Choose the breed that's right for you!

A little initial research now will save you heartache later. Before you decide on the breed for you, visit a dog show, where you can see the dogs in action and meet the breeders. 

Will this dog interact well with children? What about other pets you may already have? Do you have the energy to keep up with an active puppy, or would an older dog of a less active breed be more suitable? Do you have a fenced yard, or can you take your dog for a walk several times a day? Some breeds are outgoing and eager to please, while other are aloof and independent. Consider your preferences before you make your decision!

Care Tips

Provide regular daily care

  • Consult your breeder or veterinarian for advice on what food to provide and how often to feed.
  • Fresh water should always be available.  
  • Clean and sanitize food and water bowls regularly. 
  • Puppies need to eat more frequently than adults. 
  • Bathe, brush and trim your dog regularly, as often as needed. 
  • Keep toenails trimmed to just beyond the quick. Your breeder, groomer or vet can help you learn to do this.
  • Brush your dog's teeth as a regular part of his daily routine.
  • Make sure your dog wears a collar and ID tag or has another permanent form of ID, such as a tatoo or microchip.
  • Do not expect a child to be the sole care provider for your dog; always double check to make sure the dog's needs are met daily.

Provide a safe and healthy environment

  • Your dog needs shelter from extremes of heat or cold; rain and snow. 
  • Do not leave your dog in a parked car if the weather is warm; he could quickly overheat and die. 
  • Visit the veterinarian for vaccinations, parasite control, dental care and treatment of injuries or illness.
  • Take measures to treat and prevent fleas and/or ticks.
  • Find out where your local pet emergency clinic is, and keep the phone number and the address handy.
  • Allow your dog access to a fenced yard or exercise your dog with a walk on a leash several times daily. 
  • Clean up urine and feces as often as necessary. 
  • ALWAYS supervise small children when they are around any dog, and teach your child not to tease but to play gently.

Be a good neighbor

  • Be aware of laws in your community related to dog ownership and follow them. 
  • NEVER allow your dog to roam. In addition to bothering your neighbors, he could be attacked by other animals, hit by a car, or get lost or stolen. In addition, if your dog is picked up by animal control, you could be faced with a fine.
  • Train your dog to obey some basic commands like sit, stay, heel, come, down. Many communities offer dog training classes.
  • Do not permit your dog to become a nuisance barker, especially at night when your neighbors are trying to sleep. 
  • Take bags along on walks to clean up feces as they are produced.
  • Be careful when introducing your dog to strangers to avoid bites.

Most of all, enjoy your dog! Give him plenty of love, attention, playtime and rest periods.

If you have a life circumstance problem and feel that you can no longer keep your dog, ask for help! Consult your breeder or a local rescue group. Call DOGS toll-free help line for advice. 1-866-972-8373.