Part One: Questions to ask yourself when picking out a dog

You’ve made the decision to bring home a dog. It’s very exciting. It’s so easy to image all the good things that will come from having a dog. BUT, before you get too far into those perfect pictures in your head, there are some questions you should ask yourself about what type of pup you want to bring home.

Not all dogs are made the same, and some are going to have better characteristics, temperaments, and requirements to fit your lifestyle and theirs. So, lets jump into it!

1. How much time are you going to be away from your puppy every day or be able to spend with your puppy?

I think this is one of the most important. You’re going to be the world to this little being so it’s important that you be able to be that person. You’re going to be teaching the dog what’s acceptable, teaching them how to use their self control, teaching them that your house is NOT where they go potty. If you’re not there to set the rules, or give the amount of attention they need, you’re not giving your dog what they require.

2. What size dog do you want? You may have grown up with large dogs, but what if you live in a small apartment? A great dane or German Shepherd are not going to make great roommate options for you. Take a look at where you live. Consider what type of area you have to exercise your dog. How energetic is your dog going to be? Does where you live have noise ordinances? Will you be in trouble for a dog that’s barking? 

3. What energy level do you want your pup to have? This question is also for the human: What it YOUR energy level? If you’ run all the time and have copious amounts of energy, a sporting dog, terrier, or higher energy dog may just be the right fit for you/ But, if you work, are super busy with projects, and don’t have too much time to exercise your dog five times a day, a more calm, dog may be something that you are looking for like a basset hound, bulldog, or pug.

4. What type of grooming needs are you ok with for your dog? Just like you need a hair cut and nail trim from time to time, your dog needs the same. You’re going to have to trim their nails, clean with ears, and take care of their hair. That’s the minimum. BUT what about the dogs that have tear staining like the Shih-tzu, Pekingese, and Maltese. Or, what about the dogs that are prone to having yeast infections in their ears like hounds or spaniels? They’re going to require extra cleaning and maintenance.

5. What health problems could your dog breed possibly have? There are general health issues that our dogs could be prone to. Some examples are hip and elbow dysplasia for shepherds, and blocked tear ducts for poodles and cocker spaniels. Knowing what could affect your dog will help you be better prepared for their health needs.

6. What financial obligation are you prepared to make for your dog? I know that when we take a dog into our homes, it may not always be something that we planned on. That doesn’t negate the fact that we are now responsible for their wellbeing. There will be vet appointments, grooming or the supplies to do your own grooming, possible health insurance for our pups that could have a laundry list of possible health risks, the toys and treats, the food. The pet industry is a billion dollar business so believe me when I say that if you think of something that your pup COULD use, most likely someone has invented it and is already selling it.

7. What training is your dog going to need? This is a bog one because you have to take into account their grooming needs, their personality type, the rules of your household, what you plan on doing with your dog, from just being a good dog at home to actually performing a job. We invited dogs into our homes so it’s our responsibility to show them what is acceptable and what isn’t. We have to set them up for success if the environment in our homes is going to he a positive, harmonious one.

These are some beginning questions for you when you’re thinking about bringing home a dog. There are many question to ask yourself and your family members. Its important to have your desires play a part in making those decisions but it’s also important to take the dogs needs into the equation as well.

As always, I would love to hear what you thought about the post or some different questions that you’ve had to ask yourself when you first thought of bringing a dog home. Comment below or shoot me an email at

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