Offering a dog a home can be a hugely rewarding experience. It's also a lot of hard work and responsibility, and it's not a decision that should be taken lightly. It's important to ask yourself whether you have the right lifestyle and home arrangements to offer a dog a good quality of life.
Some breeds can also have more high-maintenance care requirements than others. If you're considering a working breed, you'll need to be aware that they'll likely need more exercise and enrichment than some dogs.
01 of 10
If you've ever seen a Belgian Malinois involved in obedience training, police work, or search and rescue, you'll know what smart and driven dogs they are.
A Mali requires a special type of home. They have an incredibly strong working drive and intensity. If they aren't given the opportunity to put this drive to use, they can become bored, stressed, mouthy, overexcitable, reactive and a big challenge.
It isn't enough to just take them out for a long hike every day to tire them out. This breed needs a job to do. If, for example, you're a passionate dog sports competitor and have solid training experience, then maybe you and a Mali could be a good match.
They're highly trainable and eager to please, and, if they're given the opportunity to reach their full potential, they can excel, and you'll no doubt develop a strong bond.
Height: 22 to 26 inches
Weight: 40 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; short double coat; colors include fawn, mahogany, and red with a black mask
02 of 10
The Hungarian Puli has an incredibly distinctive look. Their unique corded double coat forms into strands resembling dreadlocks. This coat, arguably, requires more work than that of any other breed to keep it in a healthy condition. Their grooming regime is also very particular.
Unless you're prepared to devote a lot of time to maintain and separate their cords, then this isn't the dog for you. Even bathing a Puli is a project. Their cords need to be fully dried out after baths to prevent mildew from forming.
Some Puli owners choose to keep their dog's coat fluffy rather than corded. Because the hair naturally twines up into cords, you'll have to thoroughly brush their coat out regularly to prevent this from happening. Keeping their coat clipped relatively short can help reduce the amount of work required.
Height: 16 to 17 inches
Weight: 25 to 35 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Square, medium-sized dog with a naturally corded coat; colors include black, silver, and white
03 of 10
Greyhounds can make fantastic family pets. While they can reach speeds of up to 45mph, they're known for being laid-back, and even lazy in the house. Finding them lounging about on the sofa or a comfy dog bed isn't an uncommon sight. They're also known for being affectionate and easy-going.
One thing you'll have to be aware of if you're considering a Greyhound is their very strong in-built prey drive. On walks, they may give chase to wildlife, cats and birds. In the house, they may not be able to live alongside small furry pets.
You'll have to be prepared to put a lot of work in on recall training, and they may only be able to be let off in certain environments, or secure spaces. Some Greyhounds have to wear a muzzle whenever they're out on a walk, regardless of whether they're on or off the leash.
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long legs and athletic, thin body; long and narrow head with pointed muzzle; short, smooth coat in many different solid and brindle colors
04 of 10
Border Collies are known for excelling at herding, but this in-built drive can sometimes manifest itself in a pet home in a negative way. You may find they chase after small children, perhaps even nipping at their heels. They might even chase after cars or bikes.
If their herding and chasing instincts aren't channelled appropriately, it can become an unhealthy obsession.
Providing you're prepared to put the work in; this isn't usually an impossible problem. Collies are often considered to be one the smartest dog breeds. They're very trainable and eager to please.
Putting the time in using positive, force-free training methods and making sure they get plenty of exercise and enrichment, can mean these dogs can still be great companions in the right home.
Height: 18 to 22 inches
Weight: 28 to 48 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized; rough or smooth medium-length double coat that comes in a variety of colors, but most commonly black and whiteContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Huskies are a high-intensity, high-endurance breed developed to have the stamina to cover many miles pulling sleds across the harsh arctic tundra.
These dogs have a natural instinct to roam, and they can be notoriously unreliable when it comes to recall when off-leash.
If you put a lot of work into recall training, some Huskies can be given off-leash time in the right environment.
For others, you may need to find secure fields, or use a long line, to give them the opportunity to run free.
Your garden should also have a secure and high fence to prevent them from scaling it and escaping.
Height: 21 to 23 inches
Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized dog, with dense, plush double coat ranging from black to white and other colors; erect ears and well-furred tail
06 of 10
Beagles can be notoriously vocal. They were bred to use their distinctive baying howl to alert their hunter to the scent or sight of their quarry. Some Beagles are more vocal than others. Making sure they get enough exercise and stimulation can help to prevent barking as a result of boredom.
Some Beagles just bark for the love of it, though, and very little is needed to set off a fit of howls, yelps, whines and barks. Of course, if you put the work in with training, it can be possible to encourage your Beagle to offer an alternative, more desirable behavior instead. But, if you like a quiet household, you may want to consider a different breed, known for barking less.
Height: 13 to 15 inches
Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular body with a domed skull, squarish muzzle, long floppy ears, and perky long tail held upward; short coats in all hound colors, including but not limited to tri-color (tan, black, and white), red and white, and lemon and white
07 of 10
The large Japanese Akita is known for being brave, unfailingly loyal and protective. Akitas can, however, be aloof or wary with strangers, and they're often intolerant, or even aggressive towards other dogs.
Of course, with early, appropriate and ongoing socialization and training, some Akitas are happy in the company of other dogs, but often they're a dog best suited to being the only one in the household.
They're unlikely to be a dog that will suit a romp in the local dog park or attending a doggy daycare facility. Given their power, headstrong nature and propensity towards reactivity, Akitas aren't a dog suited to a novice owner.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Triangular head; curled tail; thick double coat; colors include black, fawn, red, and more
08 of 10
Bulldogs are incredibly popular. They have a comical, characterful appearance and they're known for being gentle, playful and laid back.
Over the years the Bulldog has been bred with a more squat appearance. They have more wrinkles and their face has become flatter, making them one of the more extreme brachycephalic breeds. This selective breeding process has not worked in the breed favor and they're now often plagued with health problems.
Because of their popularity, lots of unscrupulous puppy mills and backyard breeders have bred Bulldogs indiscriminately making this problem worse. It's important to look for a reputable breeder who performs health checks on prospective parents. Even if you do go to a breeder with a solid reputation, you should be prepared for potential health problems. Bulldogs are commonly associated with respiratory problems, eye disorders and joint problems.
Height: 14 to 15 inches
Weight: 40 to 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-size dog that has a thick-set body with straight, short, fine-textured, smooth coat colored red, white, fawn, or fallow (pale brown); short-muzzled head is massive and squareContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
While Chow Chows can be calm, loyal and relatively low energy, they aren't a dog suited to a novice dog owner.
They can be reactive towards other dogs, and they're known for being independent and very strong-willed. This can make training a challenge. Trying to force a Chow to do something they don't want to isn't likely to end well.
If you have the patience and enthusiasm, however, training a Chow Chow isn't impossible. Keeping training sessions short and fun, using force-free techniques and having lots of yummy treat rewards can produce surprisingly good results. Just don't be expecting a competition-winning agility or obedience competitor in your Chow!
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Chows have a blue-black tongue; thick, dense double coat can be rough or smooth and the.colors include red, black, blue, and more
10 of 10
Jack Russell Terriers have spunky personalities, lots of intelligence and energy, and they're known for being robust and healthy. Their inbuilt terrier traits, though, can be a challenge for some owners. Given their historical reputation as champion vermin catchers, they often have a high prey drive and love to dig.
If you have a beautifully manicured lawn that is your pride and joy, you could be running the risk of finding holes all over it after you introduce a JRT to your home. Of course, if you're willing to provide them with a dedicated outlet for their digging, like a sandpit, and you put the work in when it comes to training, this isn't an insurmountable problem.
Height: 13 to 14 inches
Weight: 13 to 17 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Smooth or broken coat; colors include white with black, brown, or tan markings; square compact build; head is small and blocky with almond-shaped dark eyes; dropped ears, set high; slim, erect tail
Before considering any of the dogs mentioned on the list above, you should be honest with yourself about whether their potential additional care requirements are things that you would be willing to work with.
While some of the temperament traits mentioned on this are common for these breeds, don't forget, every dog is an individual.