Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part Four

Posted on December 5th, 2018 by FetchMasters in Resources

If you have read Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part One, Part Two and Part Three, you should have a good idea of what you want/need in a dog. You also know what type of dog you want to get, and where that dog might come from. The last step in this process is actually selecting a dog! In the final part of this series, we discuss selecting the right dog from all the available options.

Check Your List

The first thing you should do is check your list for personality traits that are important to you. While you can select a breed type that supports your goals with your future dog, every dog is an individual. Know what traits will best suit your lifestyle in terms of energy level. How affectionate should the dog be? How will it interact with other animals? These traits are not always apparent in the dog’s current situation, whether it be a puppy who is around its littermates, or an older dog in a shelter. With the help of a professional, and well-designed temperament tests, your chances of finding a dog with the traits you desire is much higher.

Temperament Testing

Dog professionals often use temperament tests to determine what sorts of traits you might be able to expect in a puppy or an older dog. Temperament tests are only a snapshot in time; however a well-designed temperament test should be a reasonable predictive tool for future behavior. Some puppy temperament tests were developed to determine which puppies would go on to be the best guide dog or working dog. This way, resources could be focused on training the pups best suited to the job. Temperament testing in shelters has been developed to determine how adoptable an animal is, as well as what sort of home would be best suited for a dog. While these tests won’t be completely accurate, they are a good step towards stacking the deck in your favor.

Trust a Professional

Taking the advice of a dog professional when selecting a dog is highly beneficial. Dog professionals could be dog trainers, adoption counselors at a shelter, or a great breeder. They have the knowledge to assess a dog’s behavior and make predictions about its future behavior.

Many dog trainers will consult with you to gather information on your and help guide you in selecting a dog. Show them your list! They will be impressed, guaranteed!

Shelters or rescues may have an adoption counselor you can talk to about the type of dog you are looking for. It’s not a bad idea to ask an adoption counselor about his/her training in understanding dog behavior and temperament.

Some breeders may actually pick the perfect puppy for you based on what you are looking for in a dog. This can be unappealing to buyers, but it makes a lot of sense given that they are with the puppies all the time and know more than you can see in a snapshot in time.

Final Thoughts on Selecting a Dog

Selecting a dog is a very important decision that will impact your family for the next 12-15+ years (we hope!). It is important to take this process seriously and take time to make your list and do your research about breed types and where to get your dog. If you put a lot of thought into those first three steps, you have already stacked the deck in your favor by the time you get to the final step – selecting your new dog!

This means there will be fewer wrong choices, and more right ones! Combine this with trusting the professionals who know the most about your future dog, and your decisions will be sound. This all may sound fairly clinical, and your tendency may be to follow your heart. However, when your heart’s desire can be backed by sound decision making, you are sure to end up with the perfect dog for your family and lifestyle.

Also read:

Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part One

Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part Two

Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part Three

And as aways, if you  need any help selecting or training your dog, feel free to Contact FetchMasters.


Selecting a Dog