Where's My Perfect Dog?

my perfect dog


My buddy Sinja, was a stray at the Animal Shelter. Unclaimed, frightened and abused, her adoption brought this perfect little pal into my life


O.K.- you decided to get a dog but which one, what kind and where do you go to get one?

Let's examine a few things that might just help you find your perfect dog.

Things to Consider

  • Size- If you live in a home with a big yard, a big and lively dog such as a Labrador might be just the pick. But apartment and condo dwellers might opt for the route we took....a loveable Chihuahua or other small breed that would just love to be a lap dog and is content indoors

  • Live in or out- If your dog is going to spend a lot of time outdoors a big dog is a must. I would never condone dogs living outdoors all the time ( my preference) even with a dog house as a dog should be a member of the family. But in no instance should a small or toy breed ever be left outdoors unattended.

  • Time at home- How much time do you spend at home. Some dogs require more attention than others.  If you spend a good deal of the day at work you might want to consider having two pals that can keep each other company when you are away.

  • Puppy or grown- Puppies are as cute as can be ...but like babies of any kind need more attention, patience and training. If you are away from home a lot, consider a grown or senior dog. Full of love and wonderful companions this may just the perfect fit for you...after all, grown ups need love too !

  •  Children- A house full of happy children is a wonderful place for a dog to live. But some do better than others. Medium and big dogs can play and frolic with the family but a toy breed dog may be too fragile for a passel of kids. So get them a bigger breed and all will have a blast. ( While you're at it why not suggest a senior miniature poodle as a companion for grandma? )

  • Other pets- Do you have other dogs, cats, horses or even exotics at home? Be sure to make arrangements to introduce the prospective new member to the others before making final arrangements. And ask experts such as an adoption representative from a rescue or a veterinarian about the comparability of different pets. Contrary to popular belief dogs and cats often get along famously. I have had 2 dogs and 2 cats that were the best of friends.

A good article about making the peace between dogs and cats  can be found at Dog Owner's Guide

  • 1st Dog? Is this your first dog? well, your in for the time of your life. And the joy you feel the day you bring your new friend home will only intensify in love and companionship as life goes on.  Just like any new family member that comes home from the hospital or adoption center, this is a commitment that is for life.  So pick wisely...after all none of us could pick the perfect family ( even though some of us may have lucked out and gotten one) but we can all strive to find the perfect dog.

Adoption vs. Buying a Dog

  • Save a life...Every time you adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue you are saving a life. Rescues frequently take dogs out of local shelters on their last day before they would be euthanized due to a lack of space and resources. I have seen instances where dogs are held for as few as three days before being euthanized. Whether you adopt from a shelter directly or from a rescue you are making more room available at the shelters and saving a life.

Lower demands on breeders and discourages puppy mills. The greater the number of dogs that are rescued, the lower the demand on legitimate breeders and puppy mills to churn out more dogs. This eases the load on the shelters, giving them more time to keep dogs and hold them up for adoption. And if it discourages puppy mills we will stand up and cheer.

  • Lower cost than buying- Adoption fees at shelters and rescues are just a fraction of the cost of buying a puppy from a breeder or retail store. So save some money, save a life and be a hero !
  • Full grown dogs are less work than a puppy- Puppies are as adorable and lovable as any new born baby. And like any new born  they can be a handful of work, teething, house training, clamoring for food and attention at all hours of the day and night. If your heart is set on a puppy, many beautiful dogs and litters find there way into rescues and are abandoned at shelters. If raising baby sounds like a lot of work, how about a young, middle age or even senior dog? They are so much less work, so very appreciative and make wonderful companions.

Adopting a Healthy Dog

Different breeds have different dispositions and health challenges. Mixed breeds often make a natural correction for many problems that are caused by years of inbreeding. That being said it is important to get an idea of the different tendencies of dogs in particular if possible and in general when making the right choice of selecting a shelter or rescue help you pick a dog who is healthy and has behavioral characteristics suitable for your lifestyle.

And if you decide to pick a dog with health challenges you should have as much information as possible to be prepared for the road ahead.

For example, Newfoundlands are known to have congenital heart defects.

My wonderful Chihuahuas are prone to deformed spines, dislocated shoulders, heart, and breathing problems to mention a few potential problems.They need a lot affection, can be tough to train and may not be the best dog for children.

Akitas and Chow Chows  on the other hand have no known congenital defects.  Akitas are easy going and good with children. Chows are dominant and not so good with children.

Would any of this information affect my decision? NO! I love dogs and would be prone to adopting any dog regardless of the challenges. But awareness is critical. Once you have the information, the informed decision will be yours and avoid any potential problems if an unforeseen ailment arises.

For a complete guide to behavioral patterns and congenital defects in dogs see Dr Pitcairn's, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

And what is the perfect dog?....

Not a dog without faults...we all have those. It is a dog full of love who will be there for us every day, in good times and bad and one whom we will love and cherish for every day God has given us this wonderful gift.

For more information on pricking your perfect dog the Humane Society has a wonderful guide. Just click here 

Finally, Michael Mountain – Best Friends Magazine, April 1999 wrote "The reason the animals are homeless is perfectly straightforward: their families abandoned them."

Let's go find your new dog!

Shelter Dogs    Rescue Dogs          

Good luck on your search!


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