Picking a puppy II: What breed is right for you?

Picking a puppy II: What breed is right for you?

A Black Labrador puppy : One of the top family dogs in the USA

Last time, we took a look at decisions that had to be made before you welcomed your furry bundle of joy into your home. This time, let's take a look at what you need from a dog and how to find the best dog for your situation!

There is a myth out there that says ALL big dogs need BIG spaces. This isn't true. Some dogs, such as Greyhounds, are the Couch Potatoes of the canine world. The only space they need is a comfy couch and a nice spot to walk to do their business. Then there's the myth that LITTLE dogs need LITTLE spaces. This is totally untrue when you look at breeds such as a Jack Russel or Parson Russel Terrier. These tiny dogs have tremendous attitudes and need plenty of space to run in.

So. How do you figure out how much space your favorite breed requires? You ask! There are a lot of wonderful dog training professionals, shelter workers, rescue groups and breeders out there that will take the time to help you assess your time needs, your space needs and every other consideration we last discussed.

Once you get through the hurdle of what you want, what the family wants, what you need and what you can compromise on, that's when you make your decision.

The American Kennel Club (www.AKC.org) has some fantastic resources. There is a list of all AKC approved breeds, complete with descriptions of the average personality, size, space, food, exercise and training requirements. Once you get an idea about your favorite breeds you can make your educated decision.

Next time, we'll discuss how to choose between a puppy or an adolescent or adult dog, and why one of the older dogs may be a better fit for your family. Keep wagging!