How to Adopt the Right Rescue for Your Family


Are you thinking of adopting a dog soon? It’s important to choose the right pup for your family when adopting a rescue dog. You can feel good knowing you saved a dog’s life. And we have a feeling your new companion will save yours in a few ways too. Here is what to consider when choosing a rescue dog.


Consider the dog’s age 

Do you want a puppy, teenager, adult or senior dog? Puppies need a lot of training and attention. They need to be housetrained and taught basic obedience. In fact, you’ll have to be a doting dog parent for at least a year.

Click here for training tips and tricks >> 

A teenage dog (8-24 months old) might already know some basic commands and should be house-trained. And since he’s older, you won’t have to guess how big he’ll be or what he’ll look like when he grows up. That’s nice if you have a preference for a certain type of appearance or size.

Senior pets can be a great choice for those with less spare time and less energy. Plus, personality and physical stature are set, so there are no surprises. If they’ve made it this far, chances are they are good dogs that were just dealt a tough break.


Consider the dog’s appearance and maintenance needs

What size of dog and coat type fits your lifestyle? What is your tolerance for barking, shedding or drooling? Just like humans, dogs’ appearance and maintenance levels vary greatly. Do you want a friendly family dog? A loud guard dog? A great hunter? How about a small, medium or large dog?

At the end of the day, a dog is a dog, and they all bark, shed and drool to some extent. But you want to be happy with your companion, so these are all important things to think about before choosing a rescue dog.


What dog breed would be a good fit?

Do you have a preference for a certain breed? If you have a specific breed in mind, look up local breed-specific rescue groups that cater to your desired pooch. They’ll likely have many adoption candidates for you to consider. Would you like a mixed breed? Any shelter or rescue you can trust will do. Based on a dog’s breed, you should be able to make a fairly accurate determination as to the dog’s temperament and personality.

As a general rule, choose a breed type that matches your own level of energy. If you are athletic or active, pick a lively breed like a retriever, terrier, collie or shepherd mix. If you are more sedentary, choose a calmer breed type, like a hound, chow chow, bulldog or toy spaniel mix. Size means less than breed type when it comes to energy levels.


Pay attention to the dog’s personality

What temperament do you prefer for your household? Like humans, each dog has its own personality, even aside from breed and energy level. Choose which would be the best fit for your family given your lifestyle. Do you like a pup who’s assertive, cuddly, protective, social or playful? Or maybe you have a soft spot for the shy, introverted type. 

Here are 3 steps to determining a shelter dog’s personality.

  1. How does the dog act? A friendly dog will come to you for pets, sniff you, jump up for attention and show excitement by wagging his tail. A scared dog will hesitate to interact with you and may even try to avoid you. An aggressive dog will show his teeth and growl.
  2. How does the dog react to sounds? Talk to him—first in a high-pitched tone, then switch to normal, then to loud. Try dropping your keys on the floor. Noises shouldn’t startle a friendly dog.
  3. How does the dog react to activities and people? An easy-going dog will be excited to put on his leash and won’t be bothered by other dogs, people, cars or bikes. See if he wants to greet everyone you meet with a happy and wagging tail.

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In the end, it’s all about meeting a variety of pups and feeling out which one you connect with, which one meets your lifestyle, temperament and energy requirements. Good luck finding your furever friend!


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