How to choose a dog

33488572_1Consider the following questions:

  • Am I looking for a dog to join me on the sofa to be a couch potato?
  • Am I looking for a jogging or hiking partner?
  • Will my dog have access to a big yard and fenced area?
  • Will my dog need to be content with leashed walks?
  • What type of dog can fit into my daily schedule?
  • Will my dog need to be compatible with children?
  • Do I need a dog that can get along with other pets?
  • How much time and patience do I have for training?
  • What are my expectations or limits for financial and veterinary care?


Choose a Personality
When looking for a canine companion; you should focus on personality, behavior and overall maintenance level of the dog. It is tempting to choose the youngest pup or the one with the most striking coat, but the initial cuteness may wear off quickly if you and your new friend are not matched well. Do you want a dog to follow you around and shadow everything you do? Or, do you want a dog that is independent and can keep busy or remain content without your constant entertainment? If you already have pets, it is very important to choose a dog that will be compatible with them as well. We can help with dog meetings to get your pooch’s approval!


Patrick walking dogMatch Your Energy Level
If you are an active person who loves to run, hike, and go to the park, then chances are we have several dogs for you! If you are a couch potato, then that’s okay to, but be sure to pick a pooch that will be content watching the tube with you. Otherwise, your friend may end up bouncing off the walls and being destructive from boredom. You should choose a pet that fits into your current lifestyle. If you plan to start running, though you never have, it is not a good idea to pick a super-active dog for your motivation. You may end up very frustrated and overwhelmed. Considering exercise requirements is essential in finding the right match!

What Size of Dog?
Do you have a preference for a particular size of dog? Remember that most puppies will grow to be large and shelter pups are usually of mixed breeds, so there is no guarantee as to what their full-grown size may be. Are you prepared to keep a dog that may grow larger than your expectations? If not, you should consider choosing a dog that is already full-grown. Also, many people say that dogs seem larger running around their home than they appeared to be in the shelter setting. What size of dog do you want romping around your home?

DSC_0078Adult or Puppy?
Young dogs require more supervision, training, and visits to the veterinarian. If you have a busy schedule, are an inexperienced pet owner, or have young children, you should consider adopting an adult dog. Bringing together young animals and kids can be problematic.  Puppies can exhibit playful nipping and scratching, which can injure or frighten children  and children can inadvertently be too rough with young animals. Adopting a mature pet who interacts well with kids can be the best option. Puppies also need someone who has enough time each day to spend with them during their important developmental months.

Meet with the Sullivan SPCA Staff
The Sullivan SPCA staff can help match you with the right dog. They have valuable information to share that can determine which dogs will be most compatible with you and your household. The staff can help match you with the right dog. We welcome a shelter visit to discuss the adoption process prior to choosing a dog. We want your adoption to be a success and provide you with a wonderful companion for years to come!