What's the Best Dog for You?

If you plan on getting a dog, why not also save a dog's life? Millions of dogs are put to death every year because no one adopts them. If more people went to shelters instead of pet stores, that number could drop dramatically.

Actress Minnie Driver, a dog lover and a black labrador owner, says the best dogs come from shelters.

"They know you were there to save them," she said.

Many prospective dog owners wonder what kind of dog they should get. "GMA Weekend Edition" consulted the experts -- veterinarians, the Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Petplace.com -- to find out which are the best types of dogs for different situations.

Best Dogs for Families with Kids

If you have kids, then the most important quality to look for in the dog is an even temperament. You need a calm dog that won't mind if his hair gets pulled and is large enough to withstand a child stepping on him. Stay away from toy dogs, but retrievers and larger terriers typically are a good bet for families with children.

Here are some breeds that will work:


Golden Retriever

Irish Setter



Best Dogs for City Dwellers

Three factors to consider when getting a dog for an apartment are size, energy level and noise level. You don't want a super-crazed, medium-sized dog in a one-bedroom apartment. If you want a higher energy level, go for a smaller dog. If you are OK with a low energy level, try a larger dog like a cocker spaniel. As for the noise factor, be considerate of your neighbors and choose a dog that isn't a barker or a yipper.

Any of these dogs will be a good fit:


Toy dogs, i.e. Toy Poodles

Cocker Spaniels


Best Dogs for the Elderly

Elderly people need dogs that are easy to manage in both size and temperament. A lap dog is perfect because you don't want a dog that will overwhelm its owner by being physically demanding. The dog should be easy to handle and manage.

All of these will suit the elderly:


Shih Tzus


Cocker Spaniels



Best Dogs for Outdoor Living

All dogs need to be outside at some point every day. But some breeds can actually live outdoors permanently, which is perfect if you envision your dog in the yard all day. These dogs from the guardian group welcome the opportunity to romp around in the grass all day. And they're big and noisy, so they're ill-suited to indoor life.

These dogs love the outdoors:



German Shepherds