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A white mixed-breed dog sleeping (probably a t...

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Wow, we’ve come a long way to get here.  We’ve talked about size, allergies, financial considerations, mixed breed v/s pure breed dogs, grooming, dog personality, adult dogs v/s puppies, and had some fun quizzes to help you get new ideas on breeds you might want to look at.  Thank you for coming with me on this journey.  It has been a fun one for me and I genuinely home that it has helped you to realize what you really want in your new pet.

If you are still unsure of what types of dogs may fit into your lifestyle, I would recommend trying out the quiz post that I made a few days ago.  The quizzes are relatively short and for the most part fairly accurate.

Now, the time has finally come to choose your new puppy or adult dog.  Congratulations!  A new dog in the family is a wonderful, challenging, and rewarding experience.

To help you look at breed characteristics you might not have found at other resources I recommend you look at the American Kennel Club‘s Website.  They are wonderful at providing a clear view of the general characteristics of a pure bred dog.  Even if you’ve chosen to adopt a mixed breed dog, knowing the characteristics of the individual breeds will help you know better what to expect.

The last big choice you have to make before choosing your pet is whether you want to get him through a breeder or a rescue organization.  My personal recommendation is a rescue organization.  I’m big on dog rescue and I like the idea of giving a dog or puppy a chance at life that they’ve never had before.

The best place I have found to get a complete view of the dogs now available for adoption in your area is Petfinder.com.  To find information on breeders I recommend either looking for a purebred rescue on petfinder.com or to look at the classifieds on the American Kennel Club’s website.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention your local pet store?  There is a reason for that.  With breeders or rescue groups you can see how the puppies or dogs interact with each other.  In a pet store the dogs are all kept in cages and you will, most likely, have a scared puppy to visit with and no idea as to their personality.

While I wish I could save each and every one of these dogs from their cages, I can’t and my goal here is to help you choose a puppy or dog that will fit best into your household.  If you can’t tell anything about the dog, you can’t make any other decision about it except that it is the right breed.  If you go through a rescue the foster home it’s been living in will be able to give you accurate information about its personality.

If you go through a reputable (note: not a puppies for sale sign posted in a lawn somewhere) breeder, they will be able to give you in-depth information on the breed it’s self, you will most likely be able to see at least one of the parents, and will be able to see how the puppies interact with each other.  This will tell you a great deal about that puppies possible future temperament.

In part two of this post, which I will get to you as quickly as I can, we will go over how to judge the personality of the dog, applying with a rescue, talking with the breeder, and other details that will help smooth the process to getting your new puppy safely into your loving home.