a) The pitter patter of little feet (babies/toddlers/little ones)
b) The why questions (5-12 year old)
c) The language that you can’t understand (teenagers)
d) Silence (no children)
You may or may not want a kid friendly dog. Some dogs are kid friendly but their big size is not a plus around toddlers as they could accidently knock someone over. The same can be said for really small dogs. They could accidentally be dropped and hurt.
Does fur make you:
b) Want to knit a sweater
c) Feel warm
There are dogs that are hypoallergenic and dogs who shed less than others. Your answer to this question will determine your need.
a) Park the car in the kitchen
b) Stand in the middle and be able to reach everything
c) Go for a short walk
Even if you can fit a car in your kitchen, you might not want a huge dog. However, if you can touch everything in your house standing in the middle, you might not be able to squeeze a mastiff in there. Your personal preference is important too.
Do you typically hear:
a) Cows mooing
b) Horns honking
c) The town square bell
Some dogs are really suited to small town life. Others do great in the big cities and some can’t imagine living any place other than the wide open country. Is the dog you are thinking of particularly sensitive to noise or doesn’t he seem to care?
Are you a:
a) Devoted Runner
b) Stop and smell the roses walker
c) Couch potato with sour cream no butter
You need someone that can match your activity level. If you run and your new dog is the couch potato, you’ll be running alone and he could be home eating the couch!
a) Lock doors and windows then double check before bed
b) Leave your house key under the mat
c) Have a Strangers Welcome sign on your front door
You might feel comfortable with a guard type dog. They come in small sizes and big sizes. Just be sure it’s one you can handle and feel comfortable with. If you have a Strangers Welcome sign, you’ll want a dog that is just as friendly as you are. Take the dog you are thinking of for a short walk to see how he does.
Would you say:
a) I am the Queen of Clean
b) Aren’t dust bunnies adorable?
c) The dishes can wait till tomorrow?
The Queen of Clean might not want a counter surfer dog. Don’t forget about the potential for drool. Think about the fur. How often will you have to groom the dog?
If there is a lot of noise do you:
a) Put cotton in your ears
b) Call it a party and join in
c) Lock yourself in a padded room
You can party with a barker! Some noises are not barks but grunts and groans. How much peace to you need?
With regards to your dogs do you sing:
a) Me and My Shadow (one dog)
b) One is a Lonely Number (no dogs)
c) Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On ( multiple dogs)
Some dogs make friends so easy. Some dogs don’t want to get along with anyone! Make sure you take your current dog(s) to meet the potential new dog.
a) Sit, that’s it!
b) Bring me a soda!
c) All my dog needs to know was learned in kindergarten
If you want to do the “show and tell” thing with your new dog, make sure he is capable of meeting your expectations. Ask what has been tried as far as training and what he has already learned.
You are ready! Don’t take the first dog you see. Don’t take the dog you feel “sorry” for. Don’t take the dog that looks adorable but doesn’t meet any of your other needs. Don’t expect the dog to completely change for you. YOU need to make a good choice for yourself and for the dog.