dopting a new pet can be an exciting time in your life but it is not an easy task. It is important to: a. Do your research before adopting, b. Know what you are getting into, and c. Provide your new dog with a happy and enriched life.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  1. Choosing the best breed
  2. Nutrition and training
  3. And more!

The Most Popular Breeds and Their Needs

There are hundreds of different dog breeds and specific needs. Learn which breed is best for your lifestyle.


A white bulldog stands in grass looking at the camera
Bulldogs are an affectionate, social breed characterized by their pushed in nose and low slung, muscled stature.

Good with children and other dogs, the bulldog breed is open and sociable, very playful, and somewhat protective of their family. Easier to train than other breeds, bulldogs have energy that needs to be maintained through daily exercise and mental stimulation.

Physical characteristics

Although funny, energetic breeds, bulldogs can be spontaneous with their energy and drool a good amount. Their short, smooth coat produces little shedding and a healthy, ideal weight fluctuates between 40 and 50 pounds.


To extend their life expectancy of 8-10 years and keep your bulldog happy and healthy, be aware of their ease of gaining weight and stay away from extra calories and excess treats. Easily overheated, bulldogs need a cooler atmosphere. Especially because of their scrunched nose and nasal passage, bulldogs can have a hard time breathing in humid temperatures.


Among this breed, other similar purebred breeds have similar characteristics. French Bulldogs, Bull Mastiffs, American Bulldogs, and Boxers are in the same realm with Bulldogs and require the same maintenance and care surrounding the traditional Bulldog. Like almost every other breed, there are thousands of pure bred bulldogs needing to be rescued, rehabilitated, and fostered.


A golden retriever smiles laying upside down
Great with other dogs and strangers, this popular breed is intelligent, loving, and silly.

Great family dogs because of their affection and behavior around young children, Retrievers are a staple in many American homes. Playful and somewhat protective, retrievers are highly adaptable to changing situations and are easily trainable.

Physical Characteristics

Be aware that this humorous and playful breed has a double, medium coat that sheds easily. This breed is experimental and playful but with a higher energy level, retrievers need regular daily exercise and lots of mental stimulation activities like problem solving, concentration and decision making tricks and training. Generally 55-75 pounds, retrievers can be prone to obesity, so be aware of their diets.


Retrievers are expected to live 10-12 years if kept healthy and happy. Elbow and hip dysplasia and eye conditions can be a risk in retrievers and ears and teeth should be cleaned often.


The myth of limited pure bred availability in shelters continues. There are thousands of surrendered and off-the-street purebred golden retrievers needing adoption. Like Labrador Retrievers in their stature and characteristics, English, Canadian, and American Retrievers are highly trainable dogs bred for sporting and family life.

Vizslas, Hounds, and Pointers

A GSP runs through grass.
Affectionate and attentive, Pointers, Hounds, and Vizslas are highly trainable dogs.

With an almost excess of energy, these breeds are bred strictly for hunting and sporting. Their high energy level and great intelligence means high maintenance and attention. Because of their loyal nature and need for speed, these dogs should not be taken to daycare or overnight boarding.

Physical Characteristics

Pointers and Vizslas are normally 55-70 pounds, though females can run smaller. Bult for long days on the field, their slick, silvery coat for swimming, running, and working sheds a moderate amount.


Prone to hip dysplasia, eye conditions, and heart diseases, these dogs are highly complicated and interested owners need to educate themselves on their needs, wants, and traits before adopting.


Especially in need of adopting, Pointer, Hound, and Vizsla rescues are common and there are  thousands of purebred dogs in need of homes.

Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, and Sheepdogs

Border Collies herd a horse
Affectionate and trainable, Collies, Shepherds and Sheep Dogs are loyal pets and working dogs.

Bred for working and hunting, these highly agile dogs need constant mental and physical stimulation. These dogs should never be sent to a dog boarding daycare site because their response to stress may affect their likeness to other dogs and people.

Physical Characteristics

Ranging from 15-55 pounds based on the sex and specific breed, these dogs are in need of grooming and shed a normal amount. They are athletic, muscular, and noble workers, and have great intelligence used for sporting and shows.


Shepherds, Collies, and Sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia, deafness, and epilepsy. To keep these breeds healthy and happy, make sure their diet reflects their needs and exercise amount. These breeds can live up to 12-15 years.


Shepherds, Border Collies, and Sheepdogs are commonly surrendered because of a lack of education on the owners’ side. Highly intelligent working dogs, many Shepherd, Collie, and Sheep Dog rescues are in need of adopting.

The Greats

A rottweiler looks up loyally
Gentle and affectionate, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds are intelligent dogs who are eager to please.

Protective and loyal, these giants are different in their characteristics and maintenance levels, but similar in their loyal nature and elegance in stature.

Physical Characteristics

Great Danes have smooth coats and are generally 110-175 pounds depending on the sex. With a life expectancy of 7-10 years, these dogs are a big commitment that require daily exercise.

Rottweilers have sleek, black coats and can live up to roughly 10 years. They enjoy swimming and need daily exercise especially because they are prone to obesity and skin conditions.

Dobermans are generally 60-100 pounds and live up to 12 years. Their short sleek coat allows them to fly through the air or any body of water.

German Shepherds have longer double coats that shed continuously. Around 50-90 pounds and living up to 10 years, this breed is loyal yet can be prone to stressors.


Prone to health conditions like bloat, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, skin conditions and blood clotting, these large breeds do not come without their health issues.


Like all purebreds, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds alike are in need of rescuing from local non profits.

The Little Ones

three small dogs sit on a couch
Affectionate and adorable, small dogs are an easy answer to a small apartment pet.

Adopters should be attentive to their needs and maintenance levels for an obedient, loyal, and happy dog. Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas are of the small breed dogs that adopters commonly turn to.

Physical Characteristics

Energetic and protective, these small creatures usually have long double coats that need routine trimming and bathing. Generally 3-15 pounds and living between 12 and 16 years. Contrary to popular belief, they need consistent exercise but will enjoy a lap at any time.


Small dogs can be prone to genetic issues. Heart issues, eye diseases, and loose kneecaps are among some other issues small breeds face.


There are plenty of small purebred dogs available for adoption. Chihuahuas, Russel Terriers, and Pomeranian adoption sites are in need of volunteer work, donations, fostering, and adoption.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Which breed is best for you? Here is a list of common dog breeds and where they fall on the spectrum.

a pug sits on a woman's lap outside
Certain breeds are best for certain lifestyles and activities.

Sporting/Hunting Dogs

  1. GSPs
  2. Vizslas
  3. Pointers
  4. Beagles
  5. Hounds
  6. Retrievers
  7. Spaniels
  8. Weimaraners
  9. Setters
  10. Collies
  11. German Shepherds

Family Dogs

  1. Mixed breeds/mutts
  2. Retrievers
  3. Rottweilers
  4. Shepherds
  5. Bull terriers

Small Family Dogs

  1. Pugs
  2. Shih Tzus
  3. Pomeranians

Single Dogs (Best for bonding with one person)

  1. Rescue mutts
  2. Chihuahuas
  3. Boxer
  4. Great Dane
  5. Pitbull


  1. Poodles
  2. Boxers
  3. Huskies
  4. Afghans
  5. Terriers


Ensuring that your dog is healthy and happy should be your number one goal. Cheap dog kibble can contain harsh, unhealthy ingredients. Choose the best for your pup!

a pug eats a bone in grass
Every dog breed has different needs, especially with nutrition.

The Farmers Dog Fresh Food

The Farmers Dog food is a great choice for any breed because of their natural ingredients. Made from human-grade ingredients like fresh vegetables, grains, and meats, The Farmer’s Dog food is a great option for any breed.

Ollie Fresh Dog Food

Ollie dog food puts an emphasis on natural ingredients and quality. Specified with your dog’s personal preferences, Ollie provides fresh human-grade meals to deliver visible results for any dog.

Redbarn Dry Dog Food

Redbarn dry dog food is a cheaper option with similar healthy options to fresh or frozen packaged dog food meals. It is grain free made from mostly fresh turkey and chicken that your pup will devour.


Many dogs need extra nutrients not found in their dog kibble for skin conditions, digestive issues, or joint pain. Make sure to contact your dog’s vet before giving any supplements for they can be harmful if not given correctly. Below are the most common and helpful supplements you may want to look into for your dog’s improved health.

  • Glucosamine is an amino sugar for helping joints. This supplement is naturally found in the fluid of joints to help build cartilage and can help reduce pain and improve mobility in dog joints.
  • Fish Oil is a common supplement containing omega 3-fatty acids to improve coat and fur allergies. Fish oil supplements may reduce inflammation and give your dog’s coat a healthy shine.
  • Antioxidants are supplements used to counteract the effect of aging like memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. Used to treat heart disease and reduce inflammation, Antioxidant supplements can protect the body from damaging free radicals.
  • Probiotics are a popular supplement which naturally lives in the dog’s digestive system to aid in digestion and intestinal health. Probiotic supplements can help treat diarrhea and other digestive issues. 


Your dog wants to learn! All you need is a little extra time and patience and your dog will be obedient, calm, and happy under your direction. 

Sometimes overlooked but one of the most important things to teach your dog: basic training.

Dogs that are not properly trained, especially for their specific breed, can cause harm to others or themselves. Below is a step by step guide to begin you and your dog’s training journey.

  1. Start a dog obedience training program or learn yourself. Online videos and books are a great, cheap tool to educate yourself before educating your dog. Among the better options, dog obedience training classes are a great option to expose your dog to other people, dogs, and social situations.
  1. Teach the basics. Teaching your dog the basic commands: sit, stay, heel, leave it, eye contact, etc. can usually be done in about six weeks. It is important to be consistent and strict with your training habits to teach the dog obedience and listening skills. Your dog should know that you are in charge.
  1. Positive Reinforcement is key to a well-trained dog. It can be frustrating for both you and your dog when a command is not well-received. This may be because your dog is overworked, distracted, or ill-trained. After a successful command, make sure to reinforce your pet by giving them treats, attention, and pets: animals respond to emotions! Always remember that it will take time for you and your pet to adjust.

Find Your Perfect Pup

Adopting a new pet is an exciting new chapter in your life. Be sure to remain patient, kind, and educated to your dog’s reactions, needs and wants to ensure a happy and healthy life. Always remember: You don’t have to breed. Your dream dog is in a shelter somewhere awaiting your care…you just have to look hard enough for them!

Aug 10, 2023