Deciding on a puppy as a new addition to your family will one that will have a long term affect for you and a lifelong decision for the dog you choose.  It is important to take careful consideration when deciding on the type of dog breed to bring into your home.  Below are a few items to consider.

How much room do you have for a dog?  The place you will be bringing the dog home to will play a big role in determining the appropriate breed for your situation.  If you are living in a studio apartment, a teacup Yorkie might be a better choice than a Great Dane.

Where will you keep the dog?  Will it be an inside dog, an outside dog, or a combination of both.  Some people firmly believe that a dog’s place is in the house and give them free reign.  Others would never consider having a dog step across the threshold and provide shelter outside.    Do you have a yard?  Is it fenced?

What size of dog are you looking for?  After you have reviewed your living situation and the space available, what size of dog would suit you best?  Are you looking for a 10 pound lap dog that you can dress up and carry around with you like Paris Hilton’s Tinkerbell or do you want an 80 pound sporting dog?

What kind of activities do you plan to do with your dog?  Are you looking for a dog that will hang out with you around the house or do you want one that will go running with you at the park?  Some dogs were bred for specific traits.  For example, the German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to be a hunting dog with a superior sense of smell and very biddable.  A working dog will not be content with a sedentary lifestyle and will likely become destructive if their energy is not given a release.

How much time do you want to spend grooming the dog?  Short haired dogs such as Labrador Retrievers and Beagles required minimal grooming.  Keep their nails trimmed, their ears cleaned, teeth brushed, and periodic baths and they are good to go.  Long haired breeds such as the Maltese or Portuguese Water Dog will require daily grooming.

Do you have children in your family?  Some breeds just are not the best mix with children.  Other breeds, such as the Bichon Frise, can possibly do well with children if they are well socialized from birth.  In cases like this, it is doubly important to make sure that you get your dog from a reputable breeder.   Then there are breeds that were born to be family dogs.  Golden Retrievers, Collies, and Standard Poodles are well known for their popularity with families.  Others that are less well known are the Bernese Mountain Dog, American Bulldog, and Curly Coated Retriever.

How experienced are you with dogs?  Have you ever lived with a dog?  Have you been responsible for training a dog before?  If you have little to no experience caring for and training a dog, pay close attention to how trainable a dog is when researching breeds.  If a particular breed is high energy and hard to train, it will not be the best choice for a novice owner.

Having a dog as part of your family can enrich your life in immeasurable ways.  In order to have the best experience possible, choose your dog breed carefully.