Getting a dog is a little like choosing a mate – you want one that's good-looking, sure, but use that as your sole criterion and you're in trouble. It's important to do some research – and a bit of soul-searching first – particularly if you're interested in a purebred pup. "Guys can be lazy, but you need to do your homework," says Bill Berloni, Broadway dog trainer and director of animal behavior for the Humane Society of New York. "At the Humane Society, we screen people to find the individual dog that's right for them. There is a personality factor to each breed, so that's a good place to start. We really get people to self-examine." Avoid stereotypes, too. Not all big dogs want to play fetch; some just want to lounge. And not all small dogs are quivering barkaholics; some are strong, silent types. Sound overwhelming? Not if you keep your choices to one of these nine breeds.
Credit: Getty Images