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Yorkipoo

Loving and confident, the Yorkipoo, a Yorkshire Terrier-Poodle hybrid, is a happy trickster.

Yorkipoo Breed Photo

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group
Hybrid Dogs
Height
Weight
Life Span
10 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics

  • Details

    Adaptability

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    Trainability

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    Health & Grooming

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    All-around friendliness

    based on 4 ratings
  • Details

    Exercise needs

    based on 4 ratings
  • See All Characteristic Ratings


Summary

A fun-loving "designer dog" — and therefore a mixed dog breed — a Yorkipoo is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. Intelligent, affectionate, and gentle, he makes a delightful companion and is perfectly suited to apartment life, especially if you don't mind the barking. He has plenty of energy to be burned off and he loves to play when he's not parked on your lap watching the world go by. His ability to run fast and jump high can be surprising to those who aren't expecting a canine Superman in miniature.

Additional articles you will be interested in:

Adoption
Dog Names
Bringing Home Your Dog
Help with Training Puppies
Housetraining Puppies
Feeding a Puppy
Dog games
Teaching your dog tricks
How to take pictures of your dog

  • Overview

    The Yorkipoo loves people and fun, not necessarily in that order. He will delight his family and is always willing to perform tricks or show off for any visitor. His confidence keeps him from being overly snappy or aggressive; he's happy in his own skin. The Yorkipoo can be an excellent companion to anyone looking for a small, confident dog with ample energy and even greater love.

    Like most of the Poodle hybrids, the Yorkipoo was originally designed to be a companion dog who could reside with allergy sufferers. The goal was a small dog who didn't have the diseases of either the Yorkshire Terrier or Poodle, both of whom have suffered from health problems related to poor breeding or overbreeding.

    Both breeds are intelligent, though, and so is the Yorkipoo. Both breeds enjoy performance competition, such as agility and obedience — and so does the Yorkipoo. The Yorkie is more independent than the Poodle, so a Yorkipoo's independence depends on the temperaments of the individual parents, the Poodle parent in particular. Yorkies don't necessarily need to be on your lap, whereas Toy and Miniature Poodles are practically barnacles; with the Yorkipoo it all depends, again, on the parents.

    The Yorkipoo has low-dander, a low-shedding coat, and the small size of a toy breed. He's happy in many different types of homes and can make an excellent companion for the elderly. With his gentle and loving disposition, the Yorkipoo has proven that he can be a successful therapy dog.

    Unfortunately, some dogs who weigh less than 10 pounds are clueless about their physical size and have been known to launch themselves at big dogs, and the Yorkipoo falls into this category. To protect your Yorkipoo from himself, introduce him to large dogs under supervision, before they interact on their own, to prevent potentially disastrous consequences. Dog parks intended for all sizes of dogs are not suited to canines weighing less than 10 pounds as it's all too easy for them to be seen as prey, and for them to foolishly act aggressively toward a large dog.

    The Yorkipoo does well at training and is usually a quick learner. He can be stubborn, but this trait tends to rear its ugly head if training is harsh or becomes repetitive. Keep his lessons fun and interesting, and all should go easily. Consistent, positive reinforcement is the only way to train a Yorkipoo, especially since harsh corrections can seriously injure such a small dog. Even if injuries weren't a concern, negative reinforcement doesn't work with this dog because he'll simply shut down.

    The Yorkipoo enjoys barking just a little too much ("I love this and I'm good at it!") and generally makes an excellent watchdog. He'll alert bark when someone comes to the door or when he sees anything suspicious (and the chances are good he's got a different definition of suspicious than you do). Some Yorkipoos can be trained to only bark once or twice, but many cannot.

    There's a difference between an intentional breeding of carefully selected Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles versus a Poodle mix who's called a Yorkipoo because no one has any clue what his background really is. When the mix works as intended, you get the intelligence and spirit of the Poodle and the bold terrier aspects of the Yorkie. Of course, when the mix doesn't work, you can get a submissive, urinating fear-biter — but that can happen in any mixed breed, and in any purebred with unhappy genes.

  • Highlights

    • The Yorkipoo is a designer dog and is the result of Yorkshire Terrier to Toy or Miniature Poodle breedings. There's been an increase in multigenerational breeding (Yorkipoo to Yorkipoo), and also in Yorkipoo to Poodle or Yorkipoo to Yorkshire Terrier breeding; but many litters are first generation, the result of breeding two purebred parents.
    • A Yorkipoo is active and energetic, as are both Poodles and Yorkies. He requires daily exercise and does well with a good walk or romp in the yard.
    • Barking is a favorite pastime. Occasionally a Yorkipoo can be trained to bark less, but expect to hear the noise whenever someone comes to the door. He has no clue that his bark doesn't terrify anyone.
    • He is a non- to low-shedder and can make an excellent companion for people with allergies.
    • Daily brushing is needed to keep his fine, silky coat free of tangles and mats.
    • Loving and gentle, the Yorkipoo can make an excellent companion to older, more considerate children. Like most toy breeds, he's not recommended for homes with very young children.
    • He's easy to train if you use positive reinforcement. He's got a stubborn streak, though, so expect some occasional resistance.
    • The Yorkipoo can live very happily in an apartment.
    • He generally does well with other dogs and pets.
    • A companion dog, he may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods at a time.
    • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • History

    Like many designer breeds, the Yorkipoo is quite a young hybrid — he's been popular for about a decade. He was originally developed to create a toy-sized dog who had a hypoallergenic coat and was free of the genetic disorders that affected the parent breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Toy or Miniature Poodle.

    The success of crossing the Poodle with the Yorkshire Terrier has had mixed results, as with any hybrid; but the popularity of the Yorkipoo has grown. Today, most Yorkipoo litters are still the result of first-generation breeding, but some breeders have concentrated on multigenerational crosses in an effort to see the Yorkipoo produce offspring who confirm more consistently to the desired traits.

    There are no breed groups or registries for the Yorkipoo, but efforts have begun to create a direction for all Yorkipoo breeders; these will soon be available at a pending site called www.yorkipoo.org.

  • Size

    The Yorkipoo ranges from 7 to 15 inches in height and 3 to 14 pounds in weight. Size can differ between individuals, and the mature adult size is usually a reflection of the size of Poodle who was used for the crossbreeding.
  • Personality

    The Yorkipoo is an active, affectionate, fun-loving dog who relishes the company of people. He is loving and loyal, a true companion dog who enjoys participating in family activities. He's confident, thanks to his terrier heritage, but usually he's also easygoing and less demanding than many other small breeds.

    He's intelligent enough that, given consistent and positive training, he can be a perfect companion. He tends to be watchful and is happy looking at the world from the warmth of his owner's lap, but he also enjoys exploring new things on his own.

    Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.

    Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

    Like every dog, the Yorkipoo needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Yorkipoo puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

    Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

  • Health

    Yorkipoos are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Yorkipoos will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

    If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Yorkipoos, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).

    • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a neurological condition that's often, but not always, inherited. It can cause mild or severe seizures that may show themselves as unusual behavior (such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding) or even by falling down, limbs rigid, and losing consciousness. Seizures are frightening to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. It's important to take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis (especially since seizures can have other causes) and treatment.
    • Patellar Luxation: Also known as slipped stifles, this is a common problem in small dogs. The patella is the kneecap. Luxation means dislocation of an anatomical part (as a bone at a joint). Patellar luxation is when the knee joint (often of a hind leg) slides in and out of place, causing pain. This can be crippling, although many dogs lead relatively normal lives with this condition.
    • Portosystemic Shunt (PSS): This is an abnormal flow of blood between the liver and the body. That's a problem, because the liver is responsible for detoxifying the body, metabolizing nutrients, and eliminating drugs. Signs can include but are not limited to neurobehavioral abnormalities, lack of appetite, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), intermittent gastrointestinal issues, urinary tract problems, drug intolerance, and stunted growth. Signs usually appear before two years of age. Corrective surgery can be helpful in long-term management, as can a special diet.
    • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This is a condition involving the hip joint. If your Yorkipoo has Legg-Perthes, the blood supply to the head of the femur (the large rear leg bone) is decreased, and the head of the femur that connects to the pelvis begins to disintegrate. The first symptoms, limping and atrophy of the leg muscle, usually occur when puppies are four to six months old. Surgery can correct the condition, usually resulting in a pain-free puppy.
    • Hypothyroidism: This is a disorder of the thyroid gland. It's thought to be responsible for conditions such as epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma ,and other skin conditions. It is treated with medication and diet.
    • Hyperadrenocorticism: Also known as Addison's disease, this is an extremely serious condition. It's caused by an insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland. Most dogs with Addison's disease vomit, have a poor appetite, and have little energy. Because these signs are vague and can be mistaken for other conditions, it's easy to misdiagnose this disease until it reaches more advanced stages. More severe signs occur when a dog is stressed or when potassium levels become high enough to interfere with heart function, causing severe shock and death. If your vet suspects Addison's, a series of tests can confirm the diagnosis.
    • Atopic Dermatitis: This is an inherited skin disease that manifests itself as a predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, typically an allergen such as dust mites or pollen. It usually shows up by the time the dog is about three years old. An atopic animal usually rubs, licks, chews, bites, or scratches at his feet, muzzle, ears, armpits, or groin. This irritation causes hair loss and redness and thickening of the skin. Treatment involves removing the allergen as much as possible, and administering antihistamines and steroids. Use hypoallergenic shampoos on affected dogs.
  • Care

    The Yorkipoo is equally at home in a house or an apartment. He's far too small to live outside; he must live indoors for both his physical and emotional well-being. He requires daily exercise, since he has a surprising amount of energy (read between those lines). A daily walk or romp in the yard will provide enough exercise to keep him healthy and happy. The Yorkipoo can also burn off steam by playing a game of fetch down a hallway.

    Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Yorkipoo doesn't have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn't. A crate is also a place where he can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Yorkipoo accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized.

    Never stick your Yorkipoo in a crate all day long, however. It's not a jail, and he shouldn't spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when he's sleeping at night. Yorkipoos are people dogs, and they aren't meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.

  • Feeding

    Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

    NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

    Keep your Yorkipoo in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.

    First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

    For more on feeding your Yorkipoo, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

  • Coat, Color and Grooming

    The coat of the Yorkipoo can range from straight to curly, and it should be luxuriously soft and silky in texture — running your fingers through it is heavenly.

    Although it's different for every Yorkipoo, a puppy resulting from a multigenerational breeding (a Yorkipoo crossed with another Yorkipoo) is supposed to be odorless and nonshedding — although "nonshedding" is a fantasy, since every dog on the planet sheds at least a tiny bit. The Yorkipoo produces little dander, which is actually the trait that appeals to the allergic owner.

    The Yorkipoo is seen in a wide variety of colors, including cream, black, white, red, sable, apricot, tan, chocolate, gray, and silver. This versatile boy can sport multiple colors and a wide variety of markings, including black with tan points.

    Although he's considered to be a non- to low-shedder, the Yorkipoo requires care in keeping that fine coat silky and healthy. Brushing him daily wards off tangles. Brush the hair away from the eyes to prevent it from becoming an irritant, which it will certainly be if this task is neglected. You can also protect his eyes by trimming the hair with a pair of scissors.

    His coat should be trimmed regularly to whatever length you prefer; that's the beauty of a designer breed. No one is going to say you've clipped him incorrectly, because there is no "correct" cut. Bathing keeps his coat silky to the touch, but he only needs to be bathed when it's necessary, not on a schedule.

    Brush your Yorkipoo's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Toy breeds are notorious for dental problems, as it's tough to get all those teeth into such a tiny mouth. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

    Trim nails
    once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.

    His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

    Begin accustoming your Yorkipoo to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.

    As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

  • Children and other pets

    The Yorkipoo is a gentle and loving dog who can do well with children. He's not recommended for homes with very young children, since he can be easily injured when improperly handled. A Yorkipoo can make an excellent companion for an older, more considerate child.

    As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

    In general, he does well with other dogs and pets (not that there are a lot of pets much smaller than he is, but he doesn't grasp that). He may display prey drive due to his Yorkie parent, however. That may lead him to chase smaller pets and cats, but usually it's in good fun.

  • Rescue Groups

    Yorkipoos are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Yorkipoos in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Yorkipoo rescue.

  • All Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability

    Measures how well this breed potentially adapts to different environments

  • Trainability

    Measures the amount and difficulty of training potentially required for this breed

  • Health & Grooming

    Measures how much effort this breed potentially needs to keep a tidy hound and home

  • All-around friendliness

    Measures this breed's potential to get along with other dogs and humans

  • Exercise needs

    Measures this breed's potential to require lots of physical activity

  • Almost always

    Adapt well to apartment living

    Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make -- plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

  • Extremely

    Affectionate with family

    Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they've been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

  • Less than average

    Amount of shedding

    If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

  • Sometimes

    Dog friendly

    Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

  • Very low

    Drooling potential

    Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog that rates low in the drool department.

  • Not particularly

    Easy to groom

    Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

  • Somewhat

    Easy to train

    Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

  • Moderate

    Energy level

    High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

  • Low

    Exercise needs

    Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

  • Not usually

    Friendly toward strangers

    Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

  • Fairly good

    General health

    Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

  • Almost always

    Good for novice owners

    Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

  • High

    Intelligence

    Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

  • Moderate

    Intensity

    A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

  • Sometimes

    Kid friendly

    Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.

    **All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

  • Medium

    Potential for mouthiness

    Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

  • High

    Potential for playfulness

    Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

  • Low

    Potential for weight gain

    Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

  • Moderate

    Prey drive

    Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by -- cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars -- can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

  • High

    Sensitivity level

    Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

  • Miniature

    Size

    Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space.

  • Very high

    Tendency to bark or howl

    Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?

  • Not particularly well

    Tolerates being alone

    Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

  • Poorly

    Tolerates cold weather

    Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

  • Not so well

    Tolerates hot weather

    Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

  • Low

    Wanderlust potential

    Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

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