Updated: Sep 20
Looking to bring a new puppy home? Here are some things to consider:
What is the main purpose for the dog?
Is the dog going to be a family pet, mainly for your kids? Do you want the dog to be able to perform some sort of job, like a therapy dog? Over the centuries, dogs have been bred and selected for different tasks. If you're looking for just a companion dog, breeds such as the Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, or the Shih Tzu would be a great choice. Depending on the specific dog's personality, these breeds could also make great therapy dogs. *Note, therapy dogs are NOT service dogs.
2. Do you prefer non-shedding, low shedding, or are you okay with shedding?
There are many breeds that have low- to no-shedding coats. Coton de Tulear, Bichon Frise, and Lhasa Apsos to name a few. Otterhounds are another great breed that have low-shed and, unlike doodles, don't require their hair clipped. Bouviers des Flandres are another great low shed choice that do require grooming. Dogs that shed, and are often great with children and strangers, are beagles, spaniels- such as Cockers and King Charles- and Collies.
3. What kind of personality do you prefer?
If bought from a good breeder, temperaments of purebred dogs should be on par with the breed description. A good example of this is cocker spaniels. According to AKC's website, cocker spaniels are described as smart, happy, and gentle, and the breed standard specifically states that they have a merry disposition.
Invest in puppy classes or life skills classes to help inform your family on how to best interact with the dog. Classes can also help everyone get on the same page on what habits they do or don't want their dog creating.
A note on mixed breed dogs:
Try to find what breeds the dog is, research them, and make sure that everything that dog is meshes well with your lifestyle. Dog genetic tests have come a long way and are helpful in finding out what your dog's predispositions may be.
Overall, before bringing a puppy home, make sure that you're doing your due diligence in researching the breed to make sure that you can offer the dog everything they need to be successful. With the internet at our fingertips, there is no reason to not be prepared for what we're getting into when we bring a new dog or puppy home. The more research you do now, the more heartache you'll save yourself and your dog later.