Select your new dog with your lifestyle and living situation in mind. In addition to your new family member's personality, consider its temperament, size, and coat as well. Some breeds have traits that may be objectionable in certain circumstances, such as hyper excitability or a tendency to bark. Your veterinarian is a valuable resource and should be consulted before you acquire a pet of any kind.
There are two types of dogs--purebred and mixed breed. The 124 recognized breeds are grouped into seven categories: hound, working, terrier, toy, sporting, non-sporting, and herding. There are thousands of mixed-breed combinations. Each purebred or mixed-breed dog has a unique personality. Dogs originally bred for a specific purpose tend to retain these characteristics. These dogs may require additional training and patience. Selecting a specific breed does not guarantee a particular behavior, but choosing offspring from animals with desirable temperaments does increase one's chances of getting the best pet. Mixed breeds can be as beautiful, intelligent, loving, and companionable as purebreds.Veterinarians, breed-specific books (usually available at libraries and pet stores), and dog shows are excellent sources of information about individual breed characteristics and needs.
Friend or Protector?
Most dogs, even tiny ones, bark when strangers approach their home or yard. This bark is usually enough to deter intruders. A pet should not be trained as an attack dog. Attack-trained dogs require special handling and knowledge to prevent accidental injury to people, including members of your own family.