What do you do for fun? Can a dog be included? Dogs don’t like to be left out. And they’re not choosy! Attending a soccer game, running in the park, sitting on your lap (small dogs only!) during a Garden Club meeting—it’s all in a day’s fun for your dog. It’s lonely to be left at home. Some dogs can be very destructive if they feel deserted.
Do you live in a big house or small apartment? Dogs need stretching room; the more energetic the dog, the more room required. Little dogs fit fine in big houses, but the opposite may not be true. The following table lists what living conditions are ideal for various breeds.
Also consider your neighbors. Some neighbors are less tolerant than others; if yours are the type who complain, you may run into trouble if you get a barker. Yes, they’re a pain in the neck, but they’re within their rights. The following table lists various breeds and how much they tend to bark.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. The preceding table considers the average dog in the group. Some are worse; some are better.
Are you always flying off somewhere? Some breeds can’t handle excessive kenneling. Jetsetters should find a breed that can. A few weeks here and there won’t hurt. And don’t forget that some hotels accept pets.
If money’s a little tight right now, avoid high-maintenance dogs, such as those with pushed-in noses or skin flaps who are naturally prone to health problems. Consult a veterinarian about the breeds you’re considering before you settle on one.