Fits your current lifestyle. Don’t pick a dog because of good intentions…If you are already active, choose an active dog. However, if you are more sedentary (like me), choosing a dog that doesn’t need daily jogs is probably a better choice. Earlier in the year, I had wonderful intentions to train for and run a 10k. I’m glad I didn’t get a high energy dog to run with me. With 3 kids at home, I stay very busy…and I’m not running anywhere! It’s best to choose a dog that fits your current lifestyle.
What breed? If you are considering a specific breed, consider what task that breed was created to perform. Was the breed created to kill rodents? Retrieve ducks? Hunt down badgers? Shepherd other animals? Whatever the breed you’re looking at was created for, you can expect some related behaviors. For exam, your Labrador Retriever may constantly want to play fetch. An Australian Shepherd may nip at heels to try to herd family members. A beagle may follow his nose right into trouble. I’m not saying rule out any specific breed, but do consider a breed’s traditional function before adopting.
Puppy or adult? Puppies take a lot of work while adults typically are less demanding. Do you have time to potty train a puppy or go to socialization puppy classes? If not, an adult dog might be a better fit.
Male or female? Some people swear there are huge differences between genders of dogs, but I think that the individual dog’s personality is more important.
Where? Breeder? Shelter? Rescue? There are a number of places to get a dog. If you are looking for a particular breed, you can contact breeders or breed rescues. If you do go with a breeder, make sure to meet the parents of the pup you are considering. The parents should appear in good health and friendly.
I would pick a sociable dog: one that comes up to you, but not one that is constantly play-nipping. In a shelter setting, a dog that comes to the front of the cage to say hello is probably a better choice than the one who cowers, growls, or barks from the back.
Veterinary Exam. Whenever you bring a new pet into your home, we recommend getting one of our veterinarians to take a look at it to make sure it is healthy and free of parasites or disease.
Training class. No matter what the age of your dog is, we recommend a training class!