How to select a dog?

My husband is a Lab for life type of guy.  I am not sure that he really knows why but nevertheless he has chosen a breed that he will love forever.  I, on the other hand, am a search and rescue type of gal.  My breed of choice is a dog or puppy that needs a good home – hence we are a two dog household.

There are tools that help you decide what type of breed fits your personality and lifestyle.  You can take the test on animal planet website to help you decide.  Ultimately, whatever breed you select to bring into your home you should research what makes them tick.  Each dog was bred for something special and knowing what that is will help you bond with your dog.  For example our lab “Maggie” loves to swim, play with sticks and tennis balls.  When we play we try to include these items into her day so she can enjoy the things for which she was bred.

A great book that is non-biased about specific breeds and really helps you understand how to select a dog is “How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend” by The Monks of New Skete.  They have dedicated an entire chapter to selecting a puppy or older dog.  Some key items that they focus on in this chapter are:

  • where to purchase your pet
  • what to look for in a breeder
  • what to expect from a shelter pet
  • choosing a male vs. a female
  • how to select a puppy from a litter

I really enjoyed reading this chapter and thought it was a great resource to share.

Every dog is special, trainable and in need of a loving home.  When we select them to be a part of our family it is our responsibility to provide them with a good home. Do the research first so that it is an enjoyable experience for the entire family.  Whether you have a special breed in mind or enjoy shelter pets – learning about your dog will certainly help you to bond more quickly.

-Tiffany, CVPM, Practice Manager