Bringing a new dog into your home is a big decision that’s so exciting but also requires lots of thought and research. It isn’t a question of finding the right dog, but a question of finding the right dog for you and your family and lifestyle. All dogs deserve loving homes, so choosing the one that fits best in your world means other dogs have that same opportunity. Check out these 3 tips for adopting the right dog for your family.
1. Take your home into account
It isn’t uncommon for a person to adopt a dog that simply can’t function well in the size of their home. If you live in a tiny apartment with no outdoor space, it may not be the best idea—or the right time—to adopt a big dog that needs lots of room to play and run.
If you know that you’ll be moving into a larger space in the near future and you know you want a larger, more energetic puppy, consider how often you’ll be able to walk your new dog. Will you be at work all day with barely any time to exercise your new family member? Or can you make time in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening for walks?
Smaller (and sometimes lazier) dogs do great in small spaces. Pugs, French Bulldogs, Bichons, and Shih Tzus are just a handful of breeds that love apartment life.
2. Think about your family
If you have kids at home, it’s so important to research breeds that do well when there’s a lot going on around the house. Dogs that are more likely to become aggressive, or dogs that have endured trauma in their lives may not be able to handle small children well. Dog bites are no joke, and it’s important to consider how your new pup will acclimate to your kids, as well as your kids’ friends.
Breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles love playtime with kids and are easily trainable.
3. Consider how active you are
It’s important to ask yourself what you’re looking for in a companion. Do you want a running buddy or someone to snuggle with on the couch? How active are you, and how much time and energy will you be able to give your new dog?
Siberian Huskies are amazing dogs if you love being active, so it may not be the best fit if you consider yourself more of a couch potato. Because of their thick coat, they’re great for people who live in cold climates but still like to get outside often. Border Collies, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Weimaraners also have tons of energy and love joining their humans on adventures.
Above all else, remember every dog is different.
While breed plays a big role in certain character traits, it’s also about finding that special connection with your potential pup. Spend time with them in the shelter to see how he or she gets along with you and your family before making the commitment. Inviting a new dog into your family is one of the most rewarding things you can do, and the more prepared you are, the smoother the process will be.