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Dog Daze: Picking right pup rests squarely on your shoulders

Go ahead, pick a pooch, any pooch.
Well, maybe not just any, old puppy or dog will do.
The American Kennel Club recently released its winner as the favorite dog among would be and current pet owners, and the winner once again is the Lab. Accordingly to the American Kennel Club, the Lab is lapping the competition as this breed has claimed America's favorite for 23 consecutive years.
Congratulations are in order for the Lab, but even with its immense popularity across the 50 states, one has to wonder if it is necessarily the perfect fit for anyone. Chances are, there's a particular dog breed out there that is better for you than another.
So now, how do you find it?

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To truly find a perfect match between man, woman, child and canine, you might have to be a little more selective as part of the process. Simply visiting a pet store, local animal shelter or following the "free puppies" sign, closing your eyes and pointing at the dog you want could, in the long run, turn into an at home headache once you and your new dog hit the couch.
So what exactly should you be looking for in a dog? Plenty of criteria play a huge role in determining which dog is right for you, whether you look at how big or small the dog should be or if you want something that isn't quite as high maintenance as others.
The size factor plays a huge role in the selection process and can be looked at from a variety of angles, one of which is determining just how much space you and your house have for a dog. If you don't have much of a back yard and the rooms in your house are relatively small, you might want to stay clear of a Great Dane, for example.
Smaller dogs tend to be a better fit for equally little homes. If you're interested in heavy duty playing and even frolicking with your new friend, then adopting or purchasing a small dog could lead to catastrophic results. Smaller dogs tend to get injured easier, so if you're wrestling with the idea of a small dog, you may want to upgrade to something a little larger if you plan of roughhousing with them.
And speaking of your home, how attached are you to the cleanliness factor associated with it? You may want to contemplate that, too, when choosing a new dog. If you're not interested in spending the rest of your free time sifting through pet hair or lint rolling your couch to the point of exhaustion, you should take a long, hard look at a dog that doesn't shed that much. And if you have even the slightest allergic reaction to dogs, but balk at the idea of not having one, then go short hair for sure.
It's hard not to love any and all dogs, especially if you've had one for the majority of your childhood and adult years. But handpicking just any dog doesn't bode well for you, and could easily turn man's best friend into your worst nightmare.

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