Choosing to add a new fury friend into your family is a big and exciting decision. It's likely that before you even made it down to your local pet shelter, you spent hours researching the perfect breed for your family.
But the thing about dogs is that no matter what their breed, each has their very own distinct personality. Not every Golden Retriever is going to be insanely friendly, and not every Chihuahua will yip and bark like crazy. That's why it's important to know what to look for when adopting a new pet.
WomensForum spoke with Emily Jay, owner of Sharpie's Place Dog Training, on what everyone should know before heading out to adopt their perfect pet.
The first and most important thing to know, is that with puppies, it's nearly impossible to gauge what their adult personality will be like.
"My dog was sleepy most of the time when [I adopted him as] a puppy but now he’s not,"said Jay. "You just can’t tell when they’re puppies...it’s about the way you raise the puppy.”
That means if your heart is set on adopting a puppy, you'll need to make sure you'll have enough time to devote to raising them as well. Proper socializing as a puppy is a must for a friendly adult dog. And if you want them to enjoy baths, you'll need to make sure your dog is calmly exposed to them as a puppy.
When it comes to adopting an adult dog, according to Jay your best resource is animal shelter staff. They work with the animals daily and will be able to tell you if the sleepy Yellow Lab is normally a bundle of energy, and how long it takes the shy Boston Terrier to warm up to new people.
You'll also want to make sure your new dog's lifestyle meshes well with your own. If you enjoy sleeping in you don't want to adopt a dog that requires an owner that can take it for a daily jog at 5 a.m.
"If you have kids, make sure the dog is playful and not shy in anyway," says Jay. "If you just want a laid back dog, see if they’re lazy or sleepy most of the time."
Adopting a dog is a wonderful thing. Make sure to follow these tips next time you visit the animal shelter to make sure you and your pup are a perfect match.