When selecting a puppy, there are several considerations to keep in mind. First, you must decide why you want a dog. That is different than deciding why you want a puppy. Puppies are cute and cuddly and masters at capturing your heart. But puppies turn into dogs–little dogs, big dogs, hairy dogs, hairless dogs, high maintenance dogs, attention seeking dogs, independent dogs, lap dogs, herding dogs, roving dogs, digging dogs… In other words, you need to consider your final desires for a companion versus the breed’s natural characteristics.
You also need to consider what you are able to commit to as far as dog training in youth and dog training throughout life. Do some soul searching and research to determine what you really want up front and what the requirements for dog training will be. Will you be doing the training or will you hire it done? If hiring a dog trainer, have you determined if there is a qualified dog trainer in your area? Do not begin an earnest search for a puppy until you have decided on your dog. That doesn’t mean don’t look, just don’t decide. Resist the urge to give in to impulse.
Keeping in mind that the puppy becomes a dog, also talk with a dog trainer who can tell you the quirks of the breed when it comes to dog training. If you have accessibility to dog show judges, they can be invaluable. Consider adoption vs. buying a pet, to help save millions of wonderful dogs that need “forever homes” now.
It is critical to select a breed with characteristics suitable to your lifestyle. If you are unable to spend a lot of time with your dog, avoid breeds that require high levels of exercise and training. Look to breeds that are more content to spend time alone and confined.
Check out the Dog Breed Selector provided by Animal Planet! An excellent source of information that can help you select the right puppy.