Choosing a dog: what to consider and tips for choosing a dog
A cute, curly brown dog is peering over the picnic table with pleading eyes and one paw on the table, eagerly awaiting to get their paws on something tasty!

Choosing a dog: what to consider and tips for choosing a dog

So the time has come...you’re thinking about dog ownership and need some help choosing the right dog. With a plethora of information online about different breeds and temperaments, it can be hard to know how to choose a dog.

This guide takes a slightly different approach and will help you ask yourself the important questions. Whether you’re considering getting a puppy or rehoming an adult dog it should help you make informed decisions about the next big step.

If you’re not sure on any of these, we’ve included some more information below to help.

Apollo the Samoyed

Should I get a puppy or a rescue?

Rescue organisations, breeders and experienced dog owners will usually be happy to share their experiences with you and discuss what might be the best choice for your particular circumstances. Similarly, whether to get a male or female dog is worth thinking about and discussing - particularly if you already have a dog in your home.

If you’ve never owned a dog before, weigh up the pros and cons of getting a puppy or a rescue - dog rescue organisations have a wealth of information that help them to ensure dogs are rehomed appropriately and so don’t be misled by the idea that all rescues have behavioural problems. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, just slightly different considerations, for example:

  • Getting a puppy - consider the size and breed, check out the breeder and discuss your needs and experience with them, remember that a puppy will need training from scratch.
  • Rehoming or rescuing a dog - consider the needs of the dog, consider the dog’s age (puppy, adolescent or mature?) and be aware you may not get the dog’s full history.
Penfold, the Border Terrier

How to choose a dog breed: should I get a pedigree or a crossbreed?

Getting a pedigree dog will give you a good idea of the inherited traits your dog might have and any health problems prevalent in the breed. You may also get a bit more information about the usual temperament of a pedigree dog by looking up particular breeds or contacting specific breeders and Kennel Club secretaries.

Crossbreeds, on the other hand, can often inherit the pawsitive traits of both breeds and some research shows that they are less likely to inherit the health defects common in their ancestral breeds.

Temperament and size are probably the two most important factors when finding the best dog for you, so whether it’s a crossbreed or a pedigree, find out as much as possible about the typical traits and the particular dog/puppy’s parents before falling in love! The temptation to find the cutest dog is high - but they’re all cute, right?!

Arlo and Sully the Dachshunds

BorrowMyDoggy is unlike other dog walking companies - it is a community focused on sharing the love of dogs - see our BorrowMyDoggy testimonials to learn more.

Who doesn't love a fun quiz - especially if it's dog themed?! Well, do we have a treat for you. Take a few minutes and have a go at our pawsome quiz. Just choose a few things you love and enjoy, and we will tell you your pawfect dog breed match!

Well? What breed did you get?!

Other useful puppy guides

Everything you should know before getting a puppy

Caring for your new puppy

When can I walk my puppy

Where and how to buy a dog responsibly

Cute puppies and funny dogs

Tips for choosing a dog

Best puppy food UK

Best puppy toys UK

Useful rehoming advice

Local dog rescue centres

Alternative to rehoming your dog

Rescue dog tips

The cost of dog ownership

How to socialise your rescue dog

Could a mixed breed or rescue dog be for you?


Tips for choosing a dog

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Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who can’t have one of your own right now?

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