10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Dog

With over 300 recognized dog breeds worldwide, selecting a suitable dog can become a challenging task. Even if you narrow down the list to only the most popular pet dogs, you may still wind up in a quandary trying to decide which breed will suit you or a loved one best.

Sure, there are many websites dedicated to giving you advice about selecting the right dog breed to suit your personality and lifestyle. There are even dog breed selector quizzes and tools online that you can populate with some variables and submit to get suggestions for the perfect dog breed to choose. While there is nothing wrong with these options (and you should try them), there are certain questions to ask yourself to help you understand better exactly the kind of dog you are looking for.

Here are some of the most pertinent questions to ask:
1. Are dogs allowed where I live?
This has nothing to do with selecting a dog but it’s something you should already know before even thinking about getting one. If you’re renting or leasing and it wasn’t mentioned beforehand, you should ask your landlord just to make sure it’s not a problem.

2. Where will I keep my dog?
You will need to think about and answer this question regardless of the type of residence you live in. Your living environment will determine whether you need to keep your dog indoor most of the times or out in the yard if you have one.

3. What type of area do I live in?
Your area classification – rural, suburban, city, under-developed – will affect your dog. Some dogs like lots of open spaces while others are fine with seeing a street corner every now and then. Additionally, how your area is set up will determine if you can take your dog for walks and what time it is safer to do so.

4. How will I monitor my dog?
In addition to the fact that you have to watch out for dog snatchers, some canines just like to roam. You will need to figure out if you need to get a dog monitor for your furry friend and/or keep him in a controlled setting so you’re always aware of his whereabouts.

5. Will I be able to give my dog exercise time?
Exercise time is highly important for many dogs, with many requiring at least an hour’s walk each day. On the other hand, there are some that need very little exercise. Factor in whether you would be able to give your dog exercise time, and how much, when selecting your dog breed.

6. How often will my dog be alone and for how long each time?
Think about your weekly routine; how often do you leave home and for how many hours are you away? Will there be someone at home to look after him in your absence? These are very relevant questions to think about. Some dogs are quite fine on their own but others like to be around people or other dogs.

7. Who else is living with me?
Of course you already know the members of your household, but not how the dog you get will fit in with them. If it’s just you then you only have to worry about what you want. However, if you have young children or elderly people living at home, your dog choice should be one that is compatible with them as well.

8. How old is the potential owner of the dog (if it’s not you)?
Any good dog breed selector will tell you that some dogs are just not for kids. Additionally, some older folks may avoid some dog breeds that do not have a functional purpose. As such, if you’re selecting a dog for someone, whether as a gift or otherwise, think about the type of dogs that are best suited for their age range.

9. What is my ideal dog size?
Do you like large, medium or toy dogs? Within each category, there are many variations to choose from but determining your ideal dog size will help you to narrow down your list of options.

10. How much grooming time will I be able to put in?
Different dogs will have different grooming needs depending on their type of coat and hair. Some dogs are okay with getting shampooed once per month and occasional grooming while others will need to be bathed and groomed more often.
So, what kind of dog do you think is right for you? In addition to answering these questions, you can get the help of a dog breed selector, whether online or in person, to help you.