If you are ready to buy a dog, consider getting one from a shelter instead of from a pet store or individual, as some dogs at shelters may never get adopted. You can usually find purebred dogs at shelters, as well as dogs that are mixed breeds. Below are some tips on choosing the right dog for you and your family.
Find the Right Dog
Even though the shelter has likely tested the dogs for aggression, some dogs may not be the right dog for you and your family. Think about your lifestyle. For example, dogs that are active need their owner to be the same. You should be outside a lot running, walking, swimming, etc. and take your dog with you. If active dogs do not get enough exercise, they will have too much pent up energy and may start acting up. Some active dogs include:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Australian Shepherd
- Shetland Sheep Dog
- Rat Terrier
If you have a more relaxed lifestyle, some good dog choices for you include:
- Bichon Frise
Choose a Purebred or Mixed Breed
You need to decide if you want a purebred dog, or one that is a mixed breed. The shelter you visit will likely have plenty of both. The main advantage to a purebred is you will know approximately how big they will get, as well as the type of temperament most of them have.
With a mixed breed, you may not know the size they will get, but you can still predict it. In many cases, you can tell at least one type the dog is mixed with.
With a mixed breed dog you will not have to worry as much about genetic defects. This is because pure bred dogs may be overbred.
Visit With the Shelter
The shelter has likely spent a lot of time with the dogs, and knows their temperaments, such as if they are outgoing or shy. If you have children, you need to choose a dog that does not mind being touched, and is not sensitive to noises that you find in most homes with kids.
Even if breeds are known to be good with children, this does not mean all of them are. Take your children with you when you visit the children, and watch how the dog interacts with them.
Once you decide on a dog, ask the shelter if you can take it to a veterinarian at a clinic like Stroudsburg Animal Hospital for a checkup to make sure the dog is healthy before you adopt it.