Pic source: https://www.petblog.co.uk/how-to-choose-a-dog-breed/

Getting the opportunity to visit your local shelter in search of a new dog is a joyous event that brightens the lives of not only the humans who get to bring home a new friend, but also the pups who get to settle into loving forever homes. Forever homes are the ideal for any shelter, of course, but there are a lot of factors that go into that decision, and each and every person adopting a new pet should take seriously and pause to consider.

There are many tests and quizzes online from places like the American Kennel Society and Animal Planet that are great for narrowing down your choices and comparing different breeds, and if you have the chance to select a pup purely by breed, these are great resources for you. However, many shelters might not have the one kind of dog that you’d been told to look for online, so it is still important to know what factors are going into this decision and keep them in mind as you look around.

The first thing a person adopting will need to consider is what kind of size of a pet you want. Take your living space into account on this issue. If you live in an apartment, it’s likely that a Great Dane is not the dog for you. Energy level is another factor many people overlook in the face of a cute dog. There are some breeds, like Pit Bulls and Huskies, that are commonly very high energy. They might be a great partner for a person who loves going on runs, or going hiking, but not so much for someone who comes home from a long day only looking for a short trip out and then an evening of calmness.

Temperament is something many new pet owners are looking for, but this qualification includes other factors like how much time a person has to spend on training their new dog each week, if they’ve owned a dog in the past and are more experienced or not, and whether or not the person looking has kids, or if they are expecting to have them soon. There are certainly breeds that love to love and are great with families, like the popular Golden Retriever or a Labrador. These breeds are commonly very loyal and easy to train, great for first time dog owners. A dog like a Shiba-Inu, however, are commonly more independent in nature, less cuddly and more stubborn.

In these decisions, it is important to talk to the employees of the shelter you’re visiting. Ask them questions, let them know what you need, and make sure to address any concerns you have right off the bat. Those lovely people are truly your best resource when making a decision on a certain furry friend, and there’s no reason to be shy about what you as a pet owner will need to make both you and your new pet as happy as the both of you can be. Keep these few tips in mind, and look online for different quizzes to narrow down your choices, and you are another step closer is finding your perfect pet and giving a lucky pup a forever home.

Mandi Curtis is an exuberant introvert and Colorado native. She's majoring in creative writing at CU Boulder, her latest effort in chasing a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. In her free time, Mandi can be found awkwardly ordering drinks at hipster cafes and reading anything she can get her hands on. She loves Edison bulbs, hiking, and trying new things. She's an avid traveler, so far having been to seven foreign nations stretching from Spain to the UK. She's passionate and determined by nature. She's volunteered in hospital gift shops and entertained unaccompanied children on trans-Atlantic flights. Mandi does not have the stomach to ever say no to a furry four legged friend, which makes her the perfect servant to her cat.