Finding the Best Type of Dog for Your Family


This is a partnered guest post.

Deciding on the right type of dog for your family is a big decision. Do you have a particular breed in mind? What about the age of the dog? Are you looking to adopt from a shelter or work through a breeder? It is important to understand how to select the right dog to prevent problems with your family. Here are some things to consider when searching for a new dog.



The amount of space you have in your home for the dog is important to consider. A toy dog will not need a lot of room, but they tend to prefer indoor lifestyles. A larger breed, like a golden retriever, will need more space to run and exercise. They are normally kept outside, but some people prefer to keep their larger breeds indoors. Make sure you have enough space to meet their needs so they can burn off excess energy.



Some people love the idea of adopting a puppy, until it grows. Puppies require a lot of attention. They need to be house trained and trained in other behaviors, as well. Training requires a lot of patience and attention. You need to be prepared for these things if you are considering a puppy. Adult dogs may or may not be house trained. However, mature dogs are often calmer and have hit their maximum growth potential.



If you have young children, it is essential to look for a dog with a calm temperament. While the kids may enjoy playing with, feeding and walking the dog, you need to make sure the dog is friendly to the children. Certain breeds are not good around small children. This is something to research if you have toddlers in your home. Do you want a dog that is strong willed or one that is easy to train? Will the dog be left alone for several hours of the day? If you work and need to leave the dog home often, it is important to look for a dog that can be left alone without tearing up your home. Obedience training is a smart investment when you adopt a new dog so you can teach your kids how to care for the dog and help him learn commands.



Do you prefer a male or female dog? There is a difference in the temperament based on gender. You want to make sure you are buying a dog that you can handle. It is always a good idea to spay or neuter your dog so they do not breed with other dogs.



How much will the dog cost? This is hard to determine since dogs all have different needs. Add up the cost of dog food, yearly pet examinations and vaccinations to get a good idea as to how much you will spend. Then you need to consider alternative costs like how much it costs to board the dog when you go out of town. Certain breeds are prone to health problems. Consider investing in pet insurance to keep your pet healthy at a cost you can afford. Visit to view different policies for your pet.


Not every dog is right for your family, but by educating yourself on size, age, temperament, gender and cost, you can improve your chances of finding the ideal pet for your home!


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Those are a lot of good tips. I am partial to labs.

  2. These are great tips. Everyone should find the right dog for them. It’s a shame when they don’t as they often leave the poor dogs at shelters and if they took the time to find the right dogs our shelters wouldn’t be over flowing.

  3. Great info! I think a lot of people don’t consider potential costs. One my dogs has had many health problems the last year and it has cost me a small fortune.

  4. Great tips! My husband wanted a boy dog, but both our last 2 dogs were/are girls. Because in the end, he let the dog pick us. 🙂

  5. What is the difference in temperament based on gender? I think I’d love a very mild, friendly, huggy kind of dog 🙂

  6. We chose our first dog based on physical appearance, size, and temperament since we were living in an apartment. We’ve now had two bulldogs and even with a house and more space, it’s still the perfect breed for our lifestyle.

  7. Great advice. We ended up with our dog because Uncle Kyle’s dog and grandma’s dog got together and well, you know the rest 🙂

  8. These are really good tips! We aren’t ready for a dog, but these are all definitely things we’ll consider when the time is right!

  9. Our dog died a few months ago and we are looking for another one but aren’t sure what breed to go with. This is great advice.

  10. Our dog was 9 when our son was born and it was a learning experience for him. I know that any pet that we get in the future will have to be super good with children. Great tips.

  11. These are great tips! We weighed all the above criteria before we got a dog over 8 years ago.

  12. Great tips! I know we’re not ready for a dog (we have cats though)

  13. We have a labradoodle, and she is the most perfect dog in the whole world. I really couldn’t imagine a better dog for our family.

  14. These are some really good tips! We aren’t ready for any pets, maybe one day though!

  15. These are great things to consider!!!

  16. Very good tips — our dog is a white schnauzer and he is PERFECT. The best dog for little kids.

  17. If my daughter had to decide the best dog for her would be ANY dog she loves dogs. Though I think she prefers the tiny cute ones. Unfortunately I’m allergic.

  18. These are some great tips, cost is such a big part to having any animal that people somehow just forget about.

  19. We don’t have any pets, but if we ever got a dog, I for sure would want a small one 🙂

  20. I think temperament is most important when you have young children.