Before we get TOto, we were in bookstores and library for a FULL ONE year before we commit ourselves to getting a West Highland Terrier. And we are so LUCKY because TOto is a typical textbook dog!
It's very important to understand and read-up if you are intending to get a dog!Of course not all dogs are textbook dogs but then it will be nice to know what are their basic traits and personality and what kind of 'problems' they are prone to!
Generally the whole list of different recommendations is here "Dog Breed Charateristic".
So for first time owner these are some consideration you can readup on the website, "Dogs for the NOVICE".
And for neat freak like me, "Low Shedding Dog".
If you have CHILDREN, "Kid-friendly dogs".
And the list goes on ...
Have fun reading!