For owners

Researching The Right Dog For You

How to get the right breed for you, your family and your lifestyle.

Getting a dog is a big commitment and comes with lots of responsibility and care that may be required for up to 10-15 years or even more. It’s important owners don’t buy a puppy on impulse and emotion, and rather do so after researching the right breed best suited to their family and lifestyle.

There are many things people choose that’s suitable and compatible for them and their lifestyles. From the car they drive, to the food they eat, and even their partners. The same self-tailored approach should also be applied when choosing the perfect dog breed for you.

Dogs Australia is the leading not-for-profit advocate for dogs, supporting the breeding and preservation of purebred dog breeds for over 62 years. With over 11,000 registered breeders and 353 breed clubs, they are passionate about matching and helping owners find the right dog, from puppies to even older adults, including rehome and rescue networks.

Dogs Australia recommends a three-step approach to researching the right dog, taking into consideration key aspects like timing, breeds, and finding the right breeder.

Step one

Is it the right time? Ask yourself:

  • Is it the right time to purchase a puppy?
  • Are you expecting any major events like holidays, change in jobs/home, or a baby?
  • Do you have time to train a puppy?
  • Do you work long hours?
  • Is your home secured and safe for a puppy/dog?
  • Do you have a budget to cover the necessities?
  • Can you afford general care needs like feeding, grooming, training, and vet bills?
  • Is your household ready for a dog?

Step two

What is the right breed for you?

The breed you want? Or the breed you need?

While it’s handy to have a few breeds in mind, sometimes the breed you want is not the breed that’s best suited to you and your current environment. It’s very important to choose the right breed and prevent a mismatch. A cute little puppy can become too big as an adult or have an incompatible energy level if little or no research was done.

With over 200 purebred breeds with predictable behaviours and characteristics recognised by Dogs Australia to choose from, there’s a breed out there for everyone. The Dogs Australia breed selector questionnaire asks 14 important questions and offers suitable breeds for you to explore based on your answers, try it here (hyperlink to breed questionnaire). You can also explore the seven different dog groups recognised by Dogs Australia through a series of videos (link to series).

Before going any further in the dog breeds you’re interested in, it’s important to do a self-assessment of yourself or family members and your lifestyles, to ensure you pick the right breed for your situation.

Some of the important things to consider are:

  • Would you prefer a puppy or an older dog?
  • Will your lifestyle schedule suit this breed? E.g. working breeds need a job and if not given, they will find themselves a job! They’re best kept busy!
  • Is your chosen breed/s size appropriate for your property and home?
  • How will your chosen breed/s natural instincts affect its behaviour?
  • What was your breed/s originally bred for?
  • What is their breed temperament like?
  • Where will the dog live and sleep, will this breed suit that style?
  • How is your chosen breed/s with children?
  • What coat type would you want your dog to have?
  • What are grooming requirements of your chosen breed/s?
  • What is your tolerance for shedding?
  • What mental and physical stimulation is required for your chosen breed/s?
  • What is your preference for affection and attention from your dog?
  • What level of social involvement with you and others will the dog have?
  • How often will the dog be left alone? (This is important as independence varies within breeds).
  • What is your tolerance for barking?
  • How much will it cost to feed your dog?
  • What gender would you prefer?
  • What is the average lifespan for your chosen breed/s?

This is where a purebred dog’s predictability comes into the limelight because purebred dogs are more predictable in temperament, behaviour, appearance, size, and colour than a cross-bred dog.

This is because purebred dogs result from many years of selective breeding. Purebreds were developed for a specific purpose and documentation is available on their history and heritage.

Breed-specific traits, characteristics, and instincts are also more predictable in purebred dogs.

Step three

Finding the right breeder!

Probably the most exciting part of buying a dog is the buying phase, but it’s incredibly important where and who you buy from!

Here are some things to ask when enquiring with a breeder:

  • Is the breeder registered with a Dogs Australia member body?
  • Does the breeder adhere to the responsible breeder’s code of ethics?
  • Do they conduct relevant breed-related health testing?
  • Can they provide evidence of those health tests?
  • Do they understand their breed’s temperament and confirmation?
  • Are you able to meet the breeder and the puppy’s parents?
  • Do they offer lifetime support and advice?

Dogs Australia registered breeders abide by a code of ethics and breed for the betterment of the breed. This involves breeding to a breed standard, researching pedigrees, and conducting necessary health testing to allow owners to get a free from defect puppy as possible. A pedigree certificate detailing a puppy’s lineage for at least five generations is also supplied. Lifetime support may also be available from the breeder.

This is what sets them apart from other breeders!

You can visit conformation shows to meet breeders and see all the various breeds in person. You can find a show near you on the events calendar on the Dogs Australia associated member in your state or territory (link to event calendars for each state)

Dogs Australia’s state and territory members have a national network of training and community sport which fulfil a breed’s instincts and purpose. There are 17 different dog sports and activities approved by dogs Australia that you can learn and bring out the best in your dog. You’re guaranteed to find something you both love!

So there you go, it’s not only important to learn more about yourself but also about the breed of dogs you’re interested in making sure the right match is made, and your new best friend is a good match!

Begin the journey to meeting your new best friend, it’s only a click away, visit the (hyperlink dogs Australia breeder directory) Dogs Australia breeder directory today, and speak with Dogs Australia registered breeders about the breeds that may suit your needs.