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Which Dog Breed Traits Are Right For You?

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

multiple dog breeds

There are many different traits  or characteristics  that a dog might have.

Which dog breed traits would be best for you depends partly  on which ones you find most appealing.

But only partly!

Which traits would be best for you depends more  on whether you're able to DO whatever those traits require you to do.

Border Collie

Dog breed characteristics come with responsibilities that you need to fulfill if both of you are going to be happy.

For example, you might admire the athleticism and high energy of a Border Collie. But those traits are only a good match for you if you can provide all the activities and exercise that athleticism and high energy require.

Don't have the time? Then athleticism and high energy aren't good matches for you – and you're not a good match for an athletic, high-energy dog, no matter how appealing you find him.

People often make the mistake of thinking that the only thing that counts when choosing a dog is whether he meets their  needs. But when you think about it, that's not really fair, is it?

You also have to consider the dog's  needs, and whether you're able to provide for those needs or not. Every dog has different needs.

  • Some dogs need a home without children. Or without other dogs. Or without cats.
  • Some dogs need an extra-high solid fence to keep them confined.
  • Some dogs need a great deal of socialization to prevent aggression or shyness.
  • Some dogs need an experienced owner who knows how to handle difficult dogs.

So for each dog breed characteristic, don't just ask yourself if you like it. Also ask: "What does this trait REQUIRE from me.... and can I do that? Am I the right kind of owner for a dog with this characteristic?"

11 Dog breed traits to consider, when choosing a dog


Which dog breed traits are best suited to you and your family, your home and yard, and your lifestyle?

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.