There’s a lot that goes into the decision of choosing the best dog breed. You should consider your living arrangements, schedule, activity level, and budget. But don’t forget to also think about the dog’s needs. 

There are almost 500 different dog breeds. Each breed has its own specific set of requirements and attributes. Your lifestyle, personal preferences, and your pooch’s needs should be compatible. For that to happen, there are several factors you need to take into consideration.

Do you live alone in an apartment in the middle of the suburbs? Or do you have small kids and live in the countryside with plenty of outdoor space? No matter what your living situation is like, there’s a perfect dog breed for each situation.


1. Size

The first thing you need to think about is the size of the space that your dog will have available to it. If there’s not much room for your dog, it’s best to stay away from large breeds like Great Danes. The breed you pick should fit the available living space it will have.

What if you have small children and a lot going on around the house? Then a Chihuahua may not be the best family dog. Smaller breeds are more vulnerable to physical accidents. But don’t kid yourself into thinking that small breeds don’t need exercise and all big breeds do. There is no correlation between a breed’s size and its activity level.

2. Activity Level

This is one of the most important factors to consider and one that gets neglected often. Your activity level should match your new dog’s activity level. Otherwise, if you are always on the go and have a low-energy dog you may get frustrated with it. Likewise, if you’re a low-energy person and have a high-energy dog you’ll get exhausted and may not provide your dog with enough physical exercise.

There isn’t a dog in the world that doesn’t need some form of exercise, they all do. But the amount of exercise a dog needs depends a lot from breed to breed. You don’t need to always be out and about all the time with your pooch, a lot of breeds don’t need that much activity. But you also don’t want to deny a dog the amount of exercise it needs to be healthy.

The most common case of activity level incompatibility is when a dog has more energy than its owner. A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is more likely to develop behavioral issues. A well-exercised dog is a happy and relaxed dog!

So if you’re a couch potato, you should get a dog that loves to hang out on the couch like a French Bulldog. But if you love to exercise and want a running partner you should get a dog with more energy like a Weimaraner.


3. Temperament

Even though each breed has temperament traits, it can vary from dog to dog. Some common characteristics to think about include:

  • Playfulness
  • Intelligence
  • Loyalty
  • Protectiveness
  • Compatibility with other animals

To help you with this, you should think about why you want to get a dog and what is life your dog will have. 

Will your dog spend a lot of time alone while you’re at work? If so, you can’t have a dog that likes to have a lot of attention all the time. In this case, you should pick a more independent breed like a Chow Chow. 

Do you want your dog to play with your kids? So you should pick a breed that is playful and patient like a Labrador Retriever. This is one of the best family dog breeds.

Do you have other animals? So you need to pick a dog breed that is more easygoing like a pug. This breed can even get along with cats.

If you’re adopting an adult dog at the shelter, ask the shelter staff about each dog’s personality. See if it fits your lifestyle and needs.

Making sense of it all

Choosing a dog breed that best fits your lifestyle and your family is crucial. Approximately 6.5 million dogs enter animal shelters every year in the US possibly because their owners skipped this step. Make sure that everybody in the household has a say in this decision. It will be a big step towards having a happy life with a new furry family member.

By considering all the factors mentioned above you’ll also be preparing yourself for any challenges that owning a dog may bring your way.