Haven’t Found Your Dream Dog in a Shelter? Do This Next.

October 31, 2019

Dog with dog toy

As Adopt a Shelter Dog Month comes to an end, we know that many families brought home their perfect pups. But what if you’re still looking for your match? 

1. Consider Your Priorities

Everyone has their idea of a dream dog—whether it’s based on appearance, reputation or popularity. But it’s important to remember that every dog has a unique disposition and energy level. Consider what you’re really looking for: A family-friendly companion? A workout buddy? A snuggle bug? Open your mind and heart by giving the matchmakers at your local shelter a chance to introduce you to a pet who matches your lifestyle, regardless of looks.

2. Don’t Rush It

If you’re committed to adoption but also have some non-negotiables, your search might take a little longer. Check in with your shelter or rescue regularly and ask about ways they can help with your search. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular type of dog, before jumping right to hunting for a breeder, consider contacting a breed-specific rescue group. These volunteer-run networks are easy to find online and often have regional chapters.

Even if you eventually decide to work with a breeder, be aware that truly responsible breeders may not always have puppies available for purchase. Don’t be turned off by waiting lists; they’re likely a good sign. It takes a lot of time and work to raise puppies the correct way.

3. Make the Trip

If you extend your search outside your area, don’t rely only the Internet. Plan to visit the breeder’s home and see with your own eyes where the puppies were born and how they’re being raised. You should expect to meet the mother dog (and ideally dad) and the littermates. Are you impressed with the dogs’ living conditions and upbringing? Be sure to consult our How To Sniff Out A Good Dog Breeder guide [PDF] to know what to look for and what questions to ask. If a  breeder is reluctant for you to visit or wants to meet at a more “convenient location,” it’s a clear sign to move on.

Finding a new dog the right way takes time and effort, but it’s worth it! Visit Barred From Love to find out more about how you can find your perfect canine match while avoiding cruelty.