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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 really not 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 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.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
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.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.