Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Dog for Your Family

September 9, 2020 | We Care | Tips from Virginia Heckstall

A dog is for life . . . not just for Christmas, according to an old saying.  And that couldn’t be more true.  Welcoming a dog into your home is a commitment to another living thing for potentially more than a decade.  A lot of time and care must go into choosing the right breed for your family.  Check out these top tips!

How Social is the Dog?

The right breed for a family setting is a social one. Social dogs like to be petted and will interact with family members in a soft and loving manner.  Canine body language expert Robin Bennett says, “I would always look for sociability over anything else because a social dog is more willing to forgive the crazy things people sometimes do to dogs that dogs really don’t enjoy.”

Examples of highly social breeds include the Poodle, the Golden Retriever, and the Newfoundland.

Does the Dog Match Your Family’s Energy Levels?

This is important because an unhappy dog is a destructive dog.  If you prefer a mellow dog that stays indoors often, don’t purchase a breed that was designed for hunting or working. For example, a German Shepherd is a working dog and wouldn’t be ideal for a family that can’t walk it more than twice per day.

Sandy Eckstein of Pets Web MD says, “Dogs bred to work usually need both physical and mental exercise or they’re going to be unhappy.”

In other words, can you give the dog what it needs?


“A lot of time and care must go into choosing the right breed for your family.”

Know the Dog

After settling on the breed, you need to know the individual dog. A dog adopted from a shelter may have experienced trauma that causes them to act differently than the same breed of dog purchased from a reputable breeder as a puppy. Get to know the dog before you decide. Bring the whole family to see the dog and see how it reacts.

That, perhaps, is the most important tip of all because every dog has its own quirks and its own personality.  With patience, you can find the perfect dog for your family!

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this post, you should read Is Your Dog a Good Citizen? here.

What breed is right for your family?

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