Below is a quick activity to help potential adopters think through their personal needs and some desired dog characteristics. Keep in mind that you are committing to an animal for life, so choosing a dog on looks alone is never the best idea. Choose the most appropriate response for each category and let it guide you as you review dog breed listings, or bring it with you to the LHS Adoption Center and discuss your selections with an Adoption Specialist.

My Situation

1. Type of residence:

- Own house
- Own apartment/condo
- Rent house
- Rent apartment/condo

2. Fenced yard?

- Yes
- No

3. My household consists of:

- Myself only
- Adults only
- A family with older children (over 10)
- A family with young children (under 10)

4. Amount of time I spend away from home most days:

- Someone is always at home
- 1-4 hours away
- 4-8 hours away
- 8+ hours away

My New Best Friend

1. My ideal dog size:

- Toy – up to 10 pounds
- Small – 10-20 pounds
- Medium – 20-40 pounds
- Large – 40-80 pounds
- Extra-large – 80 plus pounds

2. Grooming/coat requirements:

- Little fuss – minimal shedding
- Regular brushing – average shedding/some matting
- Professional grooming advised

3. I would like a dog’s activity level to be:

- Calm – enjoys lazy days
- Alert – is always on the lookout
- Active – lots of exercise and playtime

4. Level of exercise I would like to give a dog:

- Minimal – a few walks and some playtime throughout the week
- Average – daily walk/jog and playtime
- Heavy – running/hiking partner

When looking at breed listings, consider that many of our dogs are “mixed” breeds, which can mean there are often predominant breed characteristics, but also some variations.  (It can be said that some of our dogs are “mixed with love.”)  If you are uncertain about a particular dog’s personality, ask an Adoption Specialist for more information.

Of course, if you do not currently have a pet and are considering one, and know you are pet-allergic, be sure to consider carefully whether you can live with the allergy before you bring a new pet home. Except in the case of children, who sometimes outgrow allergies, few allergy sufferers become accustomed to pets to whom they are allergic.  Too many allergic owners obtain pets without thinking through the difficulties of living with them.  And too often, they end up relinquishing pets, a decision that is difficult for the owner and can be life-threatening for the pet.

Reprinted by permission of The Humane Society of the United States.