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It is a good deed and sometimes very practical to choose an adult dog from a dog rescue shelter rather than to buy a puppy. But often people choose to get a dog from a dog shelter because the dog is “cute”, “sad looking” or “fashionable” rather than based on considerations about the dog’s energy level and behavior. This increases the chance that the dog is later returned to a dog sanctuary and perhaps ultimately put down. Here you’ll find good advice when choosing a dog from a dog rescue shelter:

How much time and energy do you have?
When choosing a dog whether it’s a dog from a shelter or from a kennel, it is important to consider how the dog’s energy level matches yours. The first step is therefore to be honest with yourself and to identify your own energy level. Do you wake up early in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast and immediately go for a run or walk in the woods? Or would you rather get up late and watch the morning news? When you and your dog’s energy level is in conflict related frustrations may lead to problems for both dog and owner.

Which dog should you choose?
After you have identified your own energy level, it is time to start your research about breeds and their energy level. However, it is important to remember that a dog’s breed does not necessarily dictate the dog’s personality, but some breeds are known to have a certain energy level or disposition. Once you’ve done your research, it is time to look for your new dog with a few ideas in mind.

If you have decided to begin your search for your new dog at the local dog shelters, it is important to remember that a dog in a cage at a sanctuary is difficult to assess when it comes to dog’s energy level. Dogs who are confined in a cage for long periods of time may be frustrated and nervous.

Talk to the staff at the shelter
Ask the staff in the dog shelter for their assessment as the staff often isn’t just interested in getting the dog out the door but rather to ensure that it finds a suitable home and is not returned to the shelter again. Find out how the dog’s personality really is and how it interacts with staff and other dogs. How is the dog behaving during meal times? How is the dog behaving when other people come to look at the other dogs? Questions such as these will give you a better look at how the dog is likely to behave in your home. If you take the dog for a long walk this might help the dog to vent the frustration and energy it had built up in the cage. This gives you a more accurate picture of the dog’s personality and energy level.

Stay focused and make the right choice
The most important thing is to not let your emotions influence your decisions at the dog shelter. You will have plenty of time to get to know your dog when the dog is brought home and integrated into your family. For your dog’s sake it is best that you try not to let yourself get influenced emotionally by the dog shelter. An adoption center can be very heart breaking if your thoughts are focused on every dog that is present in the shelter. It is very important for you to choose the right dog that suits you and your personality, not just a dog that you feel sorry for. If you choose a dog based on compassion it is not beneficial for you or your dog in the long run.

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