A Shelter is a Great Place for Adopting a Dog

During my walkabout tours, I find that many people love their dogs.  On one tour, this gentleman, Bob, brought his dog, a husky pomeranian mix, along the entire trip.  He would carry his dog on the arms most of the time.  These dogs are so cute and lovable.  He works for a shelter and here is what I learned from having lunch with him a couple of weeks back.

There’s a true story about adopting a dog that says a lot about knowing if you’re choosing the right animal. A man who was interested in acquiring a dog for a pet visited a shelter. There were several dogs he liked, including one medium sized one that seemed a bit shy and appeared to be a bit on the old side, but was still a nice looking dog. He was about to look further when the shelter worker suggested he take the dog for a walk, as a sort of a ‘test drive’.

He took the dog for a 5-minute walk. Nothing out of the ordinary happened except as he turned to go back to the kennel the dog, who had been walking nicely at his side, moved closer and began to press slightly against his leg. The dog continued to press slightly against the man all the way back the kennel. It must have been the dog’s way of saying he would make a faithful and loyal companion. In any event the man took the dog home with him.

If you visit a shelter, which is a wonderful place to find a pet, a worker may suggest you take an animal you’re interested in for a walk, or you could always ask. Most dog lovers recommend that approach. It can be hard to judge an animals temperament if it has been in a cage for some time. Dogs that are locked away often become shy or frustrated. A few become aggressive, largely because they are afraid. A good first tip in adopting a dog is to take time to get to know the animal. A short walk can help to do this.


Adopting From a Shelter Often Results in a Win-Win Situation

A good tip, alluded to but not specifically mentioned up to this point, is to visit a shelter or rescue if you’re looking for a dog. While a shelter may be overloaded at times, those who work there aren’t usually in the habit of getting rid of an animal at any cost. They invariably want to find good homes for their animals, and it’s not unusual for them to turn down someone who they feel may not provide an animal such a home. Some of the dogs you will see in a shelter may be in cages, but they usually receive the best possible treatment in terms of food and shelter, and even exercise, plus most of them usually get a medical check-up, followed by treatment if necessary.


Looks Count, But Not Always for All That Much

Another tip – don’t go by looks alone when selecting your next pet. Looks are fine if you are looking for a specific breed, but aside from that it’s usually size, temperament, and energy that counts. The noted dog trainer Cesar Millan places a great deal of emphasis on selecting a pet whose energy level matches your own. Above all, you don’t want to take home an animal you can’t control, or one that makes taking for a walk a supreme challenge. Neither do you want an animal you have to carry home after the two of you have already walked a mile.

It’s not only about walks. All dogs need some exercise, but some need a lot of exercise and they need exercise just about every day. A medium or large dog that is full of energy isn’t suitable for apartment living unless you intend to go running or jogging every day. A medium to large fenced in yard will suffice for most pets.


Consider the Type of Category if It is Possible to do So

You can’t always tell what type of dog a mutt will be, but dogs fall into four general categories. There are working dogs, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, herding dogs, toy dogs, hounds, and terriers. The latter simply refused to be categorized since they prefer to do their own thing, which is chasing down rodents and vermin. Try to select a type that either fits in with your own lifestyle, or you’ll be comfortable with. Doing a little research on different types and breeds ahead of time can be a great help in making a good selection.


Don’t Let Sad Eyes Be the Deciding Factor

One final tip about adopting a dog from a shelter is to leave your emotions at home. One of the hardest things about bringing a dog home from a shelter can be that of leaving all of the other dogs behind. It’s natural to want to adopt more than one of them, or all of them. Stick to a single dog unless there happens to be a matching pair you know you have room for and can handle. If there are two dogs who have grown up together you may be doing them both a favor if you are able to take them both. What you don’t want to do is let you emotions take over and select a dog or dogs you feel most sorry for. It won’t necessarily be the best choice.

Comments are closed.