October 25, 2013 9:53 am

There is little more exciting to a child than having Santa bring a Christmas puppy or dog during the holidays. However, the holiday season is not necessarily a good time to buy a puppy, unless you personally know the breeder. You do not want a “puppy mill” dog. Instead, you can always pick out a stuffed toy dog as close to your chosen breed as you can find, let the children open it, and enclose a note from Santa that the real puppy will be there as soon as s/he’s old enough to travel.

In any case, once you decide you will be a dedicated and responsible dog owner, it is time to choose the breed.

A good way to start is to think about what you expect from a dog.

There are many expectations you could have.

Breeds such as herding dogs, or working dogs, make excellent exercise partners, but they DO require a lot of exercise so they take a real commitment to several hours of exercising a day. These dogs are known to be intelligent and they make good companions.

Puli_KlineSqDogs in this group include the Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collie, Bouvier des Flandres, Welsh Corgi, Collie, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Puli, and Shetland Sheepdog, among others.

Brittany_KlineSqSome hunting breeds, on the other hand, only typically require a good walk twice daily. Some of these dogs are the Dachshund, Brittany, English Setter, and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Golden_Retriever_KlineSqWhile the breed of the dog certainly does not necessarily determine how well a dog will get along within the family, certain breeds are typically known to be more suited to living with children. Examples are the Labrador, the Golden Retriever, and, believe it or not, the Standard Poodle, although it is important to remember that the breed is only one factor in a dog’s temperament and behavior.

Click here to see the portraits of over 110 dog breeds drawn from words.

Do you want a puppy or a grown dog?

Of course, each one has its advantages. A puppy is irresistibly cute, and you can start raising him almost from the beginning. However, training a puppy takes a significant amount of time and patience. An older dog can require less attention and can typically be left for longer periods of time.

Once you have decided on the breed, you can buy and wrap all the pet supplies your new family member will need, and let your children open these as well. So whether or not your new pet is under the tree on Christmas morning, this holiday should be one of your most memorable.

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