Quiz to Choose Dog Breed: 10 Helpful Questions

This quiz to choose dog breed will help you evaluate which dog will best suit your lifestyle. Choosing the right breed is important because having a dog is a long term commitment. Most dogs have a life span of 7 to 15 years. They are a 24-hour a day, 7 day-a-week responsibility.

By Robert DeStaso

  1. How much time and energy do you have to exercise your dog?
    • Daily exercise is essential for all dogs. Some breeds require more than others.
    • Couch potatoes are best suited for a breed requiring less activity like the Basset Hound, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Cockapoo, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Maltese, Pekingese, Pomerian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodle, and Yorkshire Terrier.
    • Long distance runners should avoid getting a small dog with short legs, which won't have the endurance or speed to keep up. A better jogging companion is a larger dog with a sturdy build, such as an Alaskan Malamute, American Pit Bull Terrier, Australian Shepard, Border Collie, Boxer, Collie, Dalmation, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepard, Golden Retriever, Greyhound, Irish Setter, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Siberian Husky, or Welsch Springer Spaniel.

  2. Can you afford a dog?
    • Consider the long term cost of food, grooming equipment, veterinary visits, leashes, toys, and all the other items a dog will need over his life.
    • Large dogs eat more than smaller dogs. More food equals more money.
    • A beautiful long or curly-haired dog will be expensive to groom if you are not equipped to maintain his coat at home.
    • Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier than pure breeds. Vet bills and dog medications can quickly add up.

  3. Are children part of the household?
    • Some kid friendly breeds include the Basset Hound, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, English Springer Spaniel, German Shepard, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever.
    • Avoid Lhasa Apsos, Toy Poodles, Dachshunds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Miniature Pinschers, Pekingese, Chihuahuas, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Giant Schnauzers, and Dobermans.

  4. Is the dog a companion for an elderly person?
    • The elderly may have the time to care for a dog, but not be able to provide adequate exercise, train, or discipline the dog. Large dogs may be difficult to manage.
    • An older, medium-sized dog or a toy breed might be the ideal companion.

  5. Do you live in an apartment?
    • The ideal apartment dog should be relatively small, easygoing, quiet, and have low daily exercise requirements.
    • Ideal breeds include the Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Cairn Terrier, Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Italian Greyhound, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Pomeranian, Pug, Schipperke, Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier.
    • Avoid excessive barkers like Miniature Schnauzers, Toy Poodles, and Yorkies. They will irritate your neighbors, resulting in complaints to your landlord or management company.

  6. Do you have plenty of outdoor space?
    • Some breeds need more space due to their size or activity levels. Some need a fenced in yard to run around in and are not suited to live in an apartment.
    • Breeds that are better suited to outdoor life include the Alaskan Malamute, Australian Cattle Dog, Bearded Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Chow Chow, Curly-Coated Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Irish Wolfhound, Keeshond, Mastiff, Norwegian Elkhound, Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Siberian Husky

  7. Are you concerned about the appearance of your home?
    • Length of fur, shedding, drooling, likelihood of responding to training, and the age and sex of a dog are all important factors.
    • Nonshedding breeds include Bedlington Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Poodles.
    • Avoid droolers like the Airedale Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Boxer, Bullmastiff, English Setter, French Bulldog, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Irish Water Spaniel, Kuvasz, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard.
    • Female dogs often respond better to training than male dogs.
    • Adult dogs are a better choice if you don't want to clean up typical puppy messes.

  8. Are allergies prevalent in your household?
    • An allergic person is likely to find a successful match in a breed with a single coat of fur, rather than double coated breeds. These breeds shed less and give off very little dander (the skin or hair particles that aggravate allergies).
    • Some ideal breeds include the Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Dachshund, Giant Schnauzer, Havanese, Irish Water Spaniel, Kerry Blue Terrier, L√∂wchen, Maltese, Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Shih Tzu, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.
    • Poodle mixes are a good choice too. For example: Cockapoo, Doodleman Pinscher, Labradoodle, Schnoodle, and Shepadoodle.
    • Avoid breeds like the Afghan Hound, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, Irish Setter.

  9. Do you have a cat?
    • Avoid dogs like Greyhounds and terriers. Greyhounds have strong chase instincts and terriers have strong prey drives.
    • Other breeds that generally don't get along with cats are the Afghan Hound, Alaskan Malamute, American Foxhound, Australian Cattle Dog, Basenji, Beagle, Border Collie, Bullmastiff, English Foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Norwegian Elkhound, Otterhound, Pharaoh Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Vizsla, and Weimaraner.

  10. Do you have another dog?
    • Dogs that are the same sex, size and age are more likely to see each other as rivals and show signs of aggression.
    • Avoid breeds that tend to be aggressive toward other dogs like the Airedale Terrier, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Cattle Dog, Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Irish Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Mastiff, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Parson Russell Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.
    • Training, socialization, and neutering males help minimize dog aggressive behavior.

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