You’ve finally decided you want to get a dog, but how do you go about choosing a dog breed that will fit your personality and lifestyle. There are over 400 different dog breeds to choose from. Don’t just consider the outward appearance when picking a dog breed.
Do you want a male or female?
Do you want a puppy or an adult?
Do you want a lap dog or guard dog?
First, consult with a professional dog handler or a professional dog trainer to learn about certain dog personalities of different breeds, and try to match what you want with what a particular dog has to offer. Also, talk to a veterinarian about your choice of a purebred or mixed breed dog. The professional trainers and vets’ opinions are invaluable, as they handle many different dogs every day and have first hand knowledge of the characteristics, and qualities of different types of dogs and breeds.
You can choose between a purebred dog or a mixed breed dog. The advantages of purebred dogs are consistency of appearance, size, coat type, and color. If you decide on a German Shepherd breed, you can be certain it will grow to a certain size…It will be similar to other German Shepherds in appearance…Its color, temperament, coat, etc will be similar to other German Shepherds. Purebred dogs generally have more genetic faults and deformities than do mixed breeds.
Mixed breed puppies may mature to look like their dam, their sire (if known) or neither. Their coats may be rough, smooth, or wiry. Adult mixed breeds are difficult to ascertain, as are their expressions. These variations are multiplied when either or both parents are from mixed backgrounds. Mixed breeds usually have a certain amount of heterosis ( increased vigor or other superior qualities that come from crossbreeding), which, under some circumstances, result in stronger and more disease-resistant dogs. A mixed breed puppy is likely to have a very individual personality, seemingly unrelated to either of its parents.
The temperament of mixed breeds are often quieter and more stable than those of purebreds, although this characteristic is not consistent. Temperament is partially genetic and partly the result of experience and training. Many purebreds have a notably quiet temperament, and an occasional mixed breed is unpredictable.
Before you select a purebred or a mixed breed, decide what you expect of the dog. If you have a desire to exhibit it in conformation shows, obedience trials, field trials, herding tests, or other American Kennel Club sponsored events, you must start out with a purebred.
If you want a companion, a family pet, or a child’s dog and have no aspirations of winning blue ribbons, a mixed breed should fill your need nicely. Mixed breed puppies and adult dogs are plentiful, both from shelters and private homes. They cost less to buy, and may be easier to handle. Mixed breed dogs can compete in Frisbee contests, 4-H obedience, and non-AKC agility trials, and are included in the AKC-sponsored Canine Good Citizen program.