Even though dogs are man's best friend, it helps when you choose your friends wisely. Think about how a new dog is going to change your life. He or she is going to take up your time and energy with feeding, grooming, exercise, and play. Dogs are social animals and they'll want and need to spend quality time with you. So it's important that you and the dog are a good match.
There are myriad types of dogs to choose from -- not just various breeds but mixed-breeds (or mutts), as well -- and many sources for dogs, such as kennels, shelters, or even your own front porch if a stray wanders up. So you can't just make your decision based on a cute face. What if you choose a dog that is too young or too old for your household? What kind of credentials do you want your dog to have? Where do you begin to look? This article will offer guidelines to help you pick a dog that's happy and healthy and right for your personal circumstances. The following sections outline the important points you should consider before looking for that next family member.