Bringing Home a Dog

Adopting a family pet could be the most significant event in your life. Before you make the decision to adopt, be sure to consider all sides of the issue because adopting an animal is a lifelong commitment.

Everyone has a picture in his or her mind of the perfect family dog. It could be big or small, active or laid back, male or female, and so on. Take a minute and picture in your mind your ideal dog. See the patterns on his or her coat, see the hair (is it wiry, straight, long, short, soft, or rough). What is the shape of the nose? Is he or she tall or short?

What else do you see?

Now that you’ve identified and visualized your perfect dog, forget about it. Just like there is no perfect human, there is no perfect dog. Out of all the criteria you used to identify your perfect dog, only one thing matters and that is personality. Does your ideal dog get along with you and with other humans in your household? The best way to determine this is to visit the dog before bringing it home. Observe him in his current environment. How does he react to you? To other dogs? To children?

Determining the dog’s personality or temperament is probably the most important criteria when choosing a dog. Next, you must decide whether to adopt from a breeder or from a shelter.

If you choose to adopt from a breeder, just know that you will pay a pretty penny for your new family member. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you decide to go this route. Advantages of adopting from a breeder include the ability to observe the dog’s bloodline and you get to choose whether to spay or neuter your new dog.

If you choose to adopt from a shelter, you will save money on the adoption and services like vaccinations and surgery. When you adopt a shelter pet, you rescue her from a life of confinement and possible death. You also win because shelter dogs are usually a little bit older than newborn pups so they know more than puppies. Training these dogs may be a little easier.

Whichever option you choose, I encourage you to visit the breeder or the shelter to observe the dogs in their environment before purchasing. If you find a dog you want to adopt online always get in contact with the proprietor before adopting. You certainly wouldn’t want to adopt blindly a dog you couldn’t see for yourself. There are many puppy mills and unscrupulous individuals trying to earn a quick dollar by showing you one picture online but the real dog is sickly and or injured in some way. Always do your homework before adopting a dog.

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