How to Choose the Right Dog Breed

The dogs featured in this post are my own boys, and I certainly consider them to be my children but I didn’t always feel that way. We had some rough patches, quite literally. See my caption in the 3rd photo to see what I mean. My Dog breed selector tips will help you avoid the mistakes that many new dog owners make.

dog breed selector

Owning a dog can be a life-changing decision. The companionship can become invaluable over time; it’s not uncommon for owners to consider their pooches to be part of their family. But, there are hundreds of breeds. Each one has inherent characteristics that might either complement your lifestyle or be a constant irritation. Selecting the right one plays a key role in laying the groundwork for a healthy dog-and-owner relationship. The most important factors to consider when you’re choosing a low energy family dogs as your new canine friend.

Selecting The Right Size

Selecting the appropriate size of your pooch is more important than a lot of people realize. So often owners look at a puppy and think it is so adorable but don’t realize that the adorable puppy will grow up to be 80-100lbs. The size of your dog has a greater impact than the amount of space it requires. For example, smaller pooches are more susceptible to the cold. If you live in an area that has cold weather, plan to keep him inside the house where it will be warm. Also, small mutts can often find themselves in the way of your feet. Unlike larger varieties, they’re easy to step on and injure. Big pooches require plenty of room. They eat more and need obedience training, so they won’t overwhelm you and your family. Ultimately, you’ll need a larger budget to support larger breeds.

dog breed selector

Grooming And Other Needs

Just like some people seem to spend hours getting ready, a lot of breeds have high-maintenance grooming needs. For example, if your new pooch has hair that never stops growing, plan to take him to the groomer more often. If your canine friend sheds a lot, plan to keep a vacuum handy to clean up the loose hair. Also, a lot of dogs – especially big ones – drool. Some owners actually carry a small towel with them to clean it up.

dog breed selector

Can You Keep Up?

A puppy’s energy level often catches new owners by surprise. Some pups are like adults; they’re easygoing and move at a moderate pace. Others are like children; they seem to have vast, inexhaustible stores of energy. If you’re planning to take your new pooch jogging each day, make sure they have the energy and stamina to keep up. If you lack the time and want a low maintenance family dogs, avoid adopting a dog that has a lot of energy needs such as walking and running for longer distances. The more energizing the breed the more energy you will end up having to expel keeping up with it.

Finding Your Dog

After you’ve considered the factors above and have done your research into the best low energy dogs for your lifestyle, it’s time to find your new canine companion. If you’d like a mutt, check with the shelters. If you prefer a purebred, call a few local breeders but also consider looking at the shelters because lots of times pure bred dogs do end up there as well. In the end, choosing the right dog breed is crucial if you want the next 15 or so years to be happy ones.

You can also use one of those dog breed selector tools on Animal Discovery if you’d like to explore different breeds that you think might be a good fit for you.



  • Reply Amy Shojai September 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

    My first GSD ate TV remotes for fun… and sheds drifts of fur. Great post! So much more than “size/breed/looks” goes into the decision.

  • Reply Rachel September 14, 2016 at 11:09 am

    There are all good things to think about before adding a furry friend to your home. I also really like how you point out to look at shelters if you’re looking for a purebred since many do end up there, too.

    • Reply admin September 14, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Absolutely! There are so many purebred animals at shelters. High maintenance breeds are usually the first to be dropped off, aside from elderly pets. People do not realize the upkeep. Unfortunately, I did not adopt my dogs. I got them from a pet store. Jasper was only there for a couple hours before I got him. Scotchy had been there for a few weeks. Purchasing is a decision I feel pretty guilty about but I don’t necessarily regret it because I have 2 wonderful boys that I could never regret.

  • Reply Nichole September 14, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Finding a dog that fits your lifestyle is key – this doesn’t necessarily mean breed for many, however.

  • Reply Lola The Rescued Cat September 14, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Thanks for telling people to check sheltersfor breeds. That’s so important for them to know. Mommy says she couldn’t have a puppy now. She doesn’t have enough energy!

  • Reply Bryn Nowell September 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Sometimes the right breed isn’t a specific breed at all, but rather a “mutt.” Dog rescues and shelters have tons of amazing dogs that are a mixture of breeds along with purebred dogs. I think the important piece is spending time with the dog in advance to see if it will mesh well with a person’s household.

    • Reply admin September 14, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Oh I totally agree.

  • Reply Kandace September 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Great post. So many people buy/adopt dogs based on what they see in the movies or on tv, not ever doing research then so many end up in shelters because of things they didnt consider when getting that dog!

    • Reply admin September 14, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      I totally agree, and honestly I got both my dogs as puppies a couple months apart. I wasn’t prepared at all, and could have easily been one of those owners that dump their spur of the moment purchases at the humane society. Luckily I have a heart, and chose to teach the kids RESPONSIBILITY. So we kept them both! I don’t regret it at all. Best decision of my life!

  • Reply Tenacious Little Terrier September 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Mr. N has inexhaustible levels of energy although he doesn’t look like he does. And yes, it’s wise to budget for grooming if your dog needs it. It’s one of our bigger expenses.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein September 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    After Baby passed I looked for a Shi Tzu in the shelters and found Layla who is perfect for me – I call her my HaShiPoo as she is a mix BOL but would only rescue not buy

  • Reply Tonya Wilhelm September 14, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Great post. It’s always important to think ahead at all the work that is going to be involved with a particular dog. Thanks

  • Reply Maureen September 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Great post. It’s so important to know the needs of a dogs before you get one so you match. I could never get a cattle dog because I’m not a runner.

  • Reply Cathy Keisha September 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I live in a condo building and a good number of people have YUGE dogs in little tiny apartments. We think it’s cruel and that they should have yards and room t run but I’ve heard from dog people that large dogs are better in small apartments because they don’t run around. All we know is that “Tiny” next door can be heard throwing herself against their door when they leave her home along to go to work.

    • Reply admin September 14, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      I don’t agree with you Kathy, sorry. I live in an apartment with a working breed and its fine. He goes to the dog park, we walk and run with him daily, and his mind is stimulated through activities. We live in a pet friendly complex, and everyone here has large dogs. There are a lot of areas where the housing market availability is at 1-3%, so more and more people are renting in apartments. Imagine if everyone thought big dogs didn’t belong in apartments. What would happen to all the shelter dogs out there? So many of them are already being put down because there are not enough people willing to adopt them. In my opinion giving big dogs the stigma that they don’t do well in apartments is cruel because it hurts the dog owning community.

      • Reply Susan FriedlandSmith (@SaddleSeeksHorse) September 14, 2016 at 7:45 pm

        I lived in a one bedroom apartment with my first Doberman. She was lower energy than my current girl, but she was great in an apartment (also a working breed). I walked her 4x a day and would fairly frequently take her to a dog park. It was a wonderful arrangement.

  • Reply Beth Patterson September 14, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    One of the great things about adopting an older dog is there aren’t a lot of surprises! Generally, what you see is what you get. It is really important to think about your lifestyle and needs before deciding on a dog.

  • Reply The Daily Pip September 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    We have always rescued dogs and usually end up with a different dog than we originally imagined but the right dog for us.

  • Reply FiveSibesMom September 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    It is so important for folks to educate themselves on the breed/s of dog they want to bring into the family. We have Siberian Huskies, and they have some very specific needs that are not always met or welcomed by all. We always try to help people understand their needs and ways to be sure they can commit to parenting one for life. Being informed is so very important. Visiting a rescue and speaking with the volunteers is a great way to get info on a breed,..and one may even foster one to get to know the breed…and then maybe even adopt it! 🙂 Great post!

  • Reply Sweet Purrfections September 14, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The same is true for people who bring cats into their homes. We’ve seen too many Persians surrendered or abandoned because people don’t realize the daily maintenance of their gorgeous fur.

  • Reply Malaika Fernandes September 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Its very important to research before you choose to adopt/buy as to which size and breed of dog is suitable for your home. Thank you for the informative post

  • Reply Pawesome Cats September 15, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Great post! Your advice is equally important when choosing the right cat for your family and home.

  • Reply Kelly September 16, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Awesome post! It’s so important to do your research, make sure the pet you choose, dog or cat or otherwise, is the right fit for you and your family environment. They all look cute, but with that cuteness comes time, dedication, knowledge of the breed and financial ability to care for the pet.

  • Reply Cathy Armato September 16, 2016 at 11:35 am

    These are all important considerations, especially energy level! So many pups get returned because a person or family isn’t able to get the dog they chose out for enough exercise. That makes them bored & frustrated and then they eat the couch!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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