What should I think about before adopting a dog?

I am looking to get another dog, but I've never adopted before. What should I look for and think about when I'm at a shelter or find local listings in the paper?

Asked by Molly on Aug 18th 2008 Tagged adoptionrescue in The Adoption Process
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You can really go any route you want but dont forget to look at a rescue or foster group, especially if you want a specific breed. These dogs have been placed in homes (generally) and the foster parents can tell you all about the temperament of the pet, whether it gets along with other animals, children, etc.

Most also set up meet and greets as well so you can get to know the animal before you adopt. Sometimes though the rescues can be very picky (not always a bad thing and is done for the sake of the dog) on who they adopt out to, whether your home meets their criteria such as having a fenced yard, your lifestyle, etc.

Layla answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Here's a great article on adopting a dog:

These are the main things I would look for:
- Dog is spayed/neutered and has been evaluated by a veterinarian before you adopt; recent negative heartworm test and all vaccinations up-to-date
- Does the dog fit with your lifestyle? Decide whether you want an active, high-energy dog or one with less energy.
- Does the dog get along with other dogs or other animals? How does the dog react to different types of people (children, men and women, elderly people, people in wheelchairs, etc.).
-Why is the dog up for adoption? Make sure you can handle or work through any obvious behavior problems. Be prepared to housetrain the new dog and attend obedience classes.
-Spend at least 30 minutes alone with the dog (I recommend visiting at least twice) before making a final decision.

I found my dog at and he has been great! Good luck!

Zack answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 5 Report this answer


Look for rescues in your area or State. Most rescues will transport the pet to you. Also, research the breed and ask ask ask questions. This baby has been through enough and to find a home then go back to rescue because research wasn't done would be a shame. Expect to spend the rest of your life with this precious baby. He/she expects to spend the rest of his/her life with you. And understand this precious baby may have had a traumatic time before meeting you - so have lots of patience, and let them know they can trust you and love once again.

Member 654003 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I adopted from shelters before, I got one dog and wanted another , now I have 2 dogs from the same shelter, They are mixed breeds and get along great. Look for a healthy dog,one that is spayed already and has a great personality ,friendly ,easy to train. I tried to adopt from a rescue company and they wanted my first born, they make it very difficult to enjoy the process. Good Luck

Member 668363 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer

Guido Luigi

Please remember that a dog is a lifetime commitment. Also, when adopting a dog (Linus was a rescue with uncertain history), you will have to deal with the past baggage. Linus was a pound puppy four times before he was 1 year old, and had been severely abused. He's been in my home 7 months now, and still afraid of people, but is slowly but surely coming out of his shell. It may take a long time to become acclimated to a new home, but its definitely worth the effort !

Guido Luigi answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Jesse (at Rainbow Bridge)

Before you explore adoption always ask yourself how much time do you have to devote to a dog. That will help determine the energy level you're looking for. Don't be a sucker for those adorable eyes peering at you from behind the chainlink if they belong to an Irish wolfhound and you occupy a bedsitting room.While activity is a factor consider as well how "into" grooming you are and how tolerant the neighbors will be of poochy singing at every moving object :) Ask yourself do you have time to housebreak a puppy and go to all those puppy classes etc. Once you have a mental checklist of what you want and what you're looking for observe carefully when you are at the shelter.Watch social behavior.. ist the dog timid tucking tail so to speak or really boisterous or somewhere inbetween. Does he/she come to you without coaxing? How does he/she interact with other dogs/ people? How possesive are they? Ask questions, tell the expert what your lifestyle is .. how active ( or not ) you are.

Jesse (at Rainbow Bridge) answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I think that you should find out if you can bring your dog with you and see if the dog you choose is compatible. Try and find out as much as you can about the dog and understand that this animal may have come from a bad place, so patience is very necessary.

Peanut answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Other than the medical history,papers spayed/neutered,, be sure you pick the right dog for you, there are several different tempermants,energy levels etc so the dog is based on how much time you intend to spend with em. Purchase a good food for the dog such

Be amazed of how many brands we thought were good are actually killing pets around the world. and remember that its a life time commitment with your new friend.

Molly answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Make sure you can afford another dog before getting one. Vets can be expensive. It isn't fair to take an animal if you can't afford to provide proper medical care for it.

Member 583264 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I adopted both my dogs and couldn't be happier angle was 6wk. and gidget was 1yr. and with both it was eye contact and I spend time with them at the shelter/pound and you will know. If you can go to the pound there are some good dogs there both of my dogs are from the pound and angle is now 7yr and gidget is 5yr and the best dogs in the whole wide world

Member 370944 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You will need to be sure that the additional dog you get will socialize with your current dog. I adopted a dog and the dog "visited" with its foster mom before I made a final decision. I adopted mine from a site I found on-line as I have a Shih-Tzu and wanted another to keep my girl company. The foster mom was so very helpful. I do not personally like to go to the pound as it really is too emotional. I would suggest you try an agency that has dogs for adoption as you will get their history and they will have been cared for as you would your own. I am attaching my new girl's photo as her face was a show stopper for me.

Kylie answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Some adoptions places will let you "foster" the dog for one week. This will allow you to see if you and the dog are compatible as well as to see if the new dog will get along with your current pets. Always ask for a history if it is known. Rescued dogs can be the most problematic as they are the ones that have definitely been abused or neglected. Be prepared to have to spend a lot of time with a new dog.

I just adopted a new puppy a week ago. She is getting along just fine with my other dog, but this past weekend she started acting out by urinating and deficating in the house. I don't know why she is doing this all of the sudden, but now I have to play detective to find out why. She did have an accident everyday, that I simply cleaned up without discipline. Now she is doing it several times a day even though I take her out every 2 hours. Be prepared for things like this. Something has caused her to do this and its up to me to figure it out.

Member 625687 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


He/she is going to need you to stick around a bit for the first week or two, to help get familiar with you. Can you afford time off work to do this? Also is it the kind of dog that needs lots of exercise, and you're elderly/unable to walk much? Is he/she going to be shut up in the house alone for eight or more hours in the day while you're at work? Do you have kids? Does the new dog get along with kids? Maybe you and your partner haven't had kids yet, but you will in the next few years. What then? Can you really afford veterinary fees, or do you qualify for charitable aid if you're on low income? Is it a sweet puppy, but might grow into a huge dog, and you live in a tiny town apartment? Don't even think of adopting a working dog/hound-type if there aren't miles of countryside for him/her to run in. One more big thing......"when you fall in love, it must be for ever........"

Member 651372 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Gracie Lou Our lil Boxer look

We just adopted a puggle from a shelter that busted a puppy mill, she had never walked in grass, she lived in a crate three high no flooring, no outside light or ventilation. We had boxers for 17 years, I still want a boxer, but anyway we looked around the shelter we took four dogs out, but I would always go back to look at this one hugging the back of the cage. She looked at me everytime but would not come over,so I walked out , then the four time in, I said she so cute and tried one more time nothing but when I raised up to leave she barked, so I asked to see her outside. And she picked us and faith would have it her name at the shelter was number 4, but now she is GRACIE LOU. She is doing great but it took about a good week for her to come to us. But she walks on a leash, she goes to her room at night, she travels with us, so you will know when you see the right one and go with your gut.. Never pity just love, corrections,limitation is the best way, NEVER HARM THEM...

Gracie Lou Our lil Boxer look answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


You should first research the dogs you are interested in. what were they bred to do? If they are a herding or sporting breed they will require a lot of space to run & relieve energy. If they were bred to herd they will need activity or will be bored & likely make your life miserable doing the wrong thing out of boredom. If they are a working breed they will want to own & protect you & your belongings. Not real good if you have a lot of strangers in out with kids while you are at work. Terriers need a lot of diciplin & training to fit in & keep you happy, they can be high maintenance if not trained correctly. Hounds... like attention & are very demanding & stubborn when they want their way. If you dont like barking while they are at play dont get a hound, they love to talk when they play. Toys, if you want an apartment dog & not much exercise these would be your best bet. Now shedding & size, most dont think about that cute little puppy growing up & the hair it will put down.

Lucy answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Roxanne (In Loving Memory)

Try to find out from the breeder or owner as much as you can about the dog's social (abuse, neglect) and medical (heartworms etc.) history. One of the most important things is having an idea of the dog's past so that if the dog develops something, like seizures or some other medical disorder or odd behavior, you will have an idea of how to move forward. Ask if you can take the dog to your own vet to be checked out before completely commiting. I had a two week adjustment period with my breeder. Ask the shelter what the return policy is if the dog doesn't work out. If you are adopting from a breed rescue group, the dogs have usually been thoroughly checked out by a vet. Check out some breed rescue sites for suggested questions to ask. I have corgis and the PWCCA was an excellent resource. Good luck in your endeavor.

Roxanne (In Loving Memory) answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would recommend looking at how much free time you have to invest in training and socializing a new dog. There are all types at rescues and shelters from owner surrenders due to financial difficulties to those rescued from a puppy mill so decide what type of rescue you want. My Allee was a rescue who was terrified of humans, probably due to abuse. When she first came to our house, she immediately bonded with my other dog Chloe. It is important to make sure the new dog and the dog you have get along. Chloe saw that Allee was terrified and took her under her wing teaching her and watching out for her so you want to make sure your dog will do that if you have a rescue with a tough past. In regards to Allee's human fear, she would come to me most of the time, but it took months until she would go near my husband and still will only go to one other person and tolerates only about 6 others near her without freaking out so make sure you have time to deal with the issues.

Allee answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My first concern is if the pet was truly vet checked. I brought home kittens one time that were said to be vet checked and ended up having a serious case of parasites. My other animals got very sick.

So... vet check your animals and quarantine them from your other animals. Take your new pet ASAP to your trusted veterinarian.

Be sure also that you are adopting for the right reasons and not because a child watched a movie and saw how cute they were. They are not cute when they barf on your new couch or tear up your brand new carpeting. Be sure you can withstand everything a pet can do because if you can't then you are not doing justice to the animal or your family.
Take your new pet for obedience training. Learn your animal. If you do not have the money nor the time for this then perhaps it is not the right time to be adopting an animal. They are family and training comes to them just as a new born child would learn to eat, sit up, walk, talk, toilet train. Best Wishes!

Fritz answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I adopted Lucy 4 1/2 years ago. She was around 5-7 years old and seemed very calm, mild mannered, and liked cats. Lucy suffered from severe separation anxiety when I brought her home. Lucy couldn't be left alone in my house, my yard, my car. Lots of damage was done because everytime I left Lucy thought she would never see me again. After researching separation anxiety on line and doing everything they said, Lucy is now the dog everyone wishes they had. People ask me how was I so lucky to get her. Please adopt from a shelter or rescue group, and please have patience. Your dog has an uncertain past but a wonderful future if you are willing to give it the time. These dogs have so much love to give and they are so worth it.

Member 661647 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer

Toby Austin

The most important thing to consider is your lifestyle. For example, If you are a quiet person who enjoys a good book you don't want a border collie who will be totally frustrated from lack of a job and exercise. However if you enjoy running or hiking, there are many good breeds who need the exercise on a regular basis and they'd love to keep you company! Beach person-get a retriever - they love the water! If you want to devote 15-20 years of your life think about a smaller dog-they typically have longer life span. Too many years to commit-bigger breeds (unfortunately )have shorter lives. Don't like shedding-don't get a golden retriever-try a poodle. Allergies? Poodles are hypoallergenic. Hate grooming? Get a short haired dog. But whatever suits your lifestyle, visit a shelter. These dogs will pay you pack a million times over and be the most devoted , grateful dog you'll ever find. I've adopted five from shelters in the past 14 years. Good Luck!

Toby Austin answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


First of all, think about your lifestyle.....are you ready to come home right after work? Are you willing to train your dog to at least basic obedience? Who else is in your family? Kids, other dogs, cats? Does everyone in the family want a dog? If yes, I suggest you read up on the breed you might be interested in, go to a breed conformation show, to an obedience match/trial and talk with rescue. Remember everyone in the family has to be comfortible with the breed/mix of your choice. Then, and only then either find a reputable breeder, check into rescue or check out what's at your local shelter. I bet a lot of "designer dogs' aka mixed breeds will be there. If you are a couch potato, get a basset hound or a chichuilla, a little dog can get exercise running around the coffee table. If you rent, make sure your lease allows you to have a dog, and if a size is specified. AND, last but not least, invest in a crate...BUT do not abuse it......the rule is leave pup/dog one

Member 686804 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Well, I adopted my dog Charlie from a shelter, and it turned out great! I would totally adopt, there are so many wonderful dogs out there without homes. One of the first things I would do, is research your breeds! I know many people who adopt or buy a dog that is totally wrong for their family. Like getting a border collie when you don't have the time or stamina to exercise or train it. Also think about how big this dog might get, and what the life expectancy is. Hope this helps!

Charlie answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


what I do is bring my furr-babies! to do the choos'ing for me! this works very well! they know who they will be happy with! I respect there judgement! it works I have 4! and just like kids! they squable but they are the BEST of friends! and my adopts are Always the best,as they KNOW we(my others) save'd them from destruction!

Member 647441 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


There are a lot of great answers here. I would definitely read and consider them. Rescue dogs make wonderful pets but they require a lot more time, patience, and energy then a dog that you have raised from puppyhood. Most rescue dogs have been severely abused and it takes time for them to learn that they can actually trust humans. This is something new to them so think about the people that will be in daily contact with the dog you get and make sure they treat the dog with extra TLC and give the dog extra time to get to know them Be your dog's protector and gaurdian and screen the people that come in contact with your dog. I hope you find a wonderful dog.

Member 704053 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Both of our dogs are rescues, and we adopted Freddy mainly as a playmate for Cayenne. She definitely needed a sibling. The rescue group allowed us to bring her with us so she could "pick out her own dog." That was a vital part of the process for us, and you should insist on the dogs meeting before you adopt. Ask questions of the foster family and any other volunteer who has experience with the particular dog; learn as much as you can (and as much as they know) about the dog's history, behavior since being rescued, and potential problem areas. Already having a dog will improve your chances with a rescue group. Many rescues come with a lot of baggage, and are not for "beginners." Be prepared to be patient. Many are scared, scarred, and confused. But prepared to watch your little rescue grow into an amazing animal with a big personality and lots of love and gratitude. That has been the most rewarding part of being owned by rescue dogs; witnessing the transformation.

Cayenne answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


dogs are a lot like people and difrent breeds ahve diferent personalities its like when I got my poodle I didnt know she was sharper than me lol its true when you take any annimal to keep it is a 24 seven job and if you treat it right it will treat you the same way
i would do some reaserch about the difrent breeds and ask your self what am i looking for in a dog (pet) I didnt pick my poodle she picked me we had thirteen years to gather
I should say wonderfull years
any dog you pick treat it like you want to be treated and never loose your temper and abuse it
good luck

Member 708138 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


How much time will you be at home, are you ready for a dog that maybe has been mistreated ?

Member 634453 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

 Bailey , Mystic , Isadora

I read through this and there is alot of Really good info here. I have 5 dogs. 2 are rescues.Yes they do take some figuring out, because you didn't raise them from puppies. Both my rescues Stella ( got her when she was about 4 She is now 14,) & Sabrina (she came to me when she was about 4 mos but had already had 3 homes. She is now 6) With both these girls I wasn't looking they came to me via friends. The first thing I did was take them to my vet for a through check up. The second .Was enroll them in an obedeince class. Important bonding goes on with this activity ,& trust is established . We all know that love and trust are important in any relationship and your relationship with your dog is no different. So from our pack to you good luckl! and Happy tails

Bailey , Mystic , Isadora answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

In loving memory of my Barney

We adopted from our local shelter to save a life. We have two dogs from the shelter, one was mistreated., Barney would bite and refuse to have anything to do with us at times for almost a year. You never know what you are getting at the shelter, but if you have the time and are willing to spend the time with your companion, you can have a great friend.
Just be sure you are ready to commit to a long term relationship and are willing for the animal to become part of your family. If you are not willing to put up with some bad behavior as well as the good, then don't adopt. Little animals are like children, they sometimes misbehave. Most of all, be willing to love your new family member and be sure you can provide the care he or she will need. Must be patient and willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure your new friend will remain healthy. Good luck.

In loving memory of my Barney answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


First , by another dog, do you mean that you already have one? If so then you need to make sure that both of your dogs get along. The next thing is to be sure that you can afford the extra expense for the life of your new family member, which is different for different breeds and the health of the dog. Remember, this is a commitment for the life of your new family member.

Mouse answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


We recently adopted 2 dogs from a local shelter. We knew we wanted 1 or 2 female, smaller, young, adult dogs. We knew this from past experience with our other dogs over many years. Our dog had passed away about 3 months prior. You don't say if you have other dogs or pets. It depends on so many factors when finding a dog to add to your family. I say take your time, know exactly what you are looking for. Keep looking until you find it.


Member 568436 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


We have a Golden Retriever girl that is a rescue.We went in blind.Three and a half hours later, Jenna was at home, cleaned, fed and covered with love.After 10 days, the dream became a hard reality so, since we had 3 weeks grace, I asked my wife if she wanted to bring Jenna back (hoping she would say no).All I said is, if you have a kid and well, you know how kids can So, now, 2 years later, we are all happy that we stood by our girl and a promise that she would NEVER go back to any shelter was made.Be a 100 percent sure about adopting and NO turning back.How would you like to be bounced around half your life?...Last but not least, and, this will bug some...The more we know people, the more we love our girl Jenna...
Dogs are truthful,no bull...they love you the way you are and for what you are.So please, do not do what others did by treating a beautiful dog like furniture. They have emotions, pay attention and watch them grow,

Jenna answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First , think about the size of you'r home , then the size of the dog you think would fit in you'r life style . A dog is a living comitment . Not just a toy , new play thing or some thing you forget to take care of . If you show you'r affections and caring , the animal will return the same . Check local Animal shelters , make sure they are neutured / spayed . How old is the dog , does he or she have a good disposition .

Peanut answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


From your dogie page it looks like you have room for the puppies to play. If you go to your local shelter visit all the souls there. Think about how Molly is she seems to like to play and I've never seen a mean breed like hers. Then see who's there that spends time with the dogs and ask lots of questions of him or her and also the front office about the ones your interested in. The shelter out here has an area you can have the ones you interested in put outside so you can visit with (1 at a time). My last shelter friend I had was such a sweetheart. Just remember to ask lots of questions. You can not find out anything if you do not ask... Good Luck either way you go.

Member 599231 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Personally I believe any unwanted behavior can be corrected and changed if the person doing the adopting will honestly commit to educating himself and putting in the work. There is no such thing as a non-adoptable dog...rather ill-equipped adopters. Obviously you would not want to bring a "red-zone" dog into an environment with children or with the elderly, but education and training of the human is the key. Also if you presently own a dog, that dog's safety has to be considered. That being said the issue you really need to consider no matter what dog you choose is if you are willing to give it 110% time,effort and energy for the next 10-17 years. You don't get to quit because things aren't as ideal as you had hoped...pets of any variety are NOT disposable and chances are any animal you acquire from a rescue or shelter WILL have have to be in it for the long haul and be willing to seek training and education for yourself so that the situation will matter what!!

Member 428562 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

China RIP April 12th, 2012

I would check with a reputable shelter who can be depended upon to check for temperament and health - you don't want to land yourself with a pile of behaviour problems!

You need to check whether the dog has been neutered or spayed, and if not, are you prepared to pay for this? What about heartworm? Or any other problems such as hip dysplasia? What are the teeth like? Any food allergies? Check out the behaviour too - how much training will you need to do? And do you feel competent to sort out any issues yourself?

If you're thinking of bringing a member of a specific breed into your life (Great Dane for instance!) it's a good idea to research as much as possible about that breed and seek out a rescue that specialises in it.

The more research you do, the better so that you minimise the risk of any unpleasant surprises.

Good luck! Someone is going to be lucky to find their forever home with you.
China (I was rescued!)

China RIP April 12th, 2012 answered on 8/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


think about what kind of lifestyle you have and then from that think of what size dog whould best suit you... i live on a farm so i have larger dog but... not to say you can't have a big dog either.

Jess answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Mr. Lucky Smallwood

It is important to decide (befoire you fall in love with a particular face) what size, activity level and temperament will be best for your household.
I am with a Yorkie rescue but small dogs are not for everyone and their personalities vary just like other breeds.
The beauty of the rescue method when a foster home is involved - is that you can get a review of personality traits, likes, dislikes from the foster family instead of buying a puppy and hoping it will grow up to be like you want.
Spend time with the dog - at the foster home, or at Pet Expos or at meet and greets. Just walking down a line of cages and choosing a dog by age, color, breed or size may not be enough to make sure it is a match for you and your family

Mr. Lucky Smallwood answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think all the above mention comments are great. I would like to add that if you adopt any pet you as the owner need two very important things…patients & time. I think those are two key elements in being a responsible pet owner.

Stormy was adopted from an “Animal Care Fair” That is where many adoption/rescues come together for a 2-3 day adoption event. This once a year event is sponsored by Pet Supplies Plus, so check with your local pet stores for such events.

Pet Supplies Plus Adoption calendar…

Member 85761 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I have found that they unexpectedly change over time. The perfect pet you adopted originally, may become a trash hound in 6 months. Or tear things up when you're gone. They may do the opposite. You may need to crate them in the begginning, and as time goes by find out that they don't need it. Just be prepared for personality changes. You don't know what they went through before you, and they may even learn some good/bad habits at your home.

Mandy answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

(JD) M's Wrong Dog FCh, RE, JC

If you are considering a pure bred rescue do plenty of research on the breed. If you get a mixed breed watch it's energy level. Get a dog that has your energy level or below.

If you get a higher energy breed and cannot drain its energy by walking it or jogging with it, you will have behavior problems. Puppies are going to be high energy for a couple of years at least so if you don't have the kind of time to commit to multiple walks a day consider adopting an adult dog. Having a big yard doesn't count - dogs need to get out and do things.

Look for a rescue that uses foster homes. They will know the dog and will have a better idea of how that dog is going to act in your home than a rescue that just has the dogs in runs or kennels. Look for a rescue that asks lots of questions and is interested in finding the dog that matches best with your lifestyle and that offers support after adoption.

(JD) M's Wrong Dog FCh, RE, JC answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Isis Cleopatra Athena Pandora

You have been given lots of great advice here! One way to research, if you are hoping to adopt a purebred, is to join some of the groups here and ask about the breed.

Try to go in "blind" without letting the appearance of the dog bias your choice. (except size, that IS very important!) Choosing a breed on what "looks pretty" can work out badly if the behavior/instincts do not work with your lifestyle.

When we got our first dog, my husband wanted a Basset Hound and I wanted a German Shepherd - but those breeds were not right for our life at the time.

In the end, we chose the whippet. Although they do need to burn off energy - they get short bursts of energy and then love to lie around all day.

Whippets do have "downsides" - they are "velcro dogs", but cannot be trusted off leash. For us, the downsides were not a problem.

Learning about the breeds helped us to find the perfect breed for us. Whippets are certainly very different from Bassets or GSD's - but we now have four!

Isis Cleopatra Athena Pandora answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I am a veterinarian and most people care about size, health matters, and shedding. I got some great help from just looking at the humane society before we got our dogs.

Member 655768 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You should DEFINITELY Foster a dog before you adopt one, each dog has a different personality - and don't listen to people that say research a breed - there are so many mutts out there that need a home and are great dogs. You should try to find a local dog fostering rescue organization such as Great Dog Rescue New England GDRNE - that's where I got my dog, you foster a dog until they get adopted and then you can pick another dog to foster or if you want to keep the dog after living with him or her you get first right. Many places let you put in a wish list if you like big dogs or a certain breed. We still foster to this day to give our dog a friend now and then and it makes you feel good to help one of those poor dogs out!

Brady answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

JR 1995-July 31, 2013

you have been given lots of good advice here. The things I think are important to remember are, to do your research on the kind of dog you are looking for. Know what the breed or mix of breeds needs. Understand that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. Remember being the caretaker of a dog is not just about providing food and water. Be prepared for regular vet expenses (in my area a dental for a dog will run around $200) and grooming (for my dogs its about $50 each every 6 weeks). An adopted dog can come with some issues. Are you prepared and willing to spend time and money on training classes? If more people asked questions before getting a pet, there would be fewer pets in the shelters. Dogs are not disposable, they are not commodities to sell or trade, they are living, breathing, feeling, loving beings that deserve love, family and happiness. BRAVO to you for going in with your eyes open!

JR 1995-July 31, 2013 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Take into consideration that animals at your local shelter may have issues you will have to deal with - our dog is an abuse/neglect rescue and we have spent a lot of time working with her - she still needs lots of reassurance, love and socialization to learn that people are ok. It is a huge commitment but worth every bit of effort!

Member 673208 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I think adoption from a shelter/rescue group is great! I always ask myself if I am truly ready...for
me, being a "Mom" is all encompassing. You have
to be prepared for everything that will come with
your pet. Do you have the time, financial ability,
and commitment to make it possible?

I adopted my "middle child" from the local Humane Society and she is such an amazing gift...she is my heart! She has had some "special needs" ie. medical care, patience when house training (she was rescued from a puppy mill and had never been outside her kennel...she didn't know how to run, was not housebroken, and was extremely fearful of men) and has a dislike of
furniture with skirts...she systematically removed
them :-) Even so, I can truly say she is the sweetest dog I have ever known! She is no longer fearful, completely house trained, and gives her sisters a run for their money on walkies...I do not, however, buy furniture with skirts!

Annabelle answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You will know when you see that dog, you will feel the tug at your heart.
You have to be patient with them, because you don't know what kind of life they had before. So just love them.

Bobo answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Please ask yourself honestly if you are ready for a dog. Training, time, vet bills, etc. These dogs from shelters have already been through enough- they need a stable and dedicated home. You must be prepared to commit to the dogs needs which may include housebreaking, socialization and training, training, training. If you answer yes to above...go visit your local shelter and see if you connect with a dog, don't make an impulse adoption, take your time! If you don't find the dog of your dreams right away, just keep visiting the shelter- unfortunatly they have new dogs arriving almost daily- good luck!

Rufus answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Calamity Jane (CJ) (RIP)

Such a lot of very good answers! I have 4 'shelter dogs' currently. Info on the shelter's animals is often sparse, so here is what I look for: 1. Will this dog fit our lifestyle? 2. Is he/she healthy? 3. Are you ready for a lifetime commitment? If any of these answers are "no", keep looking. Some shelter dogs have a lot of issues - are you prepared to deal with them? Willing to take on the financial burden of owning a pet? I carry pet insurance so if I have to make a life or death decision about my pets it won't be for financial reasons. Best of luck to you - I hope you find your furever friend!

Calamity Jane (CJ) (RIP) answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sierra Bonita

Regardless of where you find the dog of your dreams - KNOW THE BREED! Whether you already know what kind of dog you are looking for or fall in love with one on a rescue site, take the time to research the breed. There are some breeds who, no matter the size, need lots of exercise and training to keep distructive behavior at bay.

Sierra Bonita answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

A Lil Bit of Ginger II

All of these answers are great!! I think the most important questions you should ask yourself is; Am I ready for a lifetime commitment to a dog? Some breeds live a long time. It's the same thing as having a child. Do you travel a lot? Is there someone you can trust to take care of your furkid? Are you financially able to take on another one? If you get one from a shelter or a rescue, you really never know what has happened to the dog in it's early life. Shelters don't know because they only know what the people that brought the dog in tell them. Adoption/foster families know what they have been told, and how they act now, but growing up issues may be overlooked. I think both shelter and adoption/foster are great, but neither of them know about the dog in it's infant time. There could have been issues they never are told. Just be sure you have a good bond with the dog. Make sure the dog you have now will accept the new one in your home. After all, it is her home too. Good luck!!

A Lil Bit of Ginger II answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Lots of good advice already here, but I'd just like to reiterate that you'll need to have PATIENCE. Our doxies (rescued together) have taken over a year and a half to get to the stage where we feel they're relaxed and have lost most of their bad habits. We thought we'd never get here! It's hard work, but you'll be rewarded more than you ever expected.

Luc answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Trust and respect your decision to adopt and rescue. Trust and respect the directives of the rescuers regarding each dog's needs. Understand that your new best friend may have "ghosts". Respect, Responsiblity, Empathy, Compassion and LOVE; GIVE in abundance; if you aint giving, you aint livin. The resiliant love of this animal is yours to the depth of the sun!

Member 664467 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


If you can find a dog of the same size or breed ,should be much easer for your dog that you have to be more at ease and not threatend by a newcomer.

Member 655494 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Scruffy (In Loving Memory)

I've never personally adopted a dog via a listing, but I can give you the benefit of my experiences adopting from shelters. First, before you step out your door, consider the following:

1. Exercise: How much time will you have?
2. Energy: Do you have a low, middle, or high energy level?
3. Schedule: Will you be home at a regular times every day?
4. If you currently have a companion, consider their needs as well. A senior dog, for example, may not be able to handle being around an energetic pup or teenaged dog. An alpha dog may not be very welcoming at all.
5. If you need to be away from home a lot during the day, are there dog walkers available for hire?

Then go to the shelter, have a chat with the staff and explain to them what you are looking for and need in a companion. Go through the shelter and see if there's a possible match. If you have another dog, you should bring them with you to make introductions to see how they get along.

Good luck!

Scruffy (In Loving Memory) answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


When you are planning on adopting a dog, one thing that I believe is of utmost importance is: Is this dog going to need to be groomed often and are you willing to spend the time and money to do so. If your answer is "it will be to expense to get professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks" Then I suggest you don't adopt a dog that has the kind of coat that is considered high maintenance, like the poodle, shih tzu, lhasa Apso, Bichon. Any dog that has a coat that continually grows needs to be groomed. So when you see that cute, fluffy dog or puppy think about the cost and time you will spend before you say "I'll take it".

Pippin answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


first off all my dogs i have either gotten from a shelter of have found. you want to be sure you have the time and energy for a dog make sure the new addition will get along with your other pets and humans in the house also with a little research you can view dogs at shelters before you go and adopt and do some research on breeds you do not know and lastly look at the no kill shelters cause if you adopt one there will be room for another animal that needs help

Member 499081 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


look if hey or shey comming up to you in the keneal

Member 657707 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Gretta Breanne

You should think about your lifestyle and what you like to do. Do you like to take walks, or do you preferring quiet activities like reading and movies? Does your lifestyle include other people, children, other animals and if yes, are they quiet or boisterous? What do you want from a dog - a companion, something to take care of and dote on? Once you contemplate these you can then narrow down the categories. If you are not very active, you would rule out the terriers and more active dogs. If you have young children, you may not want an older dog that may expire or may not be as enthusiastic as a puppy. I hope this helps - it really helped me when I was looking for a dog.

Gretta Breanne answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


There is nothing more rewarding than the love a dog will give back to you. But be prepared to have your life change, especially if it will be a house dog because they will want your attention a lot and training young ones takes a huge amount of time and patience. Also, you never know what medical expenses may pop up so be sure you can afford the vet care if needed. That said, I have had dogs all my life and our Corky gives unconditional love and I wouldn't trade the work & expense for the world. We love him to pieces.

Corky answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Look for a mix breed..i personally think they are the best animals...their wicked smart...and mix breeds have the best personalitys...thats something else to look for..the personality of the pup..are u calm and mellow or do you need a pup that can keep up with hiking and your energetic personality....Right now i have 21 2 of my females just had theres a group of mellow ones and a group of wicked energetic you have to look at what your going to be doing with the dog...again...but its up to you

Zoe answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Ask why the dog was brought to the shelter or rescue. I adopted from a shelter to find out the only reason Prissy was there was because the previous owner felt they did not have enough time for her. The shelter was also able to provide a questionaire that the previous owners had filled out. This allowed me to know the good and bad about Prissy. Prissy is no longer with us, she was old, but she changed my life, this is partly due to the amount of information that the shelter was able to provide me. I knew what to expect when I brought her home.

Bandit answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First of all you MUST realize that adopting or buying a pet is a lifelong commitment & not to be taken lightly. Having a pet is a big responsibility. You, as the owner, must take steps & humane measures in protecting your pet. Medical care can be very expensive & you must take this into consideration when buying or adopting a furbaby. Another thing to consider is, if you already have a pet, how will your present pet accept the new pet? I know this from personal experience, as I had a teacup poodle that developed lymphangectasia & required medications, radiation testing, doctor's visits & in order for her to have the best medical care I chose to work 2 fulltime jobs until her death to provide the best of medical care & treatment for her. I DO NOT regret anything or ANY amount of money I spent on my baby because SHE gave me UNCONDITIONAL love until her last breath.
Donna Fortner

Member 587940 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Think about the vet bils, shots routine visits etc.,possible illnesses. Then the food and dog bed,toys,leashes, collars,and treats.Next how much time will you spend with the dog.? Do you want a puppy or older dog.? Puppies are like taking care of babies. Some older dogs do have behavior problems youll have to deal with. Now do you want a lap dog or a big dog? Are you familiar with any breeds? Do you have any friends with dogs you could speak with about their breed.? Biggest thing is this is a lifetime deal. You get the dog and he/she is like your own fleshnblood fur child. You are reponsible for them for the rest of their life. feeding ,caring ,and loving,etc. Above all you want to give them the best and loving forever home that you can for they depend on you. : )

Member 481660 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Biggest Problem: Do you think a move would cause you to ever give up a pet? If you answer yes, never adopt...period!

Roscoe answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I adopted a Rat Terrier six years ago. Chico had some trust issues, but I knew about them before I adopted him. What I didn't know, and failed to ask, was about his health. It seems he had allergies. I was spending about $400.00 a year on vet bills when I discovered a certain brand of dog food that might correct this problem. After switching his food, he no longer has allergies, but it took me two years to find the answer to Chicos problem.
Be sure you ask about any health issues. It just may help you decide which dog is good for you.

Member 550361 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Read EVERY entry on this page. Each entry has crucial info and help with this decision.

Be honest with yourself when deciding if you are willing to make a serious commitment to this dog.

If not sure of your commitment level, consider "fostering" before making the leap to adoption.

Lastly, I feel going with a private rescue organization is better than going to the pound. The pound/animal shelter can be very confusing and overwhelming for the first time adopter.

MAKE sure the rescue organization is reputable. You can check them out just as you would any other not for profit organization.


Member 658097 answered on 8/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Depends wether you want a puppy or a older dog about 9 - 12 months. Puppies poo and wee everywhere and chew everything they can get there mouth onto. Maybe an older dog, it should be toliet trained, also, teething should be either over or almost over. Will the new dog get on with my present dog. Can I afford to have two dogs. Do I have the space and time to have two dogs. A shelter would be my first place to look, as they usually have the dogs best interest at heart, not just out for the money.

Member 605055 answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


How will this dog fit into my current lifestyle.
Find out as much about the dogs history as you can.
Will the dog respond well to children?
Age of the dog.
Is the dog meek, pees when you approach it?
How does the dog respond to a man?
Does the dog flinch when you reach to pet his head?
How much excerise will this dog require?

Member 708554 answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Adoption is a blessing to the animals and the new owners. Be aware of the expense for properly caring for the new family member. I have rescued from shelters with great success! Gave a puppy to my nephew and a kitten to my niece. Both became family for years. There is always a risk of disease..So take to the vet immediately! You can tell by looking in the eyes of the dog,if it's a match. Look for liveliness and clear bright eyes. We have two adopted cats. One is 17 years old. We have three adopted dogs. One is 12 years old. Chew toys are essential !! And patience while training! If you have problems, get into a training class at one of the Pet stores. They are great!! Labs chew everything including the walls of your home for two years...after that they're wonderful. Good Luck and many happy years!!

Member 537089 answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


The most important part of being adopted by a dog is that you can return the total and unreserved commitment for its entire life. That's why strays or shelter fur friends are so great. They have been hurt, in one way or another, after devoting themselves to a former caregiver, and are so ready to trust again. Love from a "four on the floor" is total, so you should be able to act in kind.....

Member 121763 answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Rufus T. Firefly

I moved into a home with a huge yard just to get a dog..........I started on petfinder and found my wonderful oldest son. Rufus was a puppy mill dog and was so shy the first week. He was already 3 yrs old never seeing grass. I had him smiling within the first month. Now that I've had him for over 2 yrs, the training is on going. And no matter how much I put him outside to "potty" he still has accidents. Alot of the points people have made are all really good. Make sure you have time to spend with an adopted dog, my oldest needs more mommy time than the other boys, will your other dog get jealous? He'll need training and you'll need money. But the love you get from a rescue is so much better than anything in the world. Also if you are looking for a breed specific dog look on petfinder as they have people all over with breed specific adoptions

Rufus T. Firefly answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i think that you should go back into the dogs medical records or atleast ask the owner of the dogs about how he/she acts. You also need to look and see if you can afford the food and all the needs for your dog because I LOVE to spoil my dog to a certain extint. LOL!! Also talk to the owner and see if you can just go and spend some quality time with it and get to know it and also if you have younger kids or any other animals see how the dog will react.

Member 705085 answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Think if you have enough room for a dog, do you have the extra time they require, think of the size of dog according tothe amount of room you have. When you thru the shelter, you know the dog will have its shots and often already spayed or neutered and you will be saving it from the ultimate.

Reine answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Things to consider:
Where you live: do you have tons of room for a dog with lots of energy? A small apartment more suited for a small breed?

What's your lifestyle? Do you like to run? Just a couch potato? Your dog's energy level should somewhat match your own.

What are your finances like? I easily spend $600-700 per year on my dog for food, vaccines, heartworm/flea prevention, toys, boarding, etc.

Do you travel a lot? Who will watch your dog if you travel? Can you afford pet sitters or boarding costs if you vacation frequently or travel for work?

Age of dog: Do you want a dog already housebroken and trained, or do you want a puppy?

Good luck!

Bailey answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Rescue is definitely the way to go! Almost every breed out there has a rescue group these days, and every dog needs a forever home. Find out why the dog is there to begin with. If the dog you have chosen came to rescue because of behavioral or medical issues, don't let that stop you! Just make sure that you are equipped and willing to spend the extra time and/or money to invest on him. As always, it should be a lifetime committment once you sign those papers. Also, make sure the dog you choose is one who is well suited for your lifestyle and schedule. Do some research on the different breeds. Take the dog you have now to meet any potential candidates. Talk to the rescue folks about what to look for when determining a good match. I am of course partial to ex-racing greyhounds, who are true rescues. Without enough adoptive homes for those who are discarded every year by the racing industry, literally thousands still die. Just a thought! Whatever you choose, good luck and congratulations!

Bandit answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First off I think it's great that you want to adopt from a shelter. I have been a dog obedience instructor for 40 years, Some of my best students were dogs from shelters
There are things to really study up and think about before getting a dog. The amount of exercise you can give it. The space you have to share with it. Apt or house? My neighbors. My kids. Learn what the dog was breed for!! And goodness, take it to a quilified Obedience Instructor in your area,.
Good Luck!

DAKOTA answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My first dog was a rescue and he was aggressive and eventually taken back to the shelter. :( In order to avoid this, I would suggest asking as MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN about the dog's attitude, behavoir, past, and breeds. Also, I realised after having my dog that you should foster that particular dog (if possible) before going ahead and adopting it. Good luck! :)

Jordan answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


you have to know how to take care of a dog.(i suggest read dog ownership manuals) and it is a big responsibility taking care of a dog. you will have to feed it twice a day, play with it, take it for walks, clean up after it, teach it how to behave, give it baths and brush it,teach it tricks and you will ALLWAYS have to have time for it. if you dont have time for it it will run away or get aggressive with you(even if you taught it how to behave) it is a new family member, not a piece of junk.

Molly answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


exactly what layla said i agree, have time for a dog, know the costs of shots and vet bills, and have a place for the dog. other than that i agree with her wholeheartley.

Member 602077 answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I just have a few things to add.

1. Follow your heart! Charlotte became a part of my family because I couldn't shake that feeling that she was the one. If I hadn't taken her home, she'd be dead right now.

2. Consider giving your new dog a new name. It can help them to leave behind any emotional baggage they might be carrying that was associated with their name.

3. Patience! It will take awhile for a new dog to become accustomed to you and your desires.

4. Appearances can be deceiving! My dog looked TERRIBLE the first time I saw her. She was filthy, her hair was falling out, she paced incessently, and the smell was unbearable. All these things can be changed.

5. Be prepared to socialize, socialize, socialize! Especially important if getting an adult dog and you are unsure of their upbringing. Socialization helps ensure that the dog will not have unwarranted fears. It may take years to bring a really shy dog out of their shell. Some never come completely out.

Charlotte answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I would be careful of getting dog out of the paper or online, these are riddled with puppy mill dogs and back yard breeders- you will pay a ton and can get a dog that is completely maladjusted. case in point- my mother in law got a chihuahua out of the paper, and then dropped the dog off at my place, while she went on vacation- i was so outraged by the dogs condition at seven months, i was actually crying. we put a little wieght on him and he went on walks with us and our two pups, and was treated LIKE A DOG, not a lap puppet. He really started to enjoy it. Under the conditions that she never get another 'non rescue', and she continues to put weight on him until his backbone does not show, and he be immediately neutered and shots UTD, and she continues training and walking him, i gave the dog back after about a 3 hour lecture. basically, please do not be discouraged by the 'shelter dog, i have 2, one adjusted fabulously and the other required A LOTof work'- but luv them both!

Sadie answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If u live in a apartment do they allow pets. Do u have plenty of time to walk the dog. A big dog like a shepard needs alot of room to run. If It's a rescue dog do they know about temperment,illness,shots,why it's a rescue dog. I've always found that getting the dog is better to get the animal from an induvidual than a shelter.

Member 420505 answered on 8/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Most important is as with children to be sure they like each other and that there is no jelousy.I learned the hard way to be sure to have lots of chew bones and toys.You do not have to find out while you were occupied some one made a snack of your coffee table.

♥Jenna♥ answered on 8/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


What I would do is well, you have to make sure the dog is child friendly. And you of course have to like the dog too. You know, you have to connect with it. A lot of times what happens is you see the dog and say," That's the one," because you just, connected. Plus you have to make sure that the dog isn't over protective. You might want to have a dog that loves to go on walks, or maybe an inside dog, or a dog that you can take to the snow. You know, the dog kind of has to fit what you do. You might want a dog with short hair because then it won't get all tangled. Plus, you might have dog limits for where you live. Like, you might live in an apartment so the dog can only be so heavy. But one thing that I would definately do is make sure that the dog is kid friendly, even if you don't have kids, you still want a kid friendly dog no matter what. Plus, there's different things that each person might want. But remeber, each person is different, and each dog is different.

Bella answered on 8/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You should think that if you will have time to spend with the dog and also and make sure that you have a enough space in your house and a good fenced in yard for the dog to run around in.

Member 532233 answered on 8/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First and foremost, do you have the time to devote to the new family member? Will you be able to give the dog the care and love it will need? Make sure you get as good a background on the dog as possible, i.e., does it get along with other dogs, is it housebroken and friendly, has it had any formal training that the shelter knows about?

The one we adopted for my son is a BlueTick Coon hound and someone had beaten this dog bad enough that he would not even raise his head to let you pet him. It took a very long time to get him to understand he is a part of our family and now he will walk up to you and let you pet him, scratch his tummy and treats are for special occassions.

Also, how much time is grooming going to take and are you able to handle that?

Member 690460 answered on 8/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


1) Adopted dogs are wonderful and shelters are a great place to find your new friend. They cover all of the most important basics BEFORE your dog comes to you and have done a behavior assessment.

They often deflea, deworm, vaccinate, spay or neuter, microchip, and more. One shelter I know even does lots of socialization and training on some dogs before they go out to parents.

2) Ask. The animals you see in a shelter are not necessarily the only ones that they have. If you can meet with an adoption counselor and tell them your needs, you can often reach into the network of animals who are out of the shelter for fostering. For example, right now I am fostering a beautiful golden who would fit right into a family home but who did not thrive in the shelter environment.

3) Matchmaking. Shelters are very good at the process of assessing animals and helping you to find a good match for your current buddy.

Ellie answered on 8/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sweetie Pie

Good for you for asking this important question! I work in a dog shelter and one of the questions I have for potential adopters is "why are you adopting a dog?" Answers range from "for my kids, to I just lost my pet of 15 yrs, to I want a dog to be my friend". Ask yourself why you want a dog. It's important to know that dogs are a huge commitment. Do you have the time and energy? Are you planning to adopt a puppy or an adult? Having a dog for a companion is wonderful--my biggest suggestion is to take your time and spend as much time researching and visiting shelters to get an idea of what exactly you are looking for.
Good luck to you!

Sweetie Pie answered on 8/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


what the purpose of the dog is

Is it a digger? a swimmer? a hunter? a herder? a guardian?

also, how much time and energy do you have for training? Does the dog already have his "manners in"

Last but not least, are your willing to help an elderly animal or take on a problem child.

Oh, yes, one more thing. How will the animal interact with your family and or other pets.

All the best

Sharon Hinckley

Member 646488 answered on 8/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


#1.look at your home enviroment: like for example- is your apartment or house big enough for a small,medium,or large dog.

#2.look at the area were you live is there space outside-for example a yard or near by park.

#3.what is your family obligations ages are an important factor, work schedual, do you have time to potty train, or do you need a self starter, :) lol

#4.MOST IMPORTANT-first look in a shelter-THEY ALL DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE ITS NOT THEY'RE FAULT THEY WERE BORN INTO A SITUATION,and its not they're fault they are there-they didnt just walk through the front doors by themselves :)
give a life a chance.

wishing you the best and your new family member as well enjoy

canela answered on 9/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm a little late in answering this. One of the most important things you should make sure of before even considering another dog is, does the dog you have now listen to you. This can be the number one factor in how quickly your guys will get along together. Dogs living together, is a lot different than the meet and greets that you go through before the adoption. They can get along famously during the initial meetings, then go crazy and start fighting when the new guy settles into your home. So unless you can at least control one dog in that situation, things can possible turn out bad for the new guy. You will return him to the rescue, and you may have been his last shot at a home. I know this all to well, because that's what happened when I got adopted. Now look at me !

Yukee answered on 9/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Think about the fact that the dog you get from the pound may not have the same personality once you get them home. They may be shy and once home they will get more comfortable. Remember it's a dog and they will destroy stuff cause they are nervous being at a new place. It takes time for an adult dog to get to know your habits. You don't know what they've been through before coming to your home. Make sure they can't eat your your plants which make them sick. They need love and attention. Take a dog training class so you and your new pup can learn how to communicate. And most of all remember never to hit your dog. All that does is make them afraid of your hand.

Milli answered on 9/8/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


As pet owners, know that we HAVE to behave accordance to the dogs instincts, which comes with each dog.. First thing I did was to search the Internet to find a dog that would be compatible with my personality (lazy and Very laid back).

Learn dog training from professional trainers (the Internet is a great source). Consider the dog's exercise needs, the amount of time you have for training the dog, will the dog be by himself when left alone and be patience with your new friend.

Consider a rescue dog, if you don't find the right dog--go back to inspect the new arrivals until you see and feel from your heart the dog is a perfect match.

Member 656690 answered on 9/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The number one questions are are you ready can you handle and everybody should know this, a good dog owner should know and dogster member know that once you get a dog keep it love it and taking it to the pound or give it away is not an option!!!!!!

pepper answered on 10/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


1.I think you should get a dog from a rescue shelter so that way youll be saving a dog.2.Select your breed about what your looking for for example a hunting dog youd want a hound or terrier.For a companion choose a lap dog but labs ,retrivers and border collies are great companions.3.Your color should be about where you live example if you have ticks where you live choose a white dog.4.Ask if you can spend a bit of time with it to see its personality.

Woffie answered on 10/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You can adopt a dog from anywhere you want to. Here's some things to think about....
1) When you go, close yourself off to the cute little puppy faces and sad little eyes you'll see staring at you! They can be very hard to resist, but you can't fall in love with the first puppy (or adult dog) you see just because they're cute. Ever read the book Marley & Me? Yeah, good example. You should definitely read it.
2) You also have to choose the age and sex of the animal....Females are generally easier, but if you feel up to a male dog, go ahead.

Some general advice:
* the cutest dog you see could be a holy terror, so think before you adopt!!!
* Adults might be trained already, but they're also more apt to have behavorial problems....but, as I said before, if you want an adult dog, go ahead.

Hope this helped! Paw-mail me anyone if you have suggestions on how to improve my answer.

Issey answered on 1/2/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


There is nothing much to think about for purchasing a dog,it depends upon your choice that you want the dog from which breed?There are many of breeds of dog you have to simply choose one of them.

Member 816825 answered on 4/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


NEVER NEVER NEVER ADOPT A PET FROM A PET STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunny answered on 4/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


you should think about how many times a month are you going to groom this dog,how about if he gets hit by a car or if something happens to him that will cost alot of money,how much exercise should you give a dog a week you should give him at least 8 walks a week at least,how many times do i have to take him out well every dog has to go out for than 15 times a day to get plenty of exercise,what food should i feed my dog well there are alot of good brands and alot of crappy brands try feeding your dog merrick,solid gold,orgien,blue buffalo,eagle or innova dog food,how much am i going to spend on my dogs well an average cost is about 300-600 dollars if you are going to buy a small dog thrn it will be less but the bigger the dog the more it have great luck finding a dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Member 824516 answered on 4/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If you find a dog you like, ask the staff if you could take him home for a day or two and see if the dog likes you and you family. See if he fits in your lifestyle. If this helps please contact me. I'm the sheltie named Huntington.

Huntington answered on 4/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


think about what breeds you might want, based on characteristics, then find a rescue group or shelter that has a dog might like, and meet it, also please get
an older dog, puppies go fast

Member 656972 answered on 6/4/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


ok what i would do is make sure all the dogs are in good health. because you dont want and unhaelty puppy.try to go with a dog that has a good behavor and is good whit people tat migt help oh puls make sure the place that you are going to get the dog from is a nice clean and health place and makesuer the people teart the animals right

bandit answered on 11/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I know the thread is really old, but whatever!

1. You want to see if you have enough money to get the dog, and the supplies.

2. You will have to take the dog to the vet, as soon as you get her, to see if she has any worms, or anything else wrong with her.

3. You will need to groom this dog. A Poodle would require a lot of grooming, while a Basset Hound would not.

4. You will have to exercise this dog. A Poodle will need a lot of exercise, they can be trained to hunt, to. A Basset Hound, they are pretty lazy, but they still need some exercise. If dogs do not get exercise, they will start, barking, digging, whining, jumping, biting, and will become very destructive.

5. Where will you get the dog at? I would not buy a dog from the papers, because a lot of those dogs are puppy mill dogs, and from breeders. Do not get one from a pet store, either. Adopt from a shelter, or rescue.

Member 930032 answered on 1/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

 • Lucy •

If you are getting a dog you should search its breed. Find out info about it. Make sure you have a big enough backyard too. And, depending on the breed, you have to be will ing to give alot of walks.

• Lucy • answered on 3/12/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You must always think about which one you like, agree with the family, price and budget, when you will get it, is it a good dog or not and if the pet will suit you.

Member 973269 answered on 3/12/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i think you should see what dog is best for you.

Member 979354 answered on 4/4/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First determine what kind of dog you want, just as if you were going to a breeder. You will find that even if you have a specific breed you want, say a beagle, there are breed specific rescues. But there are also mixes/crosses that are in the local shelters. Check the shelter out too. If you are looking at your local pound, chances are that the pup/dog you adopt won't have any medical attention at all. No spay/neuter, deworm, heartworm, rabies vac, etc... Know if you are willing to pay hundreds of dollars in vet bills before your new dog is ready to really play.
However, there are some no-kills that take care of health before you adopt. These dogs are usually heathly and fixed.
Another thing you need to decide is if you want a pup or adult. If its from a good shelter, then adults are a fun choice because they learn quicker than pups and are sometimes already housebroken, plus they aren't in that high chewing stage anymore...

I hope this helps!

Gunner answered on 4/12/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Holly, CGC

You should think about the following:

What size home do I have - will a small, medium or large breed dog be comfortable?

How much time do I have to spend with my dog? Dogs are social, pack animals and are not happy stuck out in the backyard all alone - they want to be part of the family.

Is my yard fenced in, or will I have to walk my dog a few times a day?

How much energy am I looking for in a pet? Some breeds need a lot of exercise and activities to keep them happy and from becoming destructive.

Can I afford a dog? Dogs come with a lot of unexpected expenses. They eat things they shouldn't and have to go to the vet. They can get hurt and have to go to the vet. They can develop diseases/cancer just like people, and have to go to the vet. Feeding a good quality food isn't cheap either.

What will I do with the dog when I go on vacation? Do I know of a reputable kennel, and am I prepared for that expense? Of do I have friends/family members who would be willing to dog-sit?

Holly, CGC answered on 5/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


First of all, I would avoid listings in a paper. That can spell disaster. They may be backyard breeders, sick dogs trying to be pawned off, etc.

Stick with a reputable rescue or shelter.

Here are some things to think about:

1. Do I have the time for another dog?
2. What dog would fit my current lifestyle?
3. Will that particular dog get along with my current dog? You should take current dog to meet potential new dog.
4. Is dog spayed/neutered?
5. What, if any, background does this dog have?
6. Any behavioral issues? (food or toy aggression, etc)
7. If you have children, does the breed (unless mixed), do well with children?
8. If mixed breed, what breeds (if know) are a part of the dog? Research the breeds!
9. Are there any current or previous health issues that you should be aware of?
10. Will the rescue/shelter help with current/future behavioral issues?
11. Will the rescue/shelter take the dog back if it doesn't work out?

McKayla answered on 6/14/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hi, There are ALOT of things to consider, ask yourself these questions: Am I ready to adopt a dog? What size should I get? What breed? How much will it be? Do I ahve enough time for a puppy? Its hard to choose but its best to go to a shelter and tell them what you are looking for, (for example: A large dog, with high energy) But it depends, if you are a couch patato the way to go is to rescue an ex racer Greyhound, dogs need attention, shots, vet checks, I hope you have a nice time finding your new best friend! Take the breed quiz on animal planet to find out which breed is best for you! Hope it helps!

Member 769709 answered on 8/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Look for a calm dog thats really playful but calm then ask your self what kind of dog should i get? whats best for me?, Once you find that dog ask the pound keeper too take him out of his pen and see how he reacts, then if thats the dog you want then hes the dog for you!!

Member 1002749 answered on 10/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Mocha and Sokka

Look for a rescue that has foster parents and ask the foster tons of questions about the dog before you adopt. Bring your dog with you and see how they interact. I recently adopted a dog from a little dog rescue and it has been wonderful.

Mocha and Sokka answered on 11/5/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hello. I was thinking of some ways you should think before adopting another dog, one way; is that you should have a friend of yours with a dog bring her dog over to your house to see how your dog reacts to another dog in the house. And you should also look up some breeds on dogster for which would be the best dog for you in your house! Well i hope this helped a little!(:
Thank you..
-Grace`s owner,

Grace answered on 11/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The most important thing to consider is the dog you already have. Important that their activity levels are compatible. Take your dog with you to meet the new prospect, best off the leash in an enclosure, and observe how they get along. Rule of thumb, younger dog, opposite sex, often works best but not always. The dogs' activity level and energy are the most important factors.

Skye answered on 1/8/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer