If you are thinking about adding a new furry addition to your family, the most important thing is to do some research first! As tempting as it may be, it is not wise to rush out and buy the cutest fluffiest puppy you can find without doing some homework.
Unfortunately this happens all too often and will result in a situation where the animal ends up (through no fault of its own) being surrendered to a shelter as the owners cannot cope. This does not necessarily make the owners bad people, even though they often feel like they are! It is mostly down to a lack of knowledge and planning, or just a bad fit. Either way it is a situation we can try to avoid.
Firstly, assess your family situation and demographic.
With family and environment considered, you should have a better idea of what you need in a dog and what a dog needs from you! More importantly, you should also have a better idea now if a puppy is the right choice for you at this time! For some who could not handle the boisterous energy of a puppy or would not be able to dedicate the time and effort to train them, perhaps adopting a dog could be a more appropriate alternative.
With these factors considered, we can start to look at what breed of dog will suit you individually. As we all know, breeds of dog vary so much physically, however their traits and qualities vary also, some will require moderate amounts of exercise whereas some will require much more, some are better around people than other animals, some are prone to breed-specific disease, some are easy to train whereas others can take time! And without trying to sound mean, some are more intelligent than others!
Shelters or rescue centres in Ireland generally operate at near capacity. Unfortunately a lot of the animals involved will spend a majority of lives here, and most likely have had a bad time of it before this. If possible and it suits you, adopting from a centre can be very rewarding for the animal and also for you. Rescue dogs can make wonderful pets.