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How to Choose the Right Dog Breed


Consider Your Lifestyle

Choosing a dog involves far more than what breed looks attractive to you, or what you remember about a dog you knew as a child.

Learn what the breed was originally bred to do. Behavior can be modified, but basic instincts—forged through selective breeding over decades or longer—cannot be changed. Does the breed’s inherent behavior sound like a fit with your household and lifestyle?

Visit SPDR’s “Breeds” page. Most of the breed names include a link to detailed  Breed-Specific Information that summarizes our Breed Reps’ extensive knowledge and first-hand experience with the breed.

But don’t stop there. Consult other sources that are frank about the pros and cons of each breed’s character.

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Consider the Pros and Cons of Puppies

Puppies can be fun, but they’re not for everyone. They need constant care and supervision.

In many homes, no one is at home during the day to care for a puppy’s frequent needs. Condo and apartment dwellers may find it difficult to manage taking a puppy outside as often as it needs to.

Ask any shelter worker about the young dogs that have been surrendered… a puppy’s energy level is often too high for some households. Families with small children may not want to add an active puppy to the mix.

In contrast, many adult dogs are already housebroken, used to a typical household routine, and have already learned basic house and leash manners. Based on the many letters SPDR receives every month, most adult dogs adjust to a change of homes quickly and easily.

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