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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Getting a new dog can be very exciting! Maybe it’s your first time adopting a dog or maybe you are already a certified dog-mom, but either way, you will happy to have a new companion. Choosing which breed of dog is an important decision you will have to make. It can be a challenging one since there are so many to choose from. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are about 195 different dog breeds. I’m sure that you might already have a few favorite breeds in mind, but before you make your final decision, here are 4 things to consider when choosing a breed:

1. Size

The size of the dog is very important because different living spaces will be more appropriate for specific breeds. For example, if you are considering adopting a dog who is very active like a Border Collie or a Labrador Retriever, you should have a yard or a lot of space to let them run around. Also, some rented houses/apartments may have restrictions on the size of dogs allowed on the property. Make sure to do your research ahead of time. Smaller dogs are also more appropriate if you have smaller living spaces because they take up less space. 

2. Temperament

Temperament refers to the dog’s characteristics including energy levels, intelligence, aggression, and compatibility with other dogs. This is a very important factor to consider when seeing how well different breeds will adapt to your lifestyle. If you are a person who is very active and want a dog who can accompany you on your walks, hikes, runs, or beach trips, then it would be better to find a breed that is active. Temperament would also come into play if you already own another dog(s) as some dogs are known to get along with others better. Of course, all dogs are different and disregarding breed, they may have better temperament’s, or they can be trained and socialized, but some dogs are naturally inclined to be more friendly. Intelligence would also be important to know, so you can plan ahead for training purposes. Some dogs are more intelligent and will learn faster such as Poodles and German Shepherds. 

3. Family Needs

Different families have different needs that have to be considered before choosing a dog. For example, some families may have someone who has a lot of allergies like to dog dander, so in these cases it is best to adopt a dog that is hypoallergenic like Spanish Waterdogs and Yorkshire Terriers. Also, some families have young children and babies to consider. Some dogs are known for being good family dogs because of their playful and protective nature such as Golden retrievers and Beagles. 

4. Cost

Dogs are amazing companions, but before getting one you should be aware of the financial responsibility that is required to care for one. Prices for different dog breeds range greatly. Some breeds are very expensive such as French Bulldogs and Samoyeds and not everyone can afford paying thousands of dollars. Additionally, once you adopt a dog other bills will begin to pop up, most noticeably vet bills. Dogs can get sick just like humans, so it is important to get them checked and vaccinated. Of course, adopting from the shelter would save you the most money because all dogs are up to date on their vaccines, spayed/neutered, and the adoption fee is nothing that will break the bank. Adoption shelters are also a great option to consider because you would be giving a dog there a new, loving home. Other expenses will include food, toys, grooming, and training. 

Adopting a dog can be exciting and a wonderful experience, but it is a big decision that will require a lot of pre-planning and thinking. Make sure to do your research before making this big decision as there are a lot of things to consider and you don’t want to be hasty. Afterall, becoming a dog-mom is a long-term commitment to loving and caring for your doggo, so you want to be as prepared as you can be. 

Emily Torres is a Junior at Florida International University, majoring in Psychology. She is a huge foodie and loves learning about different cultures. Her interests include musicals, traveling. poetry, and dogs! She is excited to share a piece of herself through her writing with HerCampus.