Merritt Milam | June 7, 2016

Choosing your next furry friend is a big decision that takes a lot of thought and consideration. With so many different dogs to choose from, how can you know which is the right fit? Luckily, it’s not always a guessing game when predicting the temperament or talents of your future dog. Each pooch has unique characteristics and when matched with your lifestyle, it can either be a recipe for disaster or make him the perfect match for you! At Wags, we always recommend adopting if you are in the search for a new furry friend. Sadly, there are thousands of pups in Alabama who need homes, so we always encourage checking local humane societies and adoption agencies before looking into breeders. You can help make a difference in a sweet pup’s life today!

When choosing your next pup, you may want to consider…


A great option to consider when looking for a new dog is to check out local animal shelters. Mixes can have many of the qualities you admire about a purebred and tend to have fewer health issues. You can often infer which breeds may make up their genealogy, so the information below can help you get an idea of which pup will fit in with your lifestyle. If you can’t tell or if there is little known about the dog, visit with him a few times to make sure he is the perfect pooch for you! If you are not considering a mix, there are several purebred rescue organizations in Alabama. You can also check out Wags Rescue or stop by for a visit to see the new pups up for adoption!

Is he family friendly?  

Dogs are a great way to teach and practice responsibility. You will want to consider your lifestyle and the ages of your children when choosing the right pooch for your growing family. The Shetland Sheepdog is a great choice for families with kids of all ages. These dogs are very patient, but can also be playful and hyper. The “Sheltie,” as they are often called, is medium-sized, easy to train and quite intelligent. They also do not tend to bark or howl, which may be good for families living in neighborhoods. For families with small infants, one of the most popular choices is the Golden Retriever. They are friendly, loyal and have a distinct fondness for children. They can also be great companions for activities and exercise!

Do you need a hypoallergenic dog?

For animal lovers with pet allergies, a hypoallergenic dog may be the best way to go. While no pup is completely hypoallergenic, there are breeds whose coats produce less dander. The Poodle is one of the most popular hypoallergenic breeds, with four different sizes and many coat colors. Poodles are highly intelligent, fairly energetic and sociable dogs. Another hypoallergenic option is the Maltese. Maltese are great companions and tend to be extremely energetic and playful. Fortunately, they usually remain this way into their old age!

 What’s his energy level?


If you have an active lifestyle and want your pup to join in on your daily activities and exercise, you will need an athletically built dog with plenty of energy. The Siberian Husky has great speed and stamina, which allows him to run long distances. Huskies are fun-loving and adventurous dogs that desire companionship. The Border Collie is another energetic breed that has a talent for agility and endurance. They are one of the most intelligent and obedient breeds, but will require a lot of activity and exercise. If you are considering the Border Collie, make sure you have a lot of open space and can commit to a daily exercise routine. With the right amount of activity, they will be a great companion to have by your side.


If you desire a calmer dog, there are breeds that are naturally more complacent than others. These dogs often don’t need a yard, so they are good options for people living in smaller spaces that may not have much room for roaming. The Pekingese is small and extremely affectionate. Make sure you don’t allow your Pekingese to become jealous of children and other dogs, as it may act out. This type of behavior is easy to avoid with the right training. The Basset Hound is also perfect for anyone who prefers to live life a little slower. These precious dogs are extremely easygoing and do not require a lot of exercise. They are the perfect companion for a leisurely stroll. The Basset has a short coat that is low-maintenance and easy to groom. All in all, this sweet pooch is an ideal match for someone looking for a sweet and gentle friend.

 Will he get along with other dogs?

Do you have other pets and are hesitant to add a new dog to the mix? This is a common issue for dog owners that want to grow their furry family, but don’t want to upset their other dogs or take the risk of bringing home an aggressive pooch. Luckily, there are several options that usually respond well to other dogs.  If you are looking for a larger dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a great choice. Their thick fur makes them prepared for colder weather, but they can also fare fairly well in the heat. The Bernese is also extremely loyal and devoted. A smaller breed that does well with other dogs is the King Charles Spaniel. These dogs are described as affectionate, gentle and graceful. They always aim to please and respond well to praise and, of course, treats!


There are many things to consider when choosing the right dog for you. Although no two dogs are the same, each pooch has unique characteristics that can make him more suitable for your lifestyle. We encourage you to stop by your local animal shelters when beginning the search for your new furry friend. There are tons of pups in need of loving homes that may be the perfect match for you or your family! If you need more help choosing the right dog or have any questions about shelters in Alabama, call Wags and we’ll be happy to guide you through your choices!