How to Pick the Right Dog for Men: Budget, Breed, Lifestyle

No Urban Gentleman and Gentlepup series would be complete without a TUG Guide to Picking the Right Dog for You.

When on the search for a new pup the selection process can be as simple or detailed as you would like.  Three years ago, when I was on the hunt for a new dog, there were a few things I knew I HAD to have: he needed to be small (I lived in an apartment), he needed to not shed (I didn't want to have to constantly cleanup hair), and he needed to be smart (I couldn't deal with slow/stubborn dog at that point in my life, lol ;). Those parameters narrowed down my list pretty quickly, so similarly I would advise you to  follow the steps below when choosing a new dog.

Fitzgerald, the Schnauzer in a custom denim bow-tie

List of 6 Steps to take when Searching for the Right Dog

1. Think about your lifestyle and what you want and need from a dog-– write down your findings. This doesn't have to be long, just a few sentences. After doing this you'll probably already have a few breeds in mind that you think could work.

2. Decide what size you want: Small, Medium, Large. This will largely depend on where you live and on your purpose for having a dog.  Are you in the suburbs or city? 1 bedroom apartment or 6 bedroom townhouse?  While there are big dogs that do well in small spaces, its always best to try to keep the dog's size proportionate to your living situation.

Also get down to the nitty gritty of why you want a dog– just for companionship?  to play sports/be active with? to be an extra layer of security? If your sole purpose is to just have an on-call co-pilot then you may be more keen to have a smaller size. On the other hand if you want a dog that can be your canine bouncer then you'll likely want a pup with more build and stature.

3. Figure out your Budget. Dogs can range in price from being free to thousands of dollars – It depends on where you get them. Think about the max you'd want to pay for a dog or atleast a range. If you're open to getting a mixed breed dog then it'll likely be less expensive because you can find them at shelters/humane societies. If you want a specific breed then you may pay a premium.

4. Take the test. Now that you have the 3 essentials factors figured out you can move forward with taking a dog breed selector / personality test. There are a ton of apps and online-self assessments to figure out which breed is best for you:

Animal Planet Personality Test

Dogtime Breed Selector

Purina Dog Quiz

Your results will likely lead to similar breeds so after taking the tests you should have narrowed your list down a lot to either 1 or 2. 

5. Do Background Research. Now it's time to do some thorough background research in your top choice(s). Read about your breed in the general online places (i.e Google), but also look at breed specific blogs and in breed specific forums.

6. Select the final dog you want. Marinate on it for a little bit and get the opinions of some family and friends. Now you can go to your local humane society or your local breeder.

 

Dogs for Men

Your results from the test above may vary, but below are a few breeds to consider

Staffordshire Terriers (aka Pitbulls), Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Doberman, and Golden Retrievers seems to be the top dogs of choice for most men. This is even reflected on TV– whether its Isis, the yellow Lab of Downtown Abbey or a 3-legged Pitbull named Champion from Parks & Rec. But when living in the city you don't always want a large dog. You low-key like your girlfriends small dog, and wouldn't mind a similarly sized pup but Yorkies, Toy Poodles, and Pomeranian just seem too girly and froo froo. So what does a guy get when he wants a small dog…

 

Best Small Dogs for Guys:

1. Miniature Schnauzer.

The Miniature Schnauzer is from the terrier family and that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Weight: 11-20 Life span: 12 – 15 years. Temperament: Spirited, Alert, Obedient, Friendly, Fearless, Intelligent. Read more about them, here.

2. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier aka the "American Gentleman" originates from the United States. Weight: 10-20lbs. Life span: 13 – 15 years. Temperament: Lively, Friendly, Intelligent. Read more about them, here.

3. French Bulldog

The French Bulldog aka "Frenchies" originates from France and England. Weight: 16-28lbs. Life span: 10 – 12 years. Dog Temperament: Lively, Playful, Athletic, Alert, Easygoing, Bright, Keen, Patient, Affectionate, Sociable. Read more about them, here.

4. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu originates from Japan. A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting. Weight: 15-24lbs. Life span: 12 – 15 years Temperament: Charming, Alert, Faithful, Confident, Keen, Fearless. Read more about them, here.

5. Miniature Golden Retriever

While creating new hybrids and mixing breeds is not looked on favorably, I will admit to really liking the newer Miniature Golden Retrievers aka Petite Golden Retriever. I first saw one in the park a year or so ago and it was a very attractive dog. Weight: 20-40lbs.  Life Span varies. Temperament: varies (that of a cocker spaniel, poodle, and golden retriever).

See more of our Urban Gentleman and Urban Gentlepup Series, here.

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