Tips-Picking-PuppyImagine the pitter-patter of little feet running around your home. No, I’m not talking about the pitter-patter of baby feet. I’m talking about the pitter-patter of puppy paws.

Having a dog can be one of the best adventures you experience. There is no love quite like the love of a dog, and once you have one, you’ll often wonder how you lived without one for so long.

If you are currently shopping for a puppy, you first need to remember that buying a dog is a process and not something you can do on a whim. Before you get a dog, the following are six tips for picking the right puppy.

1. Consider the size of your home.

Your dog is going to live with you, so you need to consider the size of your home before getting a dog. Sure, giant dogs like Great Danes are lazy, so they could live in an apartment, however, that may not be the best idea. If you have a small home or a small yard, it’s best to stick with a dog breed that will fit nicely and not get in the way.

2. Consider your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle will play a major role in what type of dog you get. If you’re an active person who likes to talk walks, go for runs, or even hike, then you should opt for an energetic dog that loves activity as well, such as a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

If you’re a bit of a couch potato, you’ll want to choose a dog that would also prefer lounging around just as much as you, such as a Shih Tzu.

If you have children in the home, you’ll want to choose a breed that is great with kids. Bulldogs are the best choice, as they are great with kids and don’t mind the constant poking, jumping and loudness of a child.

If you live alone, you may be interested in a dog that will provide companionship and protection. A German Shepherd is a great choice, as these dogs are extremely loyal and protective of their owners.

3. Consider your budget.

Every dog is going to cost money, so it’s important that you first ensure you have the budget to care for a dog. Once you know your budget, you can make a better decision as to what type of dog to get. Certain dogs, such as a Schnauzer, can be more expensive because they require constant grooming. Large breed dogs may also cost more money because they require more food. Always consider your finances first before choosing a dog.

4. Consider the breeder.

You have three options when it comes to getting a dog: adopting a rescue, buying from a breeder or buying from a pet store. You will obviously need to decide which option is right for you. Adopting a dog from a shelter will allow you to save the life of an animal that was mistreated. If you’re searching for a puppy, though, you may have a hard time finding one at a shelter, as these dogs are typically older.

You could also buy a dog from a breeder, but be sure to do your research on the dog breeder first to ensure that they are not affiliated with a puppy mill.

You could also buy a dog from a pet store, but many dogs at pet stores come from puppy mills, so you may want to rethink this option.

5. Consider the breed.

Before you get a dog, do your research on the different dog breeds that are out there. Try to find the breed that will fit in well with your home and your lifestyle, and do your research to ensure he or she will be a good fit. If you are planning on adopting a dog from a shelter, keep in mind that they may not have your desired breed on hand, so have a few options in mind before you go. This will allow you to pick the right dog to join your family.

6. Have a training plan in mind.

Once you bring the dog home, you will need to train it. Make sure that you know how to train a dog, that you dedicate the right amount of time to training, or that you have the contact information for a professional dog trainer in your area.

Guest Author: Ashley Smith is a freelance writer, busy mom of 2 and a dog owner. Ashley uses her love of writing to share articles on a variety of topics.