How I Met My Dog

Why Breed Isn't the Only Thing that Matters

There are many factors that come into play when deciding which dog to bring home and surprisingly, a pretty face should not be first on the list. Analyzing the things that lead to long term compatibility are for more important than thinking about breed alone. While each dog breed was bred for a specific purpose, and different breeds tend to show particular characteristics, every dog is unique. No matter the breed, your dog is an individual with a personality distinctly their own.

At How I Met My Dog, instead of focusing on breed, we put special emphasis on three main comPETibility factors: Personality, Expectations and Training Style.

Having the comfort of knowing that you and your dog have been matched on a deeper level means all the difference when welcoming a new pet into your home and heart.

Some factors that do matter when considering your new furry friend:  Age, Size, Gender and Special Needs.


While some dogs act like puppies well into their senior years, here are some important factors to remember about each age group:

Puppy (8 weeks - 6 months)

  • High Energy
  • Require training
  • Frequent bathroom breaks
  • Still growing
  • Will not be spayed/neutered

Older Puppy (6+ months - 1 year)

  • Typically high energy
  • May already be spayed/neutered
  • Still growing
  • Require training

Young (1+ year - 3 years)

  • May or may not be high energy, depending on the individual
  • Might already be housebroken
  • Might know some basic commands
  • Might already be crate trained
  • Typically already spayed/neutered
  • May be still growing

Adult (3+ years - 7 years)

  • May or may not be high energy, depending on the individual  
  • Might already be housebroken
  • Might know some basic commands
  • Might already be crate trained
  • Typically already spayed/neutered
  • Fully grown

Older Adult (7+ years) 

  • Typically lower energy
  • May require wellness maintenance
  • Usually Housebroken
  • Usually spayed/neutered
  • Usually crate trained
  • Fully grown
  • Typically require less exercise

While these characteristics are generalizations and every dog is unique, it’s helpful to consider these points carefully when choosing the right age range of dog for you and your family. Do you have the time to commit to a young puppy? Do you prefer an older, more established and less energetic dog? Or, are you looking for a dog in between the two?


Size really does matter, but not the way you might think. Considering a dog’s personality size is just as important as considering their physical size. And depending on the size of your home, your dog food budget, and your lifestyle, choosing the right size dog is an important aspect of ensuring a successful match.

Smaller dogs in the X-Small, Small and Small/Medium categories require less food and less square footage than larger dogs in the Medium/Large, Large and X-Large categories but can be just as large in personality. Special consideration needs to be taken with X-Small dogs when around young children. X-Small dogs can be easily injured if a child accidentally drops or steps on the dog. If you plan to have your X-Small or Small dog sleep with you, they may need to picked up and put down when getting on and off of tall beds and furniture to ensure that they aren’t injured from jumping. Extra-Large and Large dogs require big spaces to accommodate their big bodies! If you live in a tiny apartment with very little space, an X-Large or Large dog may not be the best choice for your lifestyle.


While gender traits are a real thing, individual personality often trumps gender. Being open to the right fit sometimes means being open to either gender.


  • If not spayed, will go into heat
  • Typically live most successfully with other male dogs


  • Typically live most successfully with other male or female dogs
  • If not neutered, will seek out female dogs that are in heat

Special Needs

Dogs with special needs come in all ages, sizes and genders. Some dogs with special needs require more hands-on personal and veterinary care than others. If you are willing and able to open your heart and home to a dog with special needs, they will be forever grateful for your love and kindness.

At How I Met My Dog, we like to say that every dog is different and so is every person looking for a dog. No matter how you filter your matches, we will only show you dogs that fit your personality, expectations and training style. So the more flexible you are with your size, age and gender filters, the more likely you are to find not just a great dog, but your perfect match.

Mutts and More

~25% of all dogs in shelters are pure bred

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