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Which dog is right for us? (Part 1 of 2)

Dear Edel,
We would really like to surprise our kids with a dog for Christmas, but we prefer to adopt from the shelter.  Do you have any tips on how to assess a dog's personality in a shelter type setting?  I want to make sure we pick a dog that is right for our family.  Thanks!

First, it is important to note that a dog is not an object or item to give as a gift.  It is a long-term commitment that you will hopefully have as part of your family.

3 important factors to consider when choosing a dog for your family:

1 - Daily Schedules: A family with a very busy schedule should not adopt a puppy, which requires more time and attention. 

2 - Activity Levels: An active family that goes to the park often or is athletic is better adopting a more active dog to fit their lifestyle.

3 - Personal Preferences: Dog hair allergies may limit a family to choosing only non-shedding dogs.  Also, you may have a preference for a certain breed (due usually to previous experiences).   The role your new dog will play in your family is also an important factor to consider when choosing a dog. 

Edel Miedes

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