Take time when considering adding a pet to your family. Cuteness is not a guarantee! Rescue, breeder, whatever the source, research it thoroughly. A Dog can be a wonderful addition to your life but they can also come with hidden issues. Often behavior issues are not obvious upon first meeting or even in a shelter or transition situation. These issues may take a little training or lead to potential danger. Here are 5 things you can do to help you find the dog that is right for you.
- Be skeptical, do extensive research and visit. Be sure things are what they appear. Responsible sources will want you to visit. They will want to get to know you and put you through an approval process. They will want to be sure the dog is going to the best home possible.
- Ask a local trainer about the source you are considering. If the source offers dogs in their area they have probably had some in their classes. They may have seen wonderful, even tempered dogs or a significant number or dogs with issues.
- Talk to local veterinarians. They most likely have clients with dogs from the source you are considering and may be able to provide information about the general health and behavior of dogs from there.
- Ask a qualified trainer to evaulate any dog you are considering. Trainers today see far to many families dealing with challenging behavior and the heartbreak of families having to part with a dog they can’t manage or is dangerous. They will look for the signs that lead to a great companion and warning signs. The are a great resource in picking a dog that will suit you.
- Line up positive training for you and your new dog as soon as possible. Start off building the relationship with your dog through training that is fun and builds the manners and skills that will make your dog a joy to own for a lifetime.
And also please consider being an advocate for reducing the production of homeless dogs. The situation is worse than ever and is growing. Without addressing irresponsible production the homeless dog population will continue to grow. Homes for homeless dogs are helping individual dogs but not reducing production. We can make a difference by only supporting reputable sources and encouraging cultural changes.