Choosing A Family Dog

Choosing a family dog deserves some serious consideration so we've come up with a short survey/quiz to help you think about which breeds will really fit your lifestyle.

four dogs of different breeds sitting in the grass

Dogs make incredible pets but it’s important that you get the RIGHT dog for you.

Lots of people get a dog impulsively without taking the time to consider the type of dog they really want or need.

Important things include the size of the dog you want, how active he should be, how much grooming you can manage or want to do, and so on.

Each question in the survey is followed by answers for you to consider. Make a note of the selections you make for a later review.

We hope that will help you make a good decision when you decide to bring a dog home.

Choosing A Family Dog Questions

The dogs used for the results in this choosing dog breed survey are the top twenty most popular breeds in the U.S. according to the American Kennel Club.

They include dogs of all sizes, coat types, activity levels and temperaments. Most of these dogs are very adaptable so if you find a dog that you really love, such as a Rottweiler, and you live in a city apartment, don’t despair.

Dogs can adjust to living in different circumstances as long as you are seriously committed to making sure they get plenty of exercise.

Large dogs can do very well as apartment dogs. Most large dogs are not as active as people imagine. If they get a good run each day then they may spend the rest of the day napping at home.

There are also plenty of small breeds that are quite active and need lots of exercise.

The important thing in selecting a dog breed is to check out any breed thoroughly before you get it so you’ll know what to expect.

If you give your most honest answers to the questions for choosing a family dog, you'll have narrowed down the field considerably in selecting the right dog for you.

Choosing A Family Dog Among The Top Twenty Popular Breeds

Question 1: How big should your dog be?

Very large: (Great Dane, Rottweiler)

Large: (German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Standard Poodle, Doberman Pinscher, German Shorthaired Pointer)

Medium: (Beagles, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Mini Poodle, Shih Tzu, Mini Schnauzer, Shetland Sheepdogs)

Small: (Yorkie, Mini Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs)

Question 2: Do you prefer a dog with long or short hair? Or wire hair?

Long hair: (Golden Retriever, Longhaired Dachshund, Shih Tzu, Shetland Sheepdog, Yorkshire Terrier, Longcoated Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Maltese)

Short hair: (Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Bulldog, Boxers, Poodles, German Shorthaired Pointer, Doberman Pinscher, Smooth Dachshund, Pugs, Shortcoated Chihuahua)

Wire hair: (Miniature Schnauzer, Wirehaired Dachshund)

Question 3: What size yard do you have?

Land for a dog to run on: (Golden Retriever, Labrador, German Shorthaired Pointer)

Large yard: (most medium and large dogs)

Medium/small yard: (Mini Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Mini Poodle, Bulldogs, small dogs)

No yard: (small dogs are happy with no yard as long as you spend time taking them on good walks)

Question 4: Are you looking for a dog that’s good with children?

Yes: (Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Airedale Terrier, Boxers, Standard and Miniature Poodles, Beagles, Miniature Schnauzers, Pugs)

Question 5: How much time are you willing to spend on grooming?

Not much; I want a wash ‘n wear dog: (Boxers, German Short-haired Pointers, Doberman Pinschers, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas)

A moderate amount of time on grooming — brushing once a week: (Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Pugs)*

I’m willing to brush my dog daily: (Golden Retrievers, Shih Tzus, Shetland Sheepdogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Maltese)

I’m going to take my dog to a professional groomer religiously: (Poodles, Miniature Schnauzer)

*Some of these short-haired breeds shed a lot and need regular brushing to keep the hair from piling up in your home.

Find ones that do not shed or minimally, here

Question 6: Are you looking for a dog that’s good for allergy-sufferers?

Yes: (Poodles (all sizes), Miniature Schnauzer, Maltese, Airedale)


This next question in the choosing a family dog is a very important one and has more to do with how much exercise you're willing to have!! Question 7: How much exercise should your dog need?

Jogging companion: (Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Shepherd, Boxer, Poodles, Doberman Pinscher, Beagles, Shetland Sheepdogs)

Pleasant walks: (Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Shih Tzu, Mini Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs Maltese)

Question 8: Are you looking for a dog for protection?

Yes: (Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Boxer, Doberman Pinscher)

Question 9: Will this be your first dog?

This is my first dog and I want a dog that’s good for a first-time dog owner: (Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Poodles, Beagle, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzer, Pomeranian, Pug, Maltese)

This is not my first dog; bring it on! (Any of the dogs on this page)

Question 10: Do you want a puppy or an adult dog?

I want a puppy and I have the time to devote to housetraining and raising one

I prefer an adult dog

If you prefer an adult dog you may wish to consider getting a rescue dog. Most of the dogs in rescue are young adults or older. In most cases they have already been housetrained and they don’t demand as much attention in the first few weeks as puppies do, although they do need guidance as they adjust to living in your home.

Choosing A Family Dog - Your Review

Look over your answers to the choosing dog breed quiz and see which questions stand out for you. Different people will have different priorities.

For some people allergies will be most important. For other people choosing a dog that’s good with children may be most important. And for others they may care most about size and exercise.

You should see a few dogs which appear repeatedly in your results. These are the dogs which you should consider further.

Remember that a dog may be a member of your family for 10-15 years, so choosing a dog is very important.

If our choosing dog breed quiz doesn't result in finding you a breed that your criteria, here what to do next: Visit the many dog breed descriptions on our website for further research to read about other dogs that may be more suitable. There are over 400 recognized breeds of dogs in the world so chances are good that there’s a breed for you.

He will be yours, faithful and true,
to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him
to be worthy of such devotion. 

Author unknown

Related Pages For More Help

  1. Home
  2. Choose A Dog
  3. › Choosing A Family Dog Survey

Share this page:
Solo Build It!