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Most families have or will have a dog at some point in their life. Is choosing a dog as simple as finding whichever looks the cutest? No, there are many important aspects one should look at when finding a dog. This will show you how to find that dog yourself instead of relying on random websites or the appearance of a dog!

Step 1: Dog Size

The easiest thing to be able to cut out a large number of breeds is to determine the size of dog that you would like. When determining this take into consideration not only your preferences of size but also your living situation. If you are living in a small apartment it will be difficult to have a giant size dog breed that can barely maneuver, if you have a 10 acre back yard it may be difficult to keep track of a small dog who goes outside unattended. 

Step 2: Initial List

Now that you have an idea of the size of breed you are interested in and that suits your living circumstances, next you will create a list. Using a pencil and paper create a list of all the dogs under the size category you have selected. If there are multiple sizes you are interested in you will create multiple lists headed by the size in order to keep track. Use the following website to help make your list. This may not include all dog breeds, if there is one you are interested in just add it to the list after looking up its size on the internet. 

http://www.dogsindepth.com/dog_breed_size_chart.html

Step 3: Grooming and Climate Tolerance

The next category that is most easy to identify is the coat of the dogs. There are three things to consider when determining what coat is best for you. One important aspect is the climate of where you live. Consider the weather in the location that you live. Typically the long haired, fluffy dogs have very low heat tolerance, so if you live somewhere that is hot a majority of the time those would not be good breeds for you. If you live somewhere cold most of the time the dogs with what looks like no hair have extremely low tolerance to the cold.The next aspect is the amount of time you are willing to spend grooming, typically the more hair an animal has the more grooming required per week. Lastly, what you think is cute is important here. If you don't like the hairless dogs there is no need to look at them, if you don't like shaggy dogs there is no need to keep them around either. Using the list you just created in step 2 cross off all animals that do not fit your categories above. Use the following website to look at a picture of the dogs on your list to determine what the coat looks like, you can click on the picture of the dog if you are unsure what the coat is like based on the picture and it will go to the breed page and provide a brief description of the coat.


 http://www.akc.org/breeds/breeds_a.cfm

Step 4: Exercise

Determine the amount of exercise you want to give your dog each day. Along with this determine the amount of energy you desire in a dog. One that will just lay on the couch and cuddle all day or one that is always wanting to do something and doesn't run out of energy or somewhere in between? Your list should be relatively small by now. Use the link to look up each dog on your list to determine its exercise requirements and energy levels. Once again cross off the dogs that do not fit the requirements you are looking for. Rewrite a new list to be able to view the breeds that are left.

http://www.akc.org/breeds/complete_breed_list.cfm

Step 5: Purpose

The last step is to decide what you are looking for in a dog. For example, a dog to keep you company, a guard dog, one that is good with the kids, one to compete in obedience or agility, etc. If you are wanting to do something along the lines of obedience and agility for example, you would want a working dog. If you want a protective dog you may want a herding dog or guarding dog. Use the following website to look up each dog breeds characteristics and highlight or circle the ones that have the protection, intelligence, and training levels that you are looking for. While you are looking up the dogs purpose, use this website to confirm that the dog breeds you have selected match all requirements that were stated in all previous steps.

http://www.justdogbreeds.com/all-dog-breeds.html

Step 6: Choosing a Dog

Now it is time to choose a dog! You should have a list under 15 breeds at least. You may even only have one breed left. Now you can choose the dog you want based on looks and what seems the most fun! As you think about which dog you would like, search the breed on the internet to find the life span and health risks associated with the dogs to be informed and ensure those are things you are willing to deal with if they happened to come up. I would always recommend contacting a local dog trainer and setting a time to talk with them and hear their opinions on the breed you have selected and the next steps for your specific situation.

Step 7: Finding a Dog

Using the website listed below look up breeders for the breed you have selected. Look at the qualifications of the breeders and decide what your standards are, if they are AKC registered or not, if they have had health panels done on them, if they have been tested for the problems that are commonly found in that breed, etc. You may also look at shelters in the area, go onto petfinder.com, or contact a dog trainer in your local area asking for recommendations. Which route you choose will be determined by the amount of money you are willing to spend or currently are able to spend on a dog. 

http://www.akc.org/classified/search/landing_breed.cfm



Step 8: Check Your Work!

The following are different websites that have quizzes and give you the top breeds for your life style. The results will most likely be different for each website. The deeper you have gone in your research the more accurate it should be. Your selected breed should appear in your top five in at least one of the tests if not more.

http://www.pedigree.com/All-Things-Dog/Select-A-Dog/Default.aspx

http://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-breeds/dog-breed-selector

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/search.htm

http://www.dog-breeds.com/which-dog-is-right-for-me/
<p>jmdushi: I am glad you have had such wonderful dogs! I have met some wonderful dogs myself at shelters since i volunteer frequently. My friend had an absolutely amazing therapy dog. I am fostering a dog this summer from a shelter. This isn't saying that pure breeds are the best or that breed is the only way to find a dog. Just if someone is looking for a purebred and doesn't know what to get these are ways to find the right breed for your lifestyle. If an aggressive lab chose you when you were about to have a baby would you get it? Hopefully not. The great thing about shelters is you can go more off personality than breed! </p><p>Kiteman: No not everyone can afford a purebred. If that is the case then don't purchase a purebred. You can still find breeds you enjoy and fit your life style and look for them at shelters. However, If you are tight on money I don't think people should be getting a dog anyways. Dont make a commitment to a life you can't take care of you know? I didn't include money in the instructable because all i care about financially is the health of the dog and the food that it is on and that it is being taken care of. I am a college student. I understand not having money, hence why i currently do not have a dog. </p><p>I hope y'all can find what you are able to find what you were looking for when you came to the instructable somewhere else! If these tools weren't helpful for you then i would suggest going to the ccpdt website and contacting a certified trainer and asking them whatever questions you have. </p>
We have have two dogs, both from the shelter. We didn't choose them, they choose us, one choose my husband the other one chooses me. They are not really beautiful but are the best dogs we ever had,
<p>All of which only &quot;works&quot; if you have the budget for a pure-bred animal (typically hundreds of dollars), don't mind that the animal has been farmed, and are prepared to deal with the long-term physical and mental health issues associated with most pedigree breeds (all the top 50 breeds have some physical issue that causes suffering).</p><p>Many people who want a dog choose to take on one of the many mongrels and cross-breeds that are available through small-ads and animal rescue centres, as they tend not to have the same in-bred problems.</p><p><a href="http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/dogs/health/pedigreedogs" rel="nofollow">http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/dogs/...</a></p><p><a href="http://getpuppysmart.com/exaggerated_features_factsheet" rel="nofollow">http://getpuppysmart.com/exaggerated_features_fact...</a></p><p><a href="http://getpuppysmart.com/inherited_diseases" rel="nofollow">http://getpuppysmart.com/inherited_diseases</a></p>

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