Choosing the dog that will best fit into your lifestyle can be very tricky for the average person. Most people pick a dog according to the dogs looks, not thinking that they may have a family with children or live in a area where they cannot exercise the dog properly. I have been training dogs for thirty years in clients homes. I will give you tips on picking the right breed for your lifestyle. The first thing to remember the average age most dogs live is 12-15 yrs. This means you need to try to look 15yrs. into the future whether your single, retired, or already have a family with children. Since I train in S.W. Florida where a good percentage of my clients are retired. I will start with the best choices for retirees,most retirees are better off with the smaller breeds even being in very good shape remember12-15 yrs. Most condominiums and deed restricted areas accept the small breeds as you age you will probaly end up living in these situations. The biggest problem with small breeds is housebreaking, and aggression. I will suggest the five breeds that I feel are the easiest to housebreak and typically have very social temperaments.
The number one easiest breed is the minature poodle. These are fantastic little dogs easy to housebreak typically have very nice temperments you really cannot go wrong with this breed. The few downfalls would be grooming and at times medically are known to have eye problems. Number two would be the Havanese, a little known breed but they are gaining popularity. This is a big plus it typically means the breed has not been overbred, most breeds that become popular are typically overbred. Which inturn creates horrible temperments mainly aggression, and it also creates many medical problems the breed was never known for. Purchase a breed book like Simon and Schusters has one of the best and look at a picture of the Havanese they are adorable little dogs and typically are very willing to please. Number 3 would be the cairn terrier a solid little dog that is easy to housebreak and train. The nice thing about the Cairn Terrier for retirees is they can be very active little dogs, they will keep you going they love their walks and they can handle walking longer distances if you enjoy that yourself. All in all fun little dogs alot of spirit. I would also suggest a Welsh Corgi a little larger than the breeds I have mentioned but they are perfect for the retiree that has had large dogs their hole life and feel like they need to move down to a smaller breed. Corgis can fit right into Condo life. Last but not forgotten just because they are my favorite small breed the pomeranian. They are not right for everybody but they have alot of spirit and if trained properly can b e one of the best dogs you have ever had. I have had two so far myself my first one was named Foxy and she was the proper lady she was the typical red pom. The one I have now is named Vixen she is a rare black and gold pom and she is a little tomboy.
Next group would be families with children. Depending on how old the children are young or in their teens make quite a difference. Most families are better off with the larger breeds, the can handle the punishment of young children, and they are sturdy enough to play with the teenager. One of the nicest breeds for a family would be a Border Collie. In my opinion one of the smartest dogs their is, definetly the easiest to train, they are fantastic with children this breed is a great choice for any family. My second suggestion would be a very popular breed and with good reason. The Golden Retreiver is already well known as great family dogs and most every good thing you hear about this breed is true. A fairly new breed is my next choice they are called a Labadoodle they are gaining popularity very fast, with good reason. This breed is a cross between a Labrador Retreiver and a Poodle. A great combination a little goofy when young but are very trainable, and have great social skills a very good choice. The next two breeds I would choose need more training but are very good choices for the family that wants a dog that loves their family but also has very good protective instincts. The Giant Schauzer does real well in a family situation in fact all the schnauzers do, but the giant is very serious about protecting their family. This breed should have proper obedience training with a professional trainer out at your home, this way you have communication with dog so they will make intelligent choices in different circumstances. And of course most professional dog trainers favorite breed the German Shepherd with proper training their is no other breed that can acheive more than a shepherd. They are a great choice as long as they are well socialized with children and other dogs between 2-6mths. This is the dogs fear imprint age 90 percent of the dogs social manners develop at this age this is why you should start training any dog at 8wks. of age.
The single person would do well by picking any of the breeds I have mentioned, depending on if you would like a large breed or small breed. The only other breed that I would suggest is a personal favorite and that would be a Doberman Pincher great choice for a single man or women that wanted a brilliant companion but also is a great bodyguard with proper training. Alot of silly falicies about this breed most of them are wrong. I will tell you without a doubt with proper training one of the best dogs you will ever have. Without quality training they could be your worst nightmare. I hope this will give you a better insight on picking out your next dog. Remember dogs are a big responsibility that you will have for at least 12-15yrs, so please have them trained as well as yourself and go to a quality breeder that guarantees their dogs.