A Puppy Lover's Utopia

What Kind of Dog Should I Get?

What Kind Of Dog Should I Get?

If you’re feeling confused about the which types of dog breeds (or mix of dog breeds) is right for you and are instead wondering “what kind of dog should I get”, then you’ll really benefit from some basic guidelines we’ve outlined below that are guaranteed to help it seem less overwhelming.

It doesn’t matter whether you plan on getting your pet from a breeder, shelter or pet store this quick “how to” quiz will enable you to make a wise decision about your canine companion for you and your family.

Therefore, instead of making a hasty decision about the puppy breeds you want based on how a dog looks (or what you’ve seen on television), now is the time to sit down and deeply consider your lifestyle so that both you and your puppy have the best chance at happiness as it becomes an adult.

Use Our Dog Breed Selector Quiz and Find a Puppy That’s Right for You

The following dog breed selector quiz will help you match up your personality and lifestyle preferences with a breed of dogs and puppies that will hopefully mirror them closely.  By the end of the questionnaire you should have a much better answer to the question of “how do I know what dog is right for me”?

Section 1 – The Appearance of Your New Dog

1. How large (or small) do you want your dog to be?

  • Extra large breed puppy (Working dog breeds)
  • Large breed puppy (Working dog breeds, Hound dog breeds)
  • Medium breed puppy (Sporting dog breeds, Herding dog breeds, Terrier dog breeds, Hound dog breeds)
  • Small breed puppy (Terrier dog breeds, Toy dog breeds)
  • Tiny breed puppy (Toy dog breeds)

2. What kind of coat do you want your dog to have?

  • Shorthaired
  • Long-haired
  • Shaggy
  • Curly

3. What kind of ears would you like on your dog?

  • Folded
  • Cropped
  • Closed
  • Straight up

4. What kind of tail should your dog have?

  • Curly
  • Slightly curly
  • Straight

5. What kind of nose would you like on your dog?

  • Long nose
  • Short nose
  • Pushed in

Section 2 – Living with Your Dog on a Daily Basis

6. What kind of personality should your dog have?

  • Independent
  • Needy
  • Somewhere in between

7. What is the amount of attention that you will be capable of giving your dog?

  • A little
  • Some
  • A lot

8. How often can you exercise your dog?

  • Vigorously daily
  • Every few days
  • A couple of times a week
  • Occasionally

9. Will you take your dog with you most everywhere you go?

  • Yes
  • No

10. Will your dog sleep with you at night?

  • Yes
  • No

11. Will you be restricting your dog’s movement in your home?

  • Yes
  • No

12. How much time do you have available to train your dog?

  • As much as required
  • Some time
  • Very little

13. How much time you have available to groom your dog?

  • As much as required
  • Some time
  • Very little

Section 3 – All about You, Not Your Dog

14. Do you have any experience owning dogs?

  • Yes
  • No

15. Do you have any experience training dogs?

  • Yes
  • No

16. How big is your living space?

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

17. Do you have a yard or other open space available?

  • Yes
  • No

18. What is the best way to describe your home life?

  • Disorganized
  • Somewhat organized
  • Very organized

What’s The Best Dog Breed for Me?

Hopefully you’ve taken a few minutes to answer the questions about pups above.  Now that you have let’s take a look at what some of your answers about potential pets might indicate and then you’ll hopefully get closer to answering the question of “what dog should I get”?

Although the questions from Section 1 (Questions 1-5) aren’t as important as those from Sections 2 (Questions 6-13) and Section 3 (Questions 14-18) they are nevertheless significant when looking for a dog.

Section 1 (Questions 1-5). For example, if you prefer an extra-large breed with long hair (like a Great Pyrenees) then you can be sure that the grooming costs associated with a dog like this will be much higher than a smaller breed with short hair (like a Chihuahua).  In addition, a number of purebreds that have unique features such as pushed in noses or other breeding characteristics exclusive to a breed may face health complications or health problems further down the road.  Be sure and spend sometime studying the American Kennel Club (AKC) standard for the breed as well.

Section 2 (Questions 6-13). The answers that you provide to the questions in this section are the most significant in the quiz when it comes to finding a dog.

When it comes to your your new puppy’s temperament think carefully about your own.  Are you the kind of person who is independent or do you require a lot of input from others in your life?  The way you answer should also lead you towards choosing a breed that mirrors your personality.

Moving on, exercise is a major part of a dog’s life and for some breeds much more than others.  In fact, without enough exercise even the dogs that have more medium energy (like Golden Retrievers) can release their pent up energy in destructive ways without enough exercise.  However, if you are a very active person then perhaps a breed like a Border Collie would be a better fit.

Although many people think of dogs as man’s best friend there are differences amongst the breeds with regard to their need to spend time with you.  Some types of breeds like cattle dogs are bred with the instinct to follow and be near humans constantly while still others like terriers are able to withstand times of isolation more easily.  These kinds of breeds tend to do well as a family dog because of this behavior.

When it comes to training and grooming your dog you’ll also want to take stock of the time you have available to you.  A little bit of common sense goes a long way here.  Dogs which are bred to be dominant (such as Rottweilers) are going to require a bit more training to keep their genetic tendencies in line than a softer breed (such as a Golden Retriever) might.  And again, when it comes to grooming a dog with short hair is going to require much less of a commitment in both time and money than a long-haired pooch would.

Section 3 (Questions 14-18). The answers that you give to the questions in this section can help you further determine what type of breed works best for you and your lifestyle.  If you’ve never owned a dog before, live in a small apartment and are a bit of a neat freak then you’re going to have much more luck owning a smaller dog with an even temper that’s fairly independent.  On the other hand, a rambunctious and excitable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy might not be the best choice in such a setting!

Mixed Breed Puppy or Pure Breed (Purebred) Puppy?

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to own a purebred puppy or a mixed breed puppy.  The difference, just as with humans, boils down to genetics.

Pure Breed Puppies

It is estimated that there are more than 420 types of dogs which have been classified as pure breeds the world over.  A vast majority of them were bred with a singular purpose in mind.  Today, many of these “working dogs” don’t actually perform the tasks that they were originally bred to do. However, devoted dog lovers continue to breed these animals with a respect for decades of tradition.

Selecting a pure breed will give you the ability to accurately predict how big your puppy will get, how much it will weigh and what type of temperament it will have.  On the flipside, pure breed dogs tend to have more of a genetic predisposition to developing debilitating illnesses and diseases.

This is not a hard and fast rule since the help of an individual dog can vary from one to the next but in general, this is usually the case.  Therefore, if you’re considering either adopting or buying a pure breed puppy you’ll need to do thorough research to be aware of all of the potential illnesses your puppy could suffer from as he ages.

Mixed Breed Puppies

If breed specifics are not important to you as a dog owner, then you may want to consider owning a mixed breed puppy. One of the reasons for this is a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor.  Essentially, this means that a dog which is a mix of two pure breeds is more likely to have more vigorous health as a result.

The theory is that when two different breeds are mated, only the healthiest and most dominant characteristics will shine through.  Therefore, it’s theorized that the genetic makeup of mixed breed dogs is superior from a health standpoint.

Today the Designer Breed Explosion Is Everywhere

An offshoot of mixed breed puppies is the practice of designer mixed breeds.  This process is exactly what it sounds like.  Essentially, a breeder purposefully mates purebred puppies in order to create a completely unique breed.

The earliest known example of this was the Labradoodle.  A Labradoodle is a combination of a Labrador retriever and a standard poodle.  Initially, it was created as a hypoallergenic dog who could also serve as a seeing eye companion.  Although its popularity never caught on from a seeing eye dog perspective, the possibilities that arose as a result of successfully mating to purebred dogs literally exploded the designer breed industry.

Here’s just the few examples of some popular designer breeds that are around today:

  • Chiweenie.  This dog is a mixture of a Chihuahua and a dachshund.
  • Doodleman Pinscher.  This dog is a combination of a Doberman pinscher and a poodle.
  • Jackabee. This dog is a combination of a Jack Russell terrier and Beagle.
  • Labernese. The dog is a combination of a Labrador retriever and a Bernese Mountain Dog.
  • Pomimo. This dog is a combination of an American Eskimo and a Pomeranian.
  • Puggle. This dog is a combination of a pug and a Beagle.
  • Shorgi. This dog is a combination of a corgi and a Shih Tzu.
  • Torkei. This dog is a combination of a toy fox terrier and a Yorkshire terrier.
  • Zuchon. This dog is a combination of a Shih Tzu and a bichon frise.

Of course, the list above only represents a small fraction of the designer dog breeds available today.  Remember that if you’re going to purchase a designer dog then you will want to make sure that you deal with a reputable breeder and take care not to purchase a designer puppy from your local pet store.

Other Links & Resources to Help You

Well, with any luck you’ve gotten the information you need to help you answer the critical question of “what kind of dog should I get” and now all that remains is finding that perfect new friend.