Looking at Lifestyle
Lifestyle decisions aren't all about interior decorating or fashion, though those things are certainly part of it. When it comes to choosing a dog, it shouldn't be based on whether you think he'll look good with your sofa, or whether he'll go well with your English garden. How reflective a dog is of whether your clothing choices run to Ralph Lauren or Levis shouldn't matter, either. A dog is not an accessory; he is an animal with a mind and personality all his own, and having one is like having another person in the house.
How much time do I need to have for a dog?
If you've owned a dog before you may have a sense of how much time it takes to care for one properly. If you haven't, you need to give the matter some serious thought. Besides the time you need to spend taking care of a dog's most basic needs for food, water, going to the bathroom, exercise, grooming, and overall health (and that's a lot right there), you need to factor in the time you must spend interacting with your dog. Dogs are social animals who thrive on companionship.
Analyze what you do every day. What is your idea of fun? Is it rollerblading? Riding your bike? Watching a movie or sports on television? Going hiking? Going on little day trips in the car? Going to the park or beach and lying out in the sun? Do you work? If so, is it part-time or full-time, and what are your hours? Do you like to come home, shower, and go back out to dinner and the movies or your favorite bar? Are you allergic to pets? You have to ask yourself these kinds of questions when you are choosing a dog so that you can pick the dog that's best for you.
If you're an in-line skater, you want to know that when you come home, you can suit up, put a leash on Rover, and bring him along. You want a dog who shares in that fun. You need an athletic dog who has the stamina and explosive energy to keep up with you. You don't want some sedentary hound who's panting after the first half-mile. Likewise, if you like going for an evening stroll, you don't want some drooling half-lunatic pulling you around the block like a crazed demon. You want a good dog who is happy plodding along at a leisurely pace while you enjoy the evening air together.
Maybe you need a dog who can keep up with your children and whom you can trust with them. You need your dog to be a companion and playmate for your kids to share in their well-behaved fun.