Every dog you may find in a shelter can provide you with endless love and companionship, and every dog deserves a loving and responsible home so they may flourish. But not every dog is a great fit for your home and lifestyle. That is why you need to learn how to find the right dog and identify what type of dog is a great fit for the health and wellbeing of both of you.
You are choosing a new companion who could be with you for 10 – 15 years, now is the time to do your homework.
Choose the ideal dog, by identifying the type of dog that best matches your lifestyle
There are several factors to consider when searching for your perfect dog.
If you live in an upstairs apartment with limited access to the outdoors, adopting a large, active hunting dog might not be the best choice. However, if you have an active family and looking for someone to take on your activities, such a dog may be a perfect fit.
Considerations For Choosing The Right Dog
- Daily exercise requirements
- Size and weight
- Compatibility with children
Which dogs have the qualities you desire?
Take the time to learn about various breeds, visit with animals at the shelter, and speak with an adoption counselor for help. The shelter has just as much interest in getting you the right dog as you do. The way to make sure it is the right choice for both of you.
Dogs fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds
With a purebred, they have been bred over many generations to conform to specific standards. If you adopt a purebred puppy, you will know what you will get as an adult for size and appearance, however, temperament can vary greatly, just like humans.
A mixed dog breed has a more diverse genetic makeup. However, the appearance, size, and personality of most mixed breeds can be well predicted also. If you have a good idea of who the parents were, or can tell by the characteristics of your potential dog, you have a good idea of how they will turn out.
Mixed breed dogs have their own advantages. They get the benefit of the combined traits of their parents. Often purebreds have genetic issues such as weak hips or backs, that you rarely find in a so-called mutt.
Visit with animals in your local Shelter
When you visit animals at a shelter, keep in mind this is a stressful place for them. They have been thrust into an unknown environment with other dogs with the same stress levels. You will be offered time with the prospective dogs in a quieter place, but keep in mind that most dogs don’t blossom until they feel secure in their new home. This could take a day or a few months, depending on their individual personality. So even if you walk past a kennel and the dog doesn’t meet your eye, looking for attention, don’t judge him quite yet. He could just be frightened or lonely.
An adoption counselor is very helpful in selecting a perfect dog
When you are spending time alone with potential adoptees, ask yourself the following questions.
How old is the dog? Your first thought may want to pick a puppy as your new companion. If you lack the time or patience to housetrain your pup or to correct problems like chewing and jumping, an adult dog may be a better choice. Or, if you are a little older and slower yourself, pick someone with a matching energy level. Senior dogs are perfect for senior citizens.
How shy or assertive is the dog? Though that cute and bouncy dog jumping for your attention, might catch your eye at first, the more quiet and reserved one in the corner might be a better choice for your lifestyle.
Do you have children? Though talking to the adoption counselor is always a great idea, sometimes they may not have a full background. In general, a dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling and loud sounds will probably do well in a house full of active kids. No matter the temperament of any dog, it is vital that children treat any dog with gentleness, love, and respect.
Most Important – spay and neuter your pets
The most vital aspect of responsible dog ownership is having your dog spayed or neutered. It will help them live longer, happier lives and ensure that your new dog never adds to the millions of dogs and cats that end up in shelters each year.