Are you thinking about adopting a canine? Choosing a specific dog breed can be a hard decision, especially if you love all dog types; there are hundreds of breeds! Some people choose their dog by appearance, but if you pick one dog to take home with you, consider picking a breed that mirrors your personality.

From the start, it’s important to make sure that you and your dog have compatible personalities and that your lifestyle choices would make the dog feel comfortable.

Here are some characteristics to-be dog owners should consider before choosing the right pup: 

  1. Size

big and little dog_adamcroman

Breed size helps you identify how much maintenance a dog may be on your lifestyle. If you are frequently busy with extracurricular activities, you’ll have to make to schedule time to walk and clean the dog. Some people want larger dogs for protection, but others may want small dogs because they can transport them easier or shed less fur. If you’re small, remember that a large dog may require strength when walking. Many people choose mid-size dogs to balance out the wants and needs amongst different family members.

  1. Energy Level


If you enjoy physical activity and spending moderate to long periods outdoors, an active dog may suit you best. Bringing a dog with you for a jog, walk, or to play a ball game helps you bond with your pet. Plus, you get two tasks done at once. If you want a dog with high energy levels, be realistic about the environment you can provide for them. If you can’t provide open spaces for your pet to run and play, then they could develop behavior problems.

Active dog breeds include:





  1. High-Intelligence


Intelligent dogs have a lot of character and personality. Breeds with higher IQs have a better time understanding commands, directions, and are more responsive in general. According to the American Kennel Club, the smartest dog breeds are:

  • German Shepards
  • Border Collies
  • Poodles
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Papilions
  • Bloodhounds
  • Rottweilers

However, you can find many dog breeds that are intelligent and emotionally caring. Highly intelligent breeds can reflect or stimulate your mind, creativity, or inquisitive nature and allow you to feel more connected with them.

  1. Vocal


If you enjoy talking out loud, why not have a canine companion join you? If you don’t mind morning barking or you like to vocally communicate with your pet, than vocal dogs can be a welcoming addition to the home. Vocal dogs can bring a jovial nature to any family. Yet, some dogs are more vocal than others. Beagles, Siberian Huskys, and the West Highland White Terrier among some of the noisiest dogs. You’ve been warned, late risers!

  1. Family-friendly


If you’re looking for dogs that will cuddle with you on the couch or be gentle around family members of various ages, then look for a docile dog that gets along with all ages.

PetMD reports that the top ten family-friendly canine breeds:

  1. Bull Dog
  2. Beagle
  3. Bull Terrier
  4. Collie
  5. Newfoundland
  6. Vizsla
  7. Irish Setter
  8. Poodle
  9. Labrador Retriever
  10. Golden Retriever
  1. Special Needs/Rescue Dogs


It’s great when you consider adopting a special needs or rescue dog. They are the dogs most in need of forever homes. However, make sure you have the ability, time, and resources to take care of a dog with special needs or a rescue dog who needs a lot of TLC. There are no-kill shelters, pounds, and rescue agencies where you can find dogs in need of homes!

Dog Breed Selection Resources

If you’re still having trouble deciding which dog breed best suits you, browse through online dog breed selectors or quizzes which can help match you with specific dog types based on your answers.

The best way to get to know a dog’s true personality is to spend some time with them before you adopt. If you feel like you bond with the animal and it fits your criteria, then why not take a chance on a pup who needs a home? After all, they’re best friends for life, as long as you show a vested interest in them!