Matching A Dog’s Needs to Your Lifestyle

Have you ever watched a dog show on TV and fell in love with a particular breed of dog? Attraction to a dog’s physical appearance is just one of many reasons to select a particular dog for your family. Recently DogTipper had the opportunity to talk with John O’Hurley, co-host of the National Dog Show and a dog lover himself, about his tips about selecting the right dog for your family:

I think the first thing that you have to do is to find a dog that fits your lifestyle and I think you have to be very, very honest about what you have to offer a dog rather than what the dog has to offer you.

It, you know, nothing distresses me more than to see a Great Dane walking out of a small apartment in New York City, you know it just doesn’t fit and it’s, I think, a certain sense of irresponsibility in that you have to really give the dog what it needs in an environment. I think that’s the first part of responsible dog ownership is to find a dog that meets your ability to maintain that dog.

Photo courtesy National Dog Show

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.

  • Deb

    Having two high energy breeds (Kelpie and Jack Russell Terrier), I am often concerned when people who obviously do not understand the physical and mental requirements of breeds with high drive. "Walkies" will not suffice for dogs like this. Eight or more hours alone or in a crate while owners are working, will drive them insane!

    No matter what a dog looks like, first look at what a breed needs to be healthy. Ask other owners with lots of experience in the breed what their experiences have been. Talk to rescuers who specialize in the breed…they will have seen what problems routinely crop up.

    If you really want a certain dog, then consider if changing YOUR lifestyle might be the only way to have one. Are you willing (as I did) to move to a farm in the country? It meant giving up a lot of career opportunities, but the satisfaction of living with working dogs in THEIR proper environment, more than made up for it.