Up next in Dog Care & Grooming 101 (51 videos)
Become an expert in the care and feeding of Fido with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Time for thought and discussion
Assess your situation
Assess your situation. Do you have children? Do you own or rent? How big are your living quarters? How much time and money can you devote to a dog?
Consider dog size
Consider the size of dog you prefer. Large breeds need more exercise, more food, and more space. Small dogs may require protection in cold weather.
Consider the breed temperament. Do you want a mellow dog or a watchdog? Do you need a dog that does well with children?
Decide whether you want a male or a female dog. The choice is important if you want to breed your dog, but there's little difference in temperament between genders.
Consider health care
Consider health care needs. Certain breeds require more attention. Breeds with long coats or with respiratory challenges, for example, require more care.
Do some research to find the breed that best matches your needs. A good place to start is the American Kennel Club, at akc.org.
Choose your dog
Buy from a reputable breeder, and get a certified pedigree if you purchase a purebred. Or adopt a purebred or mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter – many of these animals need loving homes. Even mutts may retain breed characteristics from their ancestry, and they're often hardier than purebreds.
Enjoy your new companion! There's a good reason dogs are called our best friends.