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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.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Hot Weather 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.

Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Cold Weather Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating.

Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? See Dogs That Have Low Sensitivity Levels 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.

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.

If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

See Dogs That Shed Very Little 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.

Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage.