It is pleasing to consider adopting a dog rather than buying a new puppy. While there are many benefits to adopting, you want to be sure you find the right dog for you. There are so many dogs to choose from that it makes finding the perfect match challenging. It would almost be easier if we could take them all home!
A few helpful tips in your quest to find the perfect rescue dog will help keep you on track as you browse the newspaper ads and local shelters. Having this information will help you to identify your needs and limitations to make level-headed and planned decisions. Without a clear plan you can be led to any cute doggie face and may adopt a dog that clashes with you rather than one that fits your lifestyle. Here are our top 3 tips for picking the perfect pup:
1. Energy Level. Choose the right energy level for you. Do not get a dog with the intention of becoming more active, although that likely will happen! If you are a moderately active person chose a low energy dog. Only if you already run/hike/bike choose a dog who is bouncing from one wall to the next without touching the floor.
2. Personality. Dogs and people can be placed into one of four personality groups: amiable (warm, friendly, likes touch, body contact), expressive (socially animated, humorous, class clown, pushes rather than touching), analytical (quiet, reserved, methodical, minimal touching), and driver (controlled, formal, intense, driven, limited toucher). Determine your personality type and find a lovely dog with the same personality!
3. Breed. You can choose a breed you like but be sure you read up on that breed if you have not owned one before. While some pure breeds can be found at the shelter, many are mixes. If the dog is mixed breed, it is best if the differing breeds are in the same breed group such as Herding, Hound, Working, Sporting, Terrier, or Toy. For example, I would suggest a beagle-basset mix, hound-hound mix, over a border collie-basset mix, a herder-hound mix. Any dog can be a great dog but staying within breed groups unifies genetic behavior. And take this with a grain of salt because many shelter dogs are labeled incorrectly; you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge a breed by its coat.
There you have it. Try this clear cut and simple plan to find and chose the dog that is best for you and you will certainly be the best for your dog! Take your time and ask for an overnight trial before adopting. And when you are ready sign those papers and celebrate!
Next up: Everything you need for a new dog or puppy ON A BUDGET
Katie Weibel, Master Dog Trainer. Providing training for companion, service and working dogs, sharing knowledge and expertise.