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Animal Services Agency

Choosing the Right Dog for You

Please take a few moments to ask yourself and your family members the questions listed below. Your answers to these questions will guide you in your adoption decision.

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Why do you want a dog?
  • For a companion, to do dog sports with, a pet for the children, etc. Your reasons for wanting a dog will affect your choice.
Are you prepared to make the long-term, personal commitment that dog ownership demands?
  • How much time you and your family members have to train, exercise and devote to your dog will determine what kind of pet you will end up with. The more time you can give to your dog the better your results will be. It is your job as a responsible pet owner to teach and train your dog to be a good canine citizen.
What is the makeup of your family?
  • If you have children or elderly family members at home, you will need to find out as much as possible about the temperament of the dog you are looking for. Many breeds are known for having outstanding temperaments.
What type of accommodations or outdoor space do you have for a dog?
  • Where you live, whether it be in a house you own with a fenced in yard or a small apartment, is going to be one of the biggest factors in choosing a dog. You want to be fair to the dog and to yourself. For example, a Great Dane living in an apartment is not an ideal situation.
What size of dog are you and your family looking for?
  • Your accommodations will also determine what size of a dog you can handle. With cross breed dogs you cannot always tell how big the dog will get but by figuring out the approximate age of the dog and possible breeds, you can get a good idea. Regardless of the size of dog, we suggest all dog owners take their pet for some basic obedience.
Are you prepared to commit to daily exercise?
  • All dogs need daily exercise. How much is often determined by the size and breed of the dog. Large breeds generally require more exercise than small breeds. Dogs that are in the working, sporting, and herding groups all need quite a bit of exercise on a regular basis. If you work all day and the dog is going to be confined for a large period of time, this would be a major factor in your decision on what type of dog you are choosing.
How active a dog are you able to care for?
  • Many breeds are very active while others prefer to be couch potatoes. Not all small breeds are cut out to lounge around. Many of the terrier breeds are small but quite active. Some of the larger/giant breeds are happy with a regular, mild exercise routine.
Do you have time to meet your new dog's grooming needs?
  • All dogs require some form of basic grooming on a regular basis. Breeds with long coats need a substantial amount of brushing and other breeds such as poodles, schnauzers, etc., need to be clipped often. This can be costly and should be considered when you choose one of these breeds.
Do you want a new puppy or a mature dog?
  • Are you in a situation where you have the time and patience to train a new puppy? Young puppies can be a lot of work. An adult dog often has had some training and what you see is what you get. The size and appearance of the dog is already determined.

Adopting a dog is a major decision and a lifetime commitment to that animal.

If you have any questions about adoption, please visit us at the Animal Services Agency during dog adoption hours.

Last update: February 1, 2019

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