Top Tips for choosing the right dog

Choosing the right fit. 

Just like a pair of shoes, where we all have our own style and like the best fit. Welcoming a dog into your life for up to 16+ years, you want the best fit.

Let’s face it, if everyone chose the right fit to begin with, there would be next to no dogs in pounds awaiting their second chance.


Here are our Top Tips

For choosing a dog.

Choosing the “right” dog for you and your lifestyle can be an exciting time for everyone involved.

With so many cute adorable puppies that are almost impossible to say no too, there are the rescue dogs so desperate for what they deserve – a home where the people that bring them home keep up their end of the deal and love them for life, there are registered breeders via a number of channels, purebred, designer mix breeds, dogs in newspapers, free to a good home not to mention petshops, The choice is never ending so how do you know what is the best dog for you when there are so many opinions out there each advocating for their own cause?


So here I’ve compiled some points to consider. These could make your choice easier and from an educated and powerful position.



There aren’t too many puppy sales occurring in this day and age, however, they still happen. Pet shops aren’t a hugely supported method of acquiring a dog in the industry for a number of reasons. Many of the puppies come from people whose interest solely lies in the $$$ they can make opposed to the health and well-being of the dogs they are breeding. Many new dog owners don’t realise just how important genetics are when choosing their pup. Genetics can often affect the overall health of your pup. Both the immediate and long-term future of your dog’s health (think hip/elbow dysplasia, early onset arthritis, eyes, breathing and the list goes on).  “Health checks” are available from some stores, but they are limited.  

Here are some of the issues that can be associated with getting a puppy from a pet store

  • No information on genetics for health or temperament
  • Toilet training. Pups are confined to small areas. They pee and pooh where they play and sleep. This is early learning (ie training), that this is acceptable and they’ll often continue this behaviour in your home
  • Lack of adequate socialisation
  • Impulse buying. You can not plan and research a breed or dog when it’s on a “what’s available” based selling method
  • No guarantee of where the pup came from. YES Puppy farms do exist unfortunately


Newspapers / Online

Now, this can be a can of worms as you can get ethical breeders advertise on these platforms as well as free to good homes to the other end of the spectrum of money hungry grubs that keep their dogs in appalling conditions (yep there’s some passion on this topic).

1000’s of dollars for “designer” breeds, often they don’t know nor care what the mix is and just call it whatever mix breed will pull in the highest dollar – this is insane! Yet this is obviously supported as what they charge continues to go up each year.

The trick to finding a dog this way is to do your *research. Ask more question, proof of where the pup comes from etc. My suggestion is to treat this like “online” dating. Anyone can share a photo of what they want to look like and lie about their income and preferences, buying a dog from the newspaper or online is no different. You may very well find a gem that you will treasure forever, but usually, there are some crappy cuts before you find the prime steak or if you prefer a vegan analogy, some spoilt fruit before your find the cherry that’ll pop.



Now, this is an interesting term that can be misleading for many including myself lol. Personally just because your dog has puppies, doesn’t make you a breeder. However, we can get caught up in semantics because on the other hand, this is how many people refer to the person that is selling the puppies.

  • Registered breeder is another term where you can be led down the garden path. Where and with whom is the breeder registered?
  • What are the guidelines & code of practice that are associated with their registration?

To me, a breeder puts in a lot of effort in the betterment of the dog. Hip and elbow checks, genetic traits to encourage, what needs to be done to improve the overall health and life of the dogs they breed, these are important factors to consider. I have met some fabulous breeders of purebred dogs as well as mixed. Breeding should always be about what is the purpose of the breed/dog. Is the breeder putting the dogs that they breed, best interests before the $$$?


*Research your choice.

Research can be a tricky thing, especially when there’s what we call What you don’t know you don’t know. I have met a number of people that have “researched” to their best ability only to find themselves emotionally invested in a dog that causes them high levels of stress and anxiety.

Here are some examples

One amazing person wanted a dog for totally justified personal security reasons. They did all the “research” and invested in a dog that was bred to live with sheep and guard them against predators. This breed is not an overly “people person” breed of dog and generally, bonds with only 1 person, which may sound fabulous, until this starts to reflect in the dog guarding you from your spouse, your children and won’t allow any visitors on your property. This dog is doing exactly what it is bred to do – guard. People don’t realise this and the all too common effect this can have on your everyday life.


Another common one is when people live in small apartments and have smaller yards so they want a small dog that won’t need too much room, so they get a terrier or terrier mix. Terriers have the gorgeous nickname of being terrors lol. Many like to dig, chase rabbits and run – a lot. In many cases, a greyhound may have been a better choice.


I look at it this way, if I was going to invest in a new car, I know that I’m not a car expert, so I engage the knowledge of experts to ensure I make the best choice for my needs and wants. One of the most annoying phrases we can hear as a professional that invests in continued learning and skills in this industry is when people say “I’ve had dogs all my life” as proof of their qualification. Bluntly put, I’ve had a vagina all my life and I’m certainly not a gynaecologist. I have also had a car for more than 20 years, but you wouldn’t want me to fix your car as I am not a mechanic. 

Invest wisely, your dog should be your best mate for many years to come, Get help from a professional if needed, ask for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion.

Ask people with the same or similar breed what is difficult about this breed, what did they find challenging? What grooming is involved? What expenses are involved to have someone do it for you? How do you need to maintain your dog’s coat?

There’s nothing better than having a dog fit into your family like a pair of comfortable shoes. They will enrich every aspect of your life when you get the right fit.

I know my life is so much better for the dogs that are in it.


You can get help in finding the right fit with a dog, by shooting us an email.

It could be the best move you ever make.


Cat Saunders

One thought on “Top Tips for choosing the right dog”

  1. Very cool post, Cat Saunders. ?

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