Choosing the Perfect Breed: A Guide to Finding the Right Dog for You

Congratulations on deciding to welcome a puppy or dog into your home! Whether this is your first dog or a new addition to your family, we are here to help you choose the perfect dog that suits your personality and lifestyle.

Getting a dog from a breeder is not the only option for bringing a pet home. You can also find purebred or rescued dogs through the AKC Rescue Network, as well as older dogs in rescues.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When determining the best dog for your lifestyle, consider the following questions. These questions may also be asked by prospective breeders to ensure their puppies go to suitable homes.

  • Are you active or more laid-back?
  • Do you have children or plan to have children?
  • Do you have the financial resources to care for a dog?
  • How much time can you dedicate to socializing and training a new puppy?
  • How long are you away from home each day?
  • What are your plans for the dog during business trips or vacations?

Consider Your Expectations

Think about what you are looking for in a dog.

  • Do you prefer large or small dogs?
  • Can you commit to grooming a dog and manage shedding?
  • Are you looking for a dog for specific activities like hiking, agility, or running?

Once you have answered these questions, you can narrow down your choices. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy agility, a Border Collie may be a good match. If you prefer a smaller breed with similar interests, a Papillon could be a great choice. And for a family-friendly dog that requires moderate exercise and minimal grooming, consider a Labrador Retriever.

Airedale Terrier with puppy outdoors in the sunshine.
©Dogs –

Use the AKC’s “Find a Match” feature to help you select a breed that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

Learn About the Breed

Once you have an idea of the breed you are interested in, research as much as you can about that specific type of dog. Purchasing a puppy from a responsible breeder can provide some predictability in terms of temperament, size, and grooming needs. Understanding the breed’s characteristics can help you make an informed decision. Here are some ways to learn about individual breeds:

  • On the American Kennel Club website: Read about each breed’s history, personality, grooming needs, and exercise requirements on the breed pages.
  • Through breed clubs: Reach out to AKC-affiliated clubs for more information on a breed’s personality and characteristics.
  • At a dog show: Attend dog shows to observe different breeds and learn more about them.
  • At an AKC Meet the Breeds event: Interact with various breeds and breed experts at these events.
  • In the AKC New Complete Dog Book: This book provides detailed information on over 200 AKC-recognized breeds.

Picking a Purebred Puppy

If you are interested in a purebred puppy, it is important to find a responsible breeder. Visit AKC Marketplace to connect with trusted breeders near you and find the right puppy for your family.

Find the Right Breeder

Visit the breeder, meet the puppies, and at least one parent before bringing the puppy home. Make sure to ask the breeder questions about the puppy’s temperament, socialization, and training needs.

Lagotti puppies outdoors.Lagotti puppies outdoors.
©cherryandbees –

Ask the breeder about your expectations and learn about socializing, training, and exercise needs for your puppy.

Picking a Rescue or Older Dog

If you prefer to rescue a dog or adopt an older dog, consider your circumstances and lifestyle before making a decision.

Finding the Right Rescue Group

Check out the AKC Rescue Network for purebred rescued dogs and reach out to breed clubs for assistance in finding a dog that matches your needs.

©Willee Cole –

Ensure you understand the dog’s background and discuss your expectations with the rescue organization before making a decision.

Additional information about the article created by SKZ World Tour
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Choosing the Perfect Breed: A Guide to Finding the Right Dog for You