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How To Select Your Shelter Dog

You have decided to adopt a rescue pet. The next question is how to select a shelter dog. The first thing that comes to your mind is breed, right? Well, the breed is not the only criteria to start. Selecting a shelter dog based on looks alone could result in personality mismatch. This could result in a situation for a stressful union between you and the canine.

Personality Matters

When it comes to choosing a shelter dog, personality is an important consideration. The idea is to look for a pet that matches your lifestyle. Consider a canine’s personality traits, including behavior, assertiveness, size, compatibility, and exercise requirements when selecting a shelter dog.  You want one that fits your lifestyle. Maybe you’ve always wanted to adopt an energetic Golden Retriever. However, he might not be the best fit for your small apartment. Rather, you should look for one who can easily adapt to your environment and become an integral part of your happy family.

Assumptions Don’t Matter

Most often shelter pets are assumed to be “damaged goods.” Unfortunately, this is not true. No doubt, some animals that are brought to shelter homes have suffered from abuse or neglect. However, holding the same perception of all shelter home residents is wrong.

You can always consult with the shelter staff about a specific dog that needs special attention. For example, some pups might have suffered utter neglect and need to be potty trained. Such dogs need a family that is prepared to potty-train him (even if he is a grown-up now.) Ideally, shelter dogs need the same kind of love and attention that your resident canine needs. Unfortunately, some might need little more attention and care, especially after having spent some time in a shelter with strange people and dogs. It might take them several months to show their true colors. It is your love and affection that could transform their lives.

Read Body Language

One of the most effective ways to select a shelter dog is to learn a bit about their body language.

Closely observe how dogs speak with their bodies. Their body language should provide you with a wealth of information about their character and personality traits. You should get a good idea as to how they feel. You could also find more information about the puppy from shelter homes. But it is always a good idea to read the body language to see what the canine is communicating. You might be able to find whether he is calm, stressed, or is ready to just give up.

Watch out for leash manners

Selecting a shelter dog should become a little easier if you focus on how they behave on a leash. If you are not looking for a reactive, aggressive canine, this is the best way to search for the right personality match.  A dog that growls, barks, lunges or shows aggression when walking on a leash through the shelter, he might be too aggressive for you. It might take a lot of time, effort, and training to train a reactive canine. Choose a more aggressive breed if you can spare a considerable amount of time working on their behavioral changes.

Look for a kid-friendly pet

You do not want to bring home a canine who gets easily excited at the sight of little children. So when it comes to choosing a shelter dog, do bring your kids along to find how the pooch interacts with them. The best family dogs are those that are thrilled at any opportunity to play with the kids.

Contrarily, any dog that tries to avoid or ignore children is probably not the right fit for your family. It will take a good amount of time and effort to train him.

How to Select a Shelter Dog the Right Way?

All in all, the dog’s personality traits matter. Throughout your interactions with the pooch, try to carefully observe for any signs of stress. A dog that continues to turn away, licks lips, blinks eyes, or stress yawns is not comfortable. You might need to work a lot on her behavioral changes if you go ahead with adopting her.

If there are no apparent stress signals, it is a green signal that she is a friendly, relaxed dog, who needs a family.

When selecting a shelter dog, it’s important to find the perfect match so you all can live like a happy family.

The dogs pictured in this blog are Anthem Pet Animals. To see what awesome pets we have up for adoption right now be sure to visit our ADOPT page. To support Anthem Pets, go to the DONATE page. Thank you!

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