A woman holding a puppy she is choosing.

Picking The Right Pup

Are you starting your search for a new puppy for you or your family? If so, you have a very important decision to make. What kind of puppy do you want?

Choosing the right puppy is an incredibly important decision because you will have this puppy for 10 to 15 years. You need to make sure that you pick the right type of dog or the right breed. Here are some things to consider.

Do You Want A Pure Bred Dog?

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to choosing a pure bred puppy over a mixed breed or mutt.


The biggest advantage is that you will know exactly what you are getting. Purchasing a pure bred dog will generally allow you to know what your dog will be like when they grow up. You will have a good idea about their final size, temperament and even their personality.

A mixed breed dog is a mystery. Unless you do genetic testing, you really will not know for sure what your dog will be like when they mature.


The disadvantage of a pure breed dog is mainly the price. Pure bred dogs can be expensive which is why you may be considering financing your puppy. The cost of ownership can be anywhere from $800 to well over $4000, depending on the breed you select. Mixed breed dogs can be adopted for a few hundred dollars or can even be free.

Another potential problem with pure bred dogs is health. Pure bred dogs are generally more susceptible to genetic issues because of the limited gene pool. There is no denying that a mutt is usually healthier.

How Big Of A Dog Do You Want?

Next, you want to consider what size of a dog you want. This will be dependent on a number of factors in your life.


Space is one consideration. Generally speaking, the smaller your living space, the smaller the dog should be. That one bedroom apartment might get a little tight if you pick up an Irish Wolfhound.

You also have to consider the space that you have in your vehicle. Big dogs require bigger vehicles. You can fit a puppy in any vehicle now, but they will grow up and will need to be taken to periodic vet visits.

Intended Use

Is your puppy going to be for companionship or protection. If you want a dog that has an intimidating presence, a Great Dane might be a good choice for you. Someone would certainly think twice about breaking into a home with a Great Dane. When you want a lap dog however, a small French Bulldog might be a better choice.

How Active Are You?

Some dogs are very chill by nature. An English Bulldog, for example is not going to be very active and will not require a lot of exercise. On the other hand, a dog like a German Shepherd will require daily exercise or they may become frustrated and possibly destructive.

You must match the type of dog you get with your activity level. Make a mistake and you will likely have issues in the future. When matching energy levels, consider what a dog will be like when they are older. Nearly every puppy will be active as a pup but they might not be as active as an adult.

Does Your Dog Need To Be Social?

Generally speaking your dog is only as social as you train it to be. If you start socializing your puppy early, they will trust and like people and other dogs more. Certain breeds are more social than others however.  Golden Retrievers are a good example of this, they love everyone. On the flip side, working dogs like German Shepherds tend to be less trusting of strangers. They are likely to only trust their family no matter how much you train them.

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