Adopting a shelter dog can be a joyful experience for you and your new best friend. Dogs know when they've been rescued and grateful for the rest of their lives. Just like a dating service, it helps to know what you're looking for in a your canine "partner".
Follow these tips and you'll be sure to make that perfect match.
- Make a list of the qualities you're looking for. Are you active? Do you want a dog who will trot by your side as you're on your morning jog? Or are you the nesting sort - happy on the couch with a good book? In that case, you might want an older dog who is happy to lie by your feet. Do you have children? Other pets that require a gentle dog who will not intimidate or scare them?
- Think about temperament and personality - not looks. The perfect, loyal family dog is just as likely to be a goofy mutt or pit bull (yes, pit bulls are great dogs that have gotten a bad rap) as the requisite Golden retriever.
- Talk to shelter staff. The GCAS takes a complete history of dogs that are surrendered. They quickly get to know even those who are brought in as strays, by grooming, walking and playing with them.
- Be open minded. Don't assume that a dog that barks when you see it in a shelter kennel or run is aggressive. Similarly, a dog who seems afraid and hides in the shelter may be a friendly outgoing soul once he is out of that environment. (This goes for cats, too!).
- Meet and Greet. If you are looking to add to your canine family, you can arrange for a meeting with a potential adoptee and your current dog. This is a good time for the rest of the family to come along, too. This simple step can eliminate heart-wrenching problems.
- Prioritize and Compromise. No one dog is going to be exactly what you're looking for. But if you know which characteristics are most important you can find the right dog for you.
There are many great shelter dogs available at GCAS. Click here to view the animals that are currently available.