So you want to adopt a dog. Finding the perfect one for you and your family can be a tough decision.
First, you should decide what size dog and breed you are looking for. Look specific breed information up online and read about the different characteristics of the breeds. Do you want an active dog that can jog with you or play frisbee? Maybe a border collie or dalmation? Do you want a lap dog that doesn’t need as much excercise? Maybe a cockapoo or chihuahua mix. Still want a big dog but not one as active? Try an older Lab or Shepherd mix.
To be fair to your new pet, you need to pick one that can fit in with your lifestyle. If you are not active, then the dog won’t be active. Some dog breeds need alot of activity and play time, if they don’t get it then it could lead to behavior problems.
Then, find out the available animal shelters in your area. You may find several. Some may be ‘no kill’ shelters and some may not be. This (in my opionion) should not influence your decision. You should visit all of the shelters and try not to pick the first dog you fall in love with. Some shelters will allow you to put a ‘hold’ on a dog you like, this is a great option if available because then you can go home and discuss it without making a quick decision. It is also crucial to go visit an important source so you can gather all the necessary information that you need before making a final decision. This will help you not to regret anything. Always rely on reliable sources both online and offline.
Animal shelters usually require you to fill out an aplication and get approved before adopting. The shelter employees want to find the best homes for these dogs and want to make sure you have the proper home situation and if you have a landlord, that they allow pets. This is so the animal does not have to come back to the shelter because you bring it home and find out you can no longer keep it.
Most shelters also require the owners that are giving these dogs up for adoption to fill out a history on the dog. What it likes, dislikes, is afraid of, if it’s good with kids and what ages of kids its been around. This is vital information that will help you with your decision
When viewing the dogs at the shelter, it is hard to see their true personalities. These are dogs that have just had a major life change. From living with one person or family and being put into a shelter situation. They are confused. They are barking loudly. They could seem extremely hyper. This is not always their personality. Example; I was working at an animal shelter and a certain breed of dog came in that I was fond of and knew about. She was very hyper, could not be around other dogs and was always jumping up on her hind legs. I was able to ‘foster’ her for a trial period. I brought her home and she loved my other dog and was a couch potoato, in fact she was happiest with kids fawning all over her. Nothing like the hyper mess she was at the shelter. Not every dog could turn out like this, some may be perpetually hyper and very active.
This is where knowing breeds comes in. There are exceptions in every breed of dog but usually what you read about them is fairly acurate.
The animal shelter you go to may have a waiting list you can get on if you are looking for a specific breed. If you do have your heart set on a purebred, and get on a list, I suggest you continue to check the animal shelter on a regular basis, you may find a mixed breed that is just as good (if not better) than the purebred you are waiting and hoping for.
Good luck with your search for a new pet. The key here is to research the different breeds and understand what you are looking for. The shelter staff will help you as much as they can but in the end it comes down to what you and your family will be most happy with.