Before you begin searching for a dog to adopt, do a little "soul searching". Start by taking an inventory of your life style.
- How busy are you? Will you enjoy frequent outdoor exercising with a large dog or would you rather stay indoors and play with a small dog?
- Do you want a dog that enjoys cuddling or a dog that respects your space?
- Speaking of space, how much space do you have for a dog? Does your property have a large yard that affords the space an active dog needs to run and play or are you living in a studio apartment with no yard?
- What kind of training can you give a dog? Would you be better off with one that already has some training or do you have the expertise and stamina to train a dog on your own? Can you afford the services of a professional dog trainer if you should need one?
- How old are you and what is your health like? What will happen to your dog should he/she outlive you?
- How are your finances? Can you afford veterinary care if your dog needs it? Can you afford pet medical insurance?
"The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them."
When you have answered the above questions, visit you local humane society and see what dogs they have available. Humane societies often have pure bred dogs that need re-homing as well as cross breeds. They will most likely be able to match your needs with a dog they have on site.
Humane societies also know about specific breed rescues in your area as well as those fostering available dogs and credible dog breeders. Another place you can check with is a veterinary clinic. In fact it might be a good thing to find satisfactory veterinary care before you purchase a dog.
Whatever dog you end up choosing, remember that the same as having or adopting a child, there are no guarantees that you will end up with the perfect dog. He may have or develop health problems and/or behavior issues that you don't expect.
So why should you get a dog? Because a dog is the most loyal friend you will ever make.