Important considerations when purchasing your first dog

Have you ever dreamt of owning a dog? Owning a dog can be a wonderful experience because it brings many rewards. Although dogs are known as mans best friend, not all breeds are not created equal. This makes the selection process a bit tricky. It requires asking and getting answers to many questions if you want to select the best companion.

First of all you have to decide what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a dog as a family pet and companion, to protect a home or a farm, or perhaps to compete in dog shows? These are among the important questions that you should ask yourself.

The aim of this article is to provide you with some general tips about the factors you need consider when selecting what dog to buy.

  1. Select the breed: Different breeds have different temperaments and are also appropriate for different purposes. Be sure that the breed will suit your needs before making a decision.
  2. Pedigree or crossbreed: Pure breed dogs are extremely popular for their distinctive traits. You can have the offspring of two dogs of the same breed whose lineage is recorded with a recognized club or you may opt for crossbreeds that will have the combination of physical characteristics and traits of their parents.   I have owned many purebred and mixed breed dogs and both have their virtues. My advice to pet seekers is to always visit local shelters. You would be surprised how many pure and mixed breed dogs are looking for good and loving homes at a fraction of the price.
  3. Select the gender: There is an old saying “If you want a good dog get a male dog, but if you want to have a great dog, get a female and cross your fingers.” The male dogs appear to be demanding of attention, affectionate and focused. Female dogs can be slightly more independent.
  4. Size of the dog: the size of the dog must suit your home, car and exercise plans. If you live in a small urban apartment then a small size dog is the best choice. Larger dogs like Great Danes and German Shepherds are best suited in large houses with big yards because they need more space to live and exercise as well.
  5. Temperament: Some dogs are bred for looks. Other dogs are considered working dogs (like hunting dogs). Further still, some breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels are known to be friendly type, Bull Mastiffs and Bull Terriers are well known for their aggression. So when choosing a breed you should inquire what kind of personality the breed is known for. Is it affectionate, gentle or hyperactive?
  6. Grooming: A topic that is close to my heart is dog grooming. When selecting a dog you should consider how much grooming the dog will require. If you don’t have a lot of time to maintain a dog’s coat then you probably don’t want to buy a Maltese. Some dogs (like Maltese’s for example) require constant grooming, clipping and brushing.
  7. Health & Exercise: Another important factor to consider is how much exercise the breed will require. A Labrador will require a lot of activity. In order to keep your furry friend healthy, you’ll need to ensure that you’re giving your dog the necessary physical activity to stay at its optimal level of health and fitness.
  8. Training: Let’s face it—some dogs are known to be smarter than others. This will affect how easily you can train your pet.

I hope these tips are helpful. Most importantly, stay away from any and all puppy mills! I suggest visiting your local shelters. If you have questions, be sure to speak to a professional. I am happy to answer any questions on the subject. Below is a list of local Miami-Dade dog shelters. Good luck!


Miami Dade County Adopt a Pet
401 NW 74 Street
Miami, Florida 33166


Humane Society of Greater Miami
16101 West Dixie Highway
North Miami Beach, Florida 33160


Paws 4 You Rescue, Inc.