What Kind Of Dog Should I Get?

It can be daunting walking into a rescue, shelter, humane society, or even looking at available dogs online. You have to make decisions based on snap judgements that will last for years to come. Unfortunately, I think more facilities should promote fostering first because much like people, real personalities don't come out until they feel comfortable in a new environment, and you want to make sure you have a dog that fits well into your lifestyle and jives with your family! With that being said, here are a few tips that may help you make a decision. Please remember the following are my observations about generalities with the breed. Not every dog will fit into this description. The best suggestion I can make is to talk to the folks at the facility that know the dogs personally. They are not trying to pull one over on you, in fact they all work very hard to make sure that the dog is as good a fit for you as possible. So take your time, ask questions, and trust your gut. With that being said, here are some pros and cons for 10 popular dog breeds in Austin.

1. Golden Doodle


Pros: Less shedding that most dogs, gentle natured, love people, tend to have good spacial awareness, extremely smart, tend to do well with children, need moderate exercise, tend to do well with other animals, can have anxiety issues, but they are easily correctable with low levels of training. 

Common Training Trends: moderate anxiety, leash pullers, can have separation issues, can need moderate grooming, higher level of energy in the house, can have trouble with coming when called, not natural fetchers, need to teach them how to listen. Need lots of structure and exercise.

2. Shih Tzu/Maltese/Mini Schnauzer


Pros: Gentle, compact size, great for less active households, gentle personalities, usually good with people and other animals, usually good with kids, medium to low energy dogs, usually don't chew on furniture, easier small dogs to house train.

Common Training Trends: barking at strangers/front door/window, coming when called, can struggle with confidence, can be shy with new people, need fair amount of grooming, can be stubborn. 

3. Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies)


Pros: Small size, don't need to be in active home, tends to thrive in quieter households, gets along well with other dogs, usually gets along well with other animals, usually good at coming when called, not big chewers, can be ok with older kids, don't need a lot of space or yard.

Common Training Trends: HOUSE BREAKING is the #1 issue with Yorkies! They are notoriously difficult to potty train (especially when it's raining). Confidence issues, separation anxiety, need high level of grooming, can be snippy with small children, can be barky.

4. Dachshunds (Doxie's)


Pros: Do not need active household, do not need a lot of space, do well with other dogs, do well with older family members, minimal grooming needed, can be more independent than other small breeds, can be more confident.

Common Training Trends: Another top contender for most problems with housebreaking (especially forgetting how to go outside when it is raining!). Can be barky, stubborn, can have multiple health issues with backs, joints, and skin, can be snippy with children and people they do not know well. Usually have moderate prey drive for birds, small animals, and can be diggers.

5. Pit Bulls

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Pros: Very smart, great for active families, love toys and interactive play with families. Can be great with kids and animals, will vary greatly by individual dog. Loyal, loving, known for being snuggly, great at wanting to please, fast learners, minimal grooming.

Common Training Trends: Can have problems with other dogs and/or animals, can have a lot of energy, need a lot of exercise and structure in home, can be jumpers/diggers, can struggle with dominance issues and are quick to absorb energy of the household. They get a bad rap! Be aware of housing restrictions and insurance limitations with owning this breed.

6. German Shepard

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Pros: Extremely smart, great for active households, quick learners, can vary greatly on getting along with other animals and children. Naturally want to play with toys, run, and interact with all members of the family, tend to be more independent, easy for them to learn to listen, come when called, want to please you.

Common Training Trends: Can be overly protective of family members, need a LOT of exercise mentally and physically to keep them out of trouble. They were bred to be a working dog, so they need a job to do. Known for shedding, can be destructive and barky without proper outlet for energy.

7. Great Dane


Pros: Usually great with other animals and kids, relatively calm for a big dog once they are fully grown, minimal grooming, gentle once fully grown, don't slobber as much as other giant breeds, need structured exercise, but not a lot of running necessarily. Not overly independent or clingly, do well on their own during the day.

Common Training Trends: Not great spacial awareness for being a giant breed, can unintentionally bump small children, knock over low objects. Everything is more expensive for giant breeds, from dog beds and food down to vet bills just due to size (something to consider). Can be rambunctious until fully grown, known for pulling on a leash and sitting on furniture.

8. Golden Retriever


Pros: Very friendly, tend to love all people and other animals, gentle natured, soft mouthed, smart, great at playing with toys and good for active families. Do well with more chaotic lifestyle, like being close with their families, learn very quickly, make great therapy and service dogs.

Common Training Trends: Can be too clingy, can be chewers, shed A LOT! Always need to be holding something in their mouths. Need a moderate amount of exercise mentally and physically to stay in shape, and keep energy in check especially while growing up. Can have some health problems, usually skin, ear, and prone to cancers. 

9. Labrador


Pros: Very smart, lots of energy, naturally want to play and interact with family, learn very quickly, can make great therapy or service dogs. Usually do well with other animals and people, usually do well with children although the energy level can be too high for small children. Can do well in more chaotic households.

Common Training Trends: Leash pulling, excessive energy, no spacial awareness, need a job to do and a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay out of trouble, can be destructive especially at a younger age, can be stubborn. 

10. Husky


Pros: Independent, extremely intelligent, gentle, known for having a sense of humor, great spacial awareness inside a home environment, naturally playful, generally good with kids, can be wary of other dogs, usually good with other animals.

Common Training Trends: RUNNING AWAY, fiercely independent, stubborn, need moderate amount of exercise, big time shedders, coming when called, destructive behavior if not enough stimulation mentally or physically.


These are the most common traits I see in some of the most common dog breeds. For help finding the perfect fit for your family, or for addressing some of these attributes listed above contact us today!

To learn other tricks, tips or if you have any questions please visit our website at www.dogtrainingredefined.com or email Andrea at Andrea@theanimaldept.com