How to Choose the Right Puppy for Your Family

We know how easy it is to fall for puppy dog eyes and an adorable wagging tail. Choosing a new puppy, however, takes a lot of thought and planning! Before you allow your emotions to make the decision for you, take a moment to ensure you are bringing home the correct breed for your family’s lifestyle, and avoiding potential headaches down the road.


First things first: what IS your lifestyle?

Is your family active and outdoorsy, with a love for camping and hiking? Are you more laid-back, preferring to spend your downtime on the sofa, instead? Do you stick to your own neighbourhood, or do you prefer to go for long walks? Some breeds are more active than others, and if you choose a dog who doesn’t share your passion for your leisure activities you might regret it. A bored or anxious dog can develop a host of unwanted behaviours, and some dogs aren’t physically up for a lot of exercise.

You also need to consider how large your dog will become once they’ve grown. If you live in a tiny apartment in the city, a smaller dog usually makes more sense than a larger one. However, if you live out in the countryside, you may be able to make a large dog very happy with all the wide open spaces. In terms of their size, you might also want to consider how you get around—whether you drive or take transit—and where and how you’ll need to crate them, or how often you might need to lift them.

So which breed is the perfect match?

We’re lucky to live at at time when breed information is so easy to access. Take the time to research any breed that interests you, whether you do that digitally, in print, or in person. If you are deciding to bring home a purebred puppy, go speak to a reputable breeder and they will be more than happy to answer your questions. They want to ensure their puppies end up in the perfect home, too!

If you are planning to adopt a puppy from a shelter, speak to the shelter staff and ask for their opinion. They will have insight into the breeds and mixes of their eligible dogs, and will probably even know a little extra about the individual personalities of the dogs who have been living with foster families. They would be happy to help you find your perfect match!

Finally, it’s worth speaking to a trainer to find out if your prospective pup might present any extra training challenges—especially if you have young children at home, or are expecting a life change like a move or a new baby. Bold, strong dogs may be fine for families with older children or teens, but they may not work for families with small children. Overly timid dogs may require a little more training in order to become confident family members, but they still make fantastic pets.

It’s important to follow up with that training

Raising a puppy doesn’t end with potty training and teaching them to keep their teeth to themselves. To keep your pet safe and happy, take the time to teach your new puppy some basic commands. This will not only make your life easier, it will help your pup settle into their new home.

Puppies may seem chaotic at times, but like all dogs they crave structure and consistency. That’s just one of the many reasons why training is not just for now; it’s for life. It keeps your dog happier, which in turn makes your whole family happier!