How to Choose a Dog for Your Family

by Bryson Smith

When people decide to purchase a pet for their families, often a dog is on the top of the list. Dogs are loyal, loving, and make a great addition to almost any family. Before you choose a dog, however, here are some important things to take into consideration.

Choosing a Breed

It is important to do research about the breed you are considering to find out any habits that particular dog might have. Different breeds of dogs have different characteristics and habits that it is important to know before you bring a dog home.

For instance, some breeds of dogs bark a lot, and some don’t. If you have a dog that barks a lot, then you probably won’t want to be leaving it in your back yard all of the time.

Some dogs are notorious diggers. You will find that many dogs as puppies will dig and chew more than you would like, but dogs often stop these behaviors as they get older. Some dogs, however, will continue digging indefinitely.

Other dogs like to jump, and if you have a short fence, your dog may have no problem jumping over it. Some breeds of dogs can clear even a five or six foot fence if given the opportunity, so make sure to take these things into consideration when choosing a dog.

Some breeds are also better with children than others. If you are choosing a dog for your children, then make sure to get a dog that the whole family can enjoy.

What size dog you get will really depend on your family. If you have small children and you bring home a large full grown dog, the children are not likely to take to the new dog as quickly as you would like. A puppy that will grow into a large dog is generally not a problem, however, because the children and the dog can get to know each other and grow up together.

If you live in a small apartment, then you probably don’t want to get a big dog. Also keep in mind that many dogs, both big and small like to run a lot. Some of them need to run, to be healthy and happy dogs. If you can’t take them for walks all the time, then you will need a large back yard for the dog to run around in. The yard also needs to be completely fenced in, or the dog will need to be put into a kennel in the back yard.

Finding a Dog

Some people like to get puppies and raise them themselves, and others don’t mind getting a dog from another family or adopting one at their local animal shelter. There are pro’s and con’s to each of these choices.

Puppies are really cute and playful, but they are also a lot of work. They may chew up anything they come into contact with, and you may end up spending a lot of time potty training them.

On Craigslist you can find pets to adopt from other families. You need to be careful when getting pets from other families, but you can still find great pets this way. Sometimes families are getting rid of pets because of their bad habits (which of course you don’t want to inherit), but often families bring a pet home that they just can’t take care of and need to find it a new home.

The humane society is a great place to find a dog for your family. Even though some of them have been abused, often the dogs that are brought home from animal shelters are very loyal, loving dogs and just waiting for a family to love them.

Once you find the dog that’s right for your family, make sure to get all the supplies you need before you bring the dog home. You need food dishes, dog food, a leash, toys, and a bed for your dog. Having a dog can bring much enjoyment to your whole family. Do your homework first, and you can find a dog that you family will enjoy for many years.

Bryson Smith is a professional blogger that enjoys discussing pet topics. He writes for, a pet sitting and dog walking company in Dallas.

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About Rachel

I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to five children, ages 25 to 4. I am a freelance writer and the editor and publisher of


  1. Great article.

    Don’t forget to remind people of vet bills, medicines for their dog (heartworm treatment and flea preventative). Vaccinations are required for pets in most cities. Dogs are not cheap, which is why most are available through

  2. Sharon, that’s a good point! Vet bills can add up fast. Vaccinations are very important too but not cheap. It’s nice that there are more places to get vaccinations these days, like at local pet stores instead of going to the vet.

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