Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Breed to Match Your Lifestyle – BrilliantK9 icon

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Breed to Match Your Lifestyle

It’s exciting to add a dog to your life. Choosing the best dog breed for your lifestyle can be a bit overwhelming, especially with so many great breeds to choose from. There are now 201 official breeds according to the American Kennel Club that just recently added the Lancashire Heeler to its list. Of course, this number doesn’t account for the huge choice of popular mixed-breed dogs, including rescues at a local shelter.

Whether you are looking to rescue a pup or purchase one from a breeder, it’s important to know what you are looking for in a new furry family member. You want to make sure that both you and your dog can enjoy your lives together. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing the best dog breed for your lifestyle.

Your Current Living Situation

Taking a good look at your current living situation is a great place to start, since you are looking to fit a dog into it. Just thinking about your day-to-day surroundings and how things will work in them can help you eliminate some of the breeds that may not be a good fit for you. For example, if you live in a studio or small apartment, you’ll probably want to stick with smaller breeds. Larger breeds need lots more room to move around in. Also, some apartment complexes have size and weight restrictions when it comes to dogs.

Apartment complexes often have fenced-in doggie areas or good walking paths. This makes it easier to choose a small or mid-sized dog since they’ll have opportunities to run off-leash or at least get some healthy exercise. Remember, bored dogs can become destructive.

What’s your work life like?

Even if you have to work out of the house and your dog is alone most of the day, it’s still possible to have a happy, healthy dog. It may take some time for both of you to adjust, especially if you start with a puppy. Puppies need to go outside every few hours, even after they have been house trained.

The key is finding time to spend with your dog when you are not at work. You may need to think about hiring a dog-walker or a dog-sitter, to ensure they are safe while you are at work.

Energy Needs of Different Breeds

All dogs don’t need the same level of activity. Typically, larger breeds need more activity than smaller breeds, but how much activity they need also relies on what they were bred to do. Here are a few general thoughts on the various breeds and activity levels.

  • Good dogs for hiking. Beagles, Border Collies, and Cairn Terriers
  • Calm lap dogs. Maltese, Havanese, Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Apartment dogs. Greyhounds (because they love to lounge!)

Grooming Needs

Many dog breeds need proper grooming to ensure they remain healthy. Some breeds need regular brushing or trips to the groomer. Yet other breeds are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Some dogs shed a lot, and other breeds don’t shed at all. All dogs need to have their nails trimmed, but some need it done more often. For example, if your dog walks on hard surfaces a lot, they may not need their nails to be trimmed as often. Think about the time, expense, and effort you are willing to make to ensure your dog looks and feels good.

Health Requirements and Various Breeds

You’ll want to consider your family members when choosing a dog breed. If you have friends or family who are allergic to pet dander, you’ll want to prioritize those breeds which are hypoallergenic. If you have specific tasks that you hope your dog can do for you, such as providing physical or emotional support, you’ll want to choose a breed that is characteristically intelligent and trainable.

You will also want to research the history of the breed and the dog you are thinking of getting. This will help you prepare for any care they may need long-term. If you get a rescue from the animal shelter, they can provide some health information about your dog. You can also do a quick search for health trends of specific breeds.


If you have any other pets in your house, or have children, the dog’s temperament becomes even more important. Some dogs do very well with children or other animals. Other dogs may be stressed by children or other pets, which can make them more territorial or aggressive. Most dogs can be trained out of their bad behaviors, but it’s still worth it to do a little research and choose a breed that does well with families and other animals.

Proper Training

Dogs are a bit like humans in that they have their own unique personalities and preferences. Proper training is key to building and maintaining a positive relationship. You want them to trust you to lead them and keep them safe. Most dogs are trainable at a minimum, but many breeds are easier to train than others. Paying for a professional trainer can help ensure that you have a long, happy life together.

Once they are leash trained, you can enjoy many walks in the park, hiking, or playing along the beach. Of course, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality, custom harness from BrilliantK9. We’ll help you get the right size harness to fit your pup and you can personalize it in a variety of ways, including customizing it with your dog’s name.

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