|War hero 'Lucca'|
|Tanner sharing the love with our bro-in-law, Ernie, and nephew, Armand|
- Ask yourself what you want/need in a dog. Will the dog be your constant companion? Will it have to co-exist with young children? With other dogs or cats? Does your apartment, condo or co-op board have any size or breed restrictions?
- Spend some time researching the breed you are considering. Learn what it was bred for and the breed’s general temperament. If you live in a small apartment and aren’t big on outdoor exercise, you might want to avoid a dog that was bred for running. If you are away at work during the day and the dog will be indoors, you might want to consider a low-energy dog. A good resource is The ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances for a successful pairing.
- Decide how much time and energy you are willing to devote to the dog. Many people overestimate both. As a result, the dog gets shortchanged on exercise and affection, or becomes a burden to the owners, making a failed adoption more likely. Puppies and young dogs generally require more time and patience than older ones.
- Include all family members in the selection of the dog. Bringing home a new dog can be chaotic in the best of circumstances. Defining each member’s responsibilities before adoption will help lessen the chaos. Young children may be too physically aggressive for very young puppies or fragile toy breeds. A dog that growls, cowers, raises its hackles, runs from your children, or that is reluctant to be petted is probably not a good choice for families with children.
- Spend at least one hour getting to know the dog you are considering. Barring unforeseen events, this animal will be a member of your family for 12 or more years.
- Find a local veterinarian and discuss canine nutrition and healthcare needs such a checkups and vaccinations. Medical emergencies can be expensive, so you might want to inquire about pet insurance.