Choosing the Dog Breed: How to Find the Right Dog for Your Family

For the past ten years, I have spent much of my free time volunteering at a local animal shelter in Colorado. Many of the dogs that walk through the doors are mixed breeds, but there has been a steady increase in purebreds that have started showing up at the door.

Some are homeless, some are victims of abuse; and recently some have been marginalized from their homes with their human beings as a result of the terrifying economy. What hasn’t changed is the fact that many animals end up in shelters because their families didn’t take the time to ask themselves the important questions before getting a dog.

Some of these questions include:

o Am I really ready to adopt a dog?
o Do I have time to dedicate to this dog?
o What are the traits of this breed?
o Will my lifestyle fit this breed?
o Does my garden have enough space for this breed?
o Do some races tend to be better with children?

Although dogs are like humans with unique personalities and quirks, there are some characteristics in certain breeds or mixes of dogs that are common. For example, a border collie would probably not be happy to spend his days in an apartment, while a greyhound may surprisingly enjoy being addicted to television. Some dogs are naturally good with children (also known as Nanny Dogs) and others can be overly territorial.

It is not enough to base a decision solely on the appearance of a dog or on a movie your child saw with one “like her.” They trust us to welcome them into their homes for the right reasons and make them part of their family forever.