The unfortunate fact is, there is no shortage of rescue dogs available. That being said there are many things to consider about what type of dog you want to bring into your life. Two major questions to ask yourself are: Why do I want a dog and what do I want to do with it?
Dogs have been our best friend for the better part of 18,000 years. There are so many reasons why we want dogs. Determining the “why” and “what” will help determine the “which” dog we want. Do you want a dog purely for companionship? Do you want a dog for a purpose on top of companionship?
If you want a dog that will hang out on the couch and watch Netflix with you all day, you wouldn’t want to bring home a German Shepard. At the same time, if you’re the type to go for a 3 hour hike in the forest every chance you get, please don’t attempt it with a chihuahua.
Once the above questions have been answered, there are other things to consider. What kind of home can you provide for this dog for the next 10-15 years. A dog becomes a member of the family for the duration of its life. How busy is your life? Are you able to commit to a dogs exercise requirements for the duration of their life? A large backyard is not necessary to have a dog, and a large backyard is not a substitute for proper exercise. But a large secured backyard is always a bonus.
If you have children, are they old enough to be responsible around a dog? Some dogs are good with kids, some dogs are not so good with kids. Regardless, all children and dogs should be supervised together at all times. Dogs display warning signs that children might not understand, and it is the responsibility of the dogs owner to protect it from children that are not treating it properly. It is much better to protect your dog, then to have your dog feel the need to protect itself.
If you live in an apartment, condo, or house with a shared wall, there maybe noise issues to keep in mind. Where your home is located will also play a role, as different settings have different challenges. Rural dogs rarely have to deal with a lot of sidewalk traffic, urban dogs rarely have to deal with coyotes trying to sneak into the backyard.
There are many different factors that will influence the type of dog you bring home and make a part of your family. It can seem overwhelming. Reputable dog rescue organizations work hard to make sure they match the right person with the right dog. Be honest about your lifestyle and intentions, and let the rescue do it’s job! The right dog is out there!