Ever see an ugly puppy? Not really.

Large eyes, little wet noses and a ball of energy calls to dog-loving humans like a moth to a flame. And since human beings are visual creatures we get suckered in every time.

Although many are drawn to a puppy’s cuteness and have said, “I wish they would stay so small and cute” you need to remember that they are a lot of work.

Some people have a misconception that if they get a puppy instead of an older dog the puppy would be brought up with love and will have no bad habits. But puppies are not born aggressive or possessive or obedient. Training them is an obligation, not an option.

If you are planning to get a dog for yourself or your family, there are some things to consider:

  • What type of dog should I get?
  • What breed?
  • What size?
  • Should I get a hypoallergenic dog?

Start by looking at yourself and your lifestyle.

  • What type of person am I? (Examples include friendly, quiet, dominant.)
  • What is my lifestyle? (Examples include low key and active.)
  • How much maintenance will be involved in the breed I think I would like to adopt?

Answering these questions will help you lean toward certain traits in a particular breed of dog.

You should know about the breed you’re interested in adopting and traits common to that breed.

When the movie Marley and Me came out, yellow labs were in high demand to be the family pet. And almost every lab that soon ended up in rescues and shelters were named Marley. When Game of Thrones was on TV the popular dog was the Husky. And soon shelters and rescues were overwhelmed with huskies.

We have some advice when thinking about what dog breed to get.

  • Don’t consider a herding dog if you have little children that play in the yard. The dog will only herd them into the corner.
  • Hounds are determined dogs because they are known to follow their nose.
  • Poodles are problem solver dogs.
  • German Shepherds are dogs that need to work and be stimulated with a job. Yes you can train a dog, but only up to the point when you hit their DNA. Then the dog will do and be what its genetic characteristics allow it to be.

As there are good reasons to consider getting a dog, there are also very bad ones.

The number one bad reason is an impulse adoption. From there other reasons often heard at shelters and rescues when a dog is surrendered are:

  • “My children asked me for a dog and promised they would take care of it,”
  • “I got this dog as a gift,”
  • “My doctor recommended that I should get a dog,”
  • “I didn’t realize I had allergies to this dog,”
  • “When I bought this dog the pet shop or backyard breeder said it wouldn’t get bigger than 10 pounds,”
  • “I didn’t know that St. Bernards got this big!”

Every animal’s life is in our hands.  Let us make responsible, permanent commitments when we adopt them and be as loyal, dedicated and loving to them as they are to us.

Special thanks to Chris Osborne of Homes 4 Angels Rescue for this article.