This old rhyme doesn’t make the task of selecting the right dog easy. Instead, you need to do homework. Find out about the characteristics of a certain breed and then decide if you really want that type of dog.

Here are some issues to consider with some of the more popular breeds available for adoption at the SPCA of Texas.

Airedale – A big, strong breed. As an adult, he’ll need plenty of exercise, both controlled and free. Airedales are wonderful, adaptable family dogs, good with children and very loyal.

Basenji – You’ve seen them, you just haven’t heard them. They originated as hunting dogs in southern Sudan, and their heritage extends back more than 5,000 years. Rather than barking, they make a chortling or yodeling sound. Basenjis are full of fun, extremely clean and easy to housetrain. As a hunting breed, they need lots of exercise.

Basset Hound – This breed originated in France and was selectively bred by sportsmen in Britain. Devoted and mild, bassets are neither timid nor belligerent, and ideally need room to roam. Plus, they slobber.

Chow – The Chow is nice with children and aloof with strangers. Chows aren’t aggressive with other dogs and are good watchdogs. They are independent and enjoy a routine; they’re at their best with a family, to whom they are completely loyal. Daily brushings required.

Collie – The Collie enjoys companionship, is good with children and is sweet-natured and gentle. Collies shouldn’t be allowed to become bored, because they can be noisy and destructive. They require daily brushings.

Dalmation – This is a sound and friendly dog, loyal and lively, that is faithful and makes a good companion. Dalmations are active dogs that require ample and free exercise and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. Good, regular brushings are essential, otherwise their hair will be everywhere.

Great Dane – A giant among breeds, the Great Dane was originally used for hunting wild boar. The Great Dane has a pleasant nature, is easily trained and loves children. It requires quality feedings. It is not the longest-lived of breeds, due to its immense size. Great Danes love attention.

Lhasa Apso – A small breed of great charm, these dogs are wonderful companions. Intelligent and affectionate, they love humans. Their coat is their crowning glory and requires care and attention. We receive many of these animals due to lack of maintenance on the owners’ part.

This is just a small sampling of some of the most popular breeds received at the SPCA, primarily due to lack of research by owners prior to adoption.

We provide adoption counseling to ensure we obtain a good match for both pet and owner.

After all, if it doesn’t work out, it’s the dog who is brought in – not you!

Neighborhood residents Bob Phillips and Gary Keiser have been elected to serve as president and vice president, respectively, of the SPCA of Texas board of directors. Phillips is president of Phillips Productions and a spokesman for Dairy Queen. Keiser is a senior partner with Ernst & Young.