Picking the Right Dog

Picking the perfect dog for your family can be difficult. What are some important things to think about?

Tiana Anderson

7/27/20234 min read

Picking the Right Dog

As a dog trainer I have heard many things such as:

“My Husky is always pulling on the leash”

“Our Beagle never wants to recall”

“My Border Collie just has so much energy”

If you are looking at adding a new friendly furry pet into your life it can be a bit overwhelming. There are many different things to consider and sadly many owners don’t take their time. They end up with a breed that they aren't able to properly care for. If you wish to get the perfect dog for you then read through this page, do your research, and message me with any questions.

Do your Research

Most importantly research any breeds that interest you. This step alone may make you think twice. Dog breeds were all bred for specific jobs. They may have specific genetic quirks as well. Huskies were originally bred to pull sleds. When they are harder to train to heel we understand and are ready for this. The border collie that has high energy was originally bred to herd. When we see the collie that has tons of energy and is trying to herd things, we understand why. Do your research and learn the origins of the breed.

Of course we can train the husky to heel, however this process may be longer and genetically it makes sense. There are many sites that will provide very thorough information regarding behaviors, common health issues, grooming and more for each specific breed. Feel free to message me if you have questions about the breeds. I would be happy to give you any information that I have. As a dog trainer I have seen many different dog breeds and their unique tendencies.


Regardless of the breed you decide on, they will need exercise. This will include both physical exercise and mental exercise. If you have time to do lots of activities with your dog or want a jogging partner then look for a breed who is higher energy. If you have less time or you aren't as active, you may not want a high energy breed.

Many behavioral problems have shown improvement by adding in physical and mental exercise. Dogs love jobs and enjoy keeping busy. There are so many awesome ways to mentally exhaust your dog. I will include many examples in a blog to come.


Different breeds require different grooming standards. Some breeds will have a higher shedding rate than others. Others will require you to brush them often and care for their coat. When you are looking into breeds make sure to note their grooming and shedding requirements.


The decision between a puppy and adult dog can be a tough one. Rescue centers are likely to have many adult dogs. Sometimes they may have puppies but it is unlikely they will be at the rescue long. I recommend training when you adopt any new dog whether they are a puppy or an adult.

Puppies are a fun choice but they require a lot of hard work. They require a lot from us as they grow up. It is not uncommon for me to see families adopt a new puppy and then decide it's too much which often results in rehoming the puppy. If you have the time and energy for a puppy it could be a great option for you. Puppies often require proper potty training. You likely will get up throughout the night to let them out. Also be ready to clean up some accidents. If trained properly the accidents should not last too long. Often they will want to chew everything, including yourself. Of course everything should fade with time and consistency but you need to be ready. Sometimes it's hard to tell what their overall temperament may be when the puppy starts getting older. Their temperament relies heavily on their puppy experiences and this is why training dogs early is so important.

Adult dogs can be a great option as they are already through the puppy stages. If they grew up somewhere unknown then it's possible the dog has picked up some habits. These habits could be positive or negative depending on what they are and how they fit into your lifestyle. Through training you will be able to work through habits that you may not like. You will be able to tell their energy levels and temperament and determine if they will fit into your lifestyle.

Senior dogs are the hardest for rescues to adopt out. However, they can be a great option for many. They often require less exercise and love spending quality time with you. Their health and wellbeing is important to note as some may be on medications or have specific care requirements. Senior dogs can end up being some of the best additions to your life.


Gender can be a big factor for many people, while others don't have a preference. This is mostly a personal choice. Depending on who you ask the answer will vary. Many professionals have their own preference and their own reasons why. It's proven that females may mature quicker than males of the same age. This may result in the female being easier to train. However, this isn't always the case. There are pros and cons with both sexes.

Rescue vs Breeder

You may also be deciding on whether to get a dog from a rescue or a breeder. Many of these will come down to personal choice. Their age, breed, gender, and activity preferences will all come into play. Rescues and breeders are both typically great for allowing multiple visits and interactions. If you decide on getting a puppy from a breeder then take your time finding the right breeder. Take your time and look at both options carefully.

If you have further questions feel free to reach out. I am also willing to help contact rescues and breeders to help you pick the right dog for you. Take everything you have learned in this blog to make help make your decision.

Sometimes dogs just fall into your lap. When I worked at a kennel I fell in love with a dog. The kennel I worked for was a personal kennel. It constantly had dogs coming and going from far away. After many dogs had come and gone I noticed that this one dog had stayed for quite some time. I asked my boss about the specific dog and found out she was from a surprise litter. She had just been living in the kennel for 3 years. It wasn’t long before I was granted permission to adopt her. Now Bailey is 8 years old and has been such an amazing dog. I wasn't planning to adopt my very own dog but she ended up with me and I could not be more thankful.