Picking the right dog as a companion can be a challenge. The easiest way to find the perfect dog is to know yourself and what is right for you.

Multiple dog breeds clipart image
All dogs are perfect but not all dogs are perfect for you.
From Dane Lingwood on ClipArtKey

To thine own self be true means simply get to know and be honest with yourself.  Picking the perfect dog can help you to find the best version of you, which is what we all want. To be happy and enjoy how we spend our time.

However, we’ve all done it. Tried something on at the store in the fitting room, thinking it is perfect only to get home and find out your mirror and the store mirror have a difference of opinion. Thus, leading you on a search for the receipt and a trip back to the store for a refund or exchange. 

Dogs aren’t like jeans. It takes some time before buyers remorse kicks in and you realize that the dog is not the perfect one for you. Here are some tips for picking the perfect dog for the right you.

  1. Money pick- How much do you want to spend on your dog?  Like kids and houses, the bigger they are, the more they cost. This isn’t any different for dogs. Food is expensive, and the bigger the dog, the more it eats. All other costs, beds, medicine, travel, are based on size so, money may be a factor.
  1. Activity pick- Dogs take on the traits of their owners, but only to a degree. Certain dogs are hardwired to be a certain way. They are perfect as them, but they may not be right for you. For example, if you are a gamer and spend a lot of time sitting and chilling, a hyperactive dog is not the right pick for you. Subsequently, if you are go-go-go and you bring home a couch potato, those long walks or runs may still be a solo adventure.
  1. Size pick – All things, including us, take up space. Nothing new there. A dog takes up space, and even the smallest dog will seem bigger than it is at times. If you live on a property where the dog can roam, sniff, and play, size isn’t a factor. But if you live in the city, a smaller dog may be the perfect fit.
Man walking with a golden retriever dog in his backpack
Knowing what you like to do is important for picking the perfect dog!
Photo by Spencer Gurley from Pexels

My first dog on my own was a yellow labrador, Haiku. She was a beautiful dog from the pound who was by my side through thick and thin for 13 years until I put her to sleep.  She was perfect and right for me. We traveled to 48 states together, and she would find a water spot everywhere we went. As she aged, I moved to a city, and she was happy. A walk around the block was perfect for her.

After Haiku, I moved abroad and missed having a dog. I am a better me with a dog by my side. I know this now to be true, but, I travel a lot. My first year abroad I flew more times in one year than I had ever before in my life. So I knew if I were to get another dog, for it to be perfect, it needed to be small.

The problem is, I am also an ultra runner and outdoorsman. I spend as much time as I can, running in the mountains. So my perfect dog needed to be small and energetic and fit in the cabin on a plane.

Brown, black, and white Jack Russell Terrier dog laying on a couch
Gezi, the perfect dog for the Right Me.
Photo from author

Google helped direct me to one dog breed, a Jack Russell Terrier. Gezi, my JRT is now three, and in those three years, she has been the perfect dog for the Right Me.