PET Guide Magazine 2016

Page 34

IN IT FOR LIFE Top breeds can capture our hearts, but do your research before your find your furever friend BY NANCY MONSON




f you’ve fallen in love with a popular dog breed, it’s wise to remember that “popular” doesn’t always mean “compatible.” Before you open your home to a roly-poly Lab puppy or a sweet-faced beagle, help ensure that the two of you will be a lifelong match. As many rescue groups can attest, the road to the animal shelter can be paved with good intentions. To begin, research the breed’s personality traits, potential health issues, energy levels and trainability to determine if the dog will likely fit your lifestyle, interests and budget. We talked to the experts for some insights into several breeds that America adores. Here’s a look at some of the most endearing — and challenging — characteristics of five breeds on the top 10 list of most popular dogs, as determined by the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) registration statistics for 2015.