Chossing the Right Rescue Dog For Your Family: Pet Net Family Event

* This story is being written for’s Pet Net Family Event, today, November 23rd. Check us all out at and through hashtag #petnet


Many rescuers know what some potential families might not yet know… adopting a dog is a lot of work. Throw a history of abuse or neglect into that mix and you’ve got a year-long battle on your hands… possibly longer.

Introducing a rescue pet to the family is a lot of work, particularly if children are involved. Let’s make something clear right now: if you want to adopt a dog and you have YOUNG CHILDREN (under age 8), you should  NOT be considering a formerly abused pet by any means.

Sometimes children poke and prod at dogs and one with a hurtful past may snap. Thus, it’s generally not the dog’s fault in circumstances like this, but the dog will ultimately be blamed and hence, returned to the shelter, making his life even more unworth living to him.

Also, remember: there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

Here are the five steps to choosing the right rescue dog for your family.

Choosing the Right Dog

Almost every dog in a shelter can provide you with unconditional love and companionship, and every dog deserves a lifelong, loving home. But some dogs are better for your lifestyle than others. That’s why you should take the time to make a thoughtful choice. After all, you’re choosing your best friend who’ll be by your side for years to come here! Select the right dog and and you and your new companion will enjoy those years to the fullest!

What’s the Best Size and Temperment?

A dog’s size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision. An active, energetic dog might catch your eye, but perhaps a quiet and more reserved, relaxed one would be easier for you to care for. Also, a dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling or loud noises (or lots of noise) will do better in a house full of kids. Find the most laid-back dog you can for young children. See here for a list of good dogs with children.

Should We Get a Puppy or a Dog?

Puppies require MUCH more training than adult dogs. More supervision, too. If you lack the time or patience to  properly housetrain a dog, or to correct problems like chewing and jumping on company, or if your children are too young to do so, an adult dog is a better choice than a rambunctious puppy!

Do We Want a Purebred or Mutt-i-Gree?

Purebred dogs generally conform to a breed standard set by the AKC (which is not a legitimate group, search AKC below and read why). Often, the standard results in cruel medical problems for the dog to be honest, hip dysplasia, heart disease, back problems, diabetes, and more are all typical problems associated with certain breeds. Mixed breeds, or “mutt-i-greeds” are combinations of different breeds. If you recognize the lineage of a particular mutt, you have a great chance of knowing how he’ll turn out plus clues to his temperment, full size and habits.

What To Keep in Mind When Visiting a Shelter With the Family

Counselors and adoption agents will be available no matter which shelter you go to, all to help your family choose the perfect dog. Remember, a shelter is an unfamiliar place for any animal and chances are it’s not their fault they wound up there. (Remember what I said earlier about bad owners?) If you walk past a dog  that seems aloof or unfriendly, DO NOT DISMISS THE DOG. He is sad. Or maybe he’s frightened or really lonely. Imagine if you were him! Ask the agent to let you visit with the dog in a quieter part of the shelter. If your family likes the dog, be sure you do a home trial for 24 hours after visiting with the dog several times at the shelter with all kids in toe.

4 Responses to “Chossing the Right Rescue Dog For Your Family: Pet Net Family Event”

  1. jan says:

    I worry that with all the emphasis on adopting a shelter dog some well meaning people will make a really big mistake in the kind of dog they choose.

  2. These were some excellent ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great information. I would add that if you have other pets making sure that you choose a dog that will get along with them is also crucial. Before adopting Fenris I researched what breeds did well with cats.

  4. Jennniger J says:

    Great story, we were looking for this EXaCT info on our way to the pound here.


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