and your family. Learn what to look for in yourself and a dog breed to choose the right one for you.
Consider the dog’s space requirements. A large dog, such as a Great Dane, wouldn’t be a good choice for someone who lives in a studio apartment while a miniature poodle would fit just fine. Ask yourself whether the dog will have adequate space to move around, sleep eat and play.
Examine how much outdoor space you have. Huskies and other dogs that love to run might not do well without a large, fenced-in area. Dog owners without a yard should seek out local jogging paths, dog parks and pet-friendly areas where they can spend time with their high-activity companions.
Look at your time commitments. If you have no yard but want a dog that needs lots of space and exercise, you’ll have to spend more time walking or running with your pet. Other dogs require regular, intense grooming that some owners do not have time for.
Consider adopting an older dog rather than a puppy if you are short on time. Young puppies often require more training and attention than an adult dog. In addition, older dogs are often calmer and more easy-going than puppies.
Research the diseases and illnesses that commonly befall the breed you are considering. Whippets and greyhounds develop arthritis later in life. Maltese puppies are prone to overactive tear ducts and fur stains. Knowing these ailments lets you know what to expect and how much money you’ll have to spend for treatment.
Seek the advice of a local canine behavior specialist or dog trainer. Some dogs are easier to train than others. Traditionally difficult dog breeds, such as huskies or German shepherds, often pose problems to novice dog owners.
Know the laws, if any, regarding certain breeds. Some states have breed-specific legislation that requires owners to take extra precautions with their pets or have an insurance policy of a prescribed amount.
Meet each individual dog you are considering for adoption. A dog’s personality may not match the breed standard for that dog. Meeting the dog before adopting her allows you to find out she is a good match for you or not.