Choosing the best dog for you and your family

So you wanna add a dog to your family? There are a number of things to consider before you make a choice.

First, you should consider your lifestyle and activities. Are you active, enjoying walks, hikes, or runs on a daily or regular basis? Or are you more of a homebody, enjoying staying around the house, reading, scrap-booking, and going on leisurely walks. You also need to consider how “busy” your home is; do you have people come over frequently, occasionally, or only during holidays? Dogs that are more shy and timid would do best in a quieter home to help them adjust more quickly. Dogs that are outgoing and social butterflies tend to adjust quicker to “busier” homes. Once you have this in mind you are ready to head out to the shelter and search for your new companion.

If you are the laid back type of family you want to look for a dog in a shelter that is laying down, quiet and not jumping up and barking. You can also see more of their personality come to play when you take them out in a visiting yard. If they are quiet, sniffing the ground, walking up to you in a calm manner than this is a good match for your lifestyle. These type of dogs enjoy companionship, petting/cuddling, and taking a leisurely walk.

If you are a “weekender” you want to look for a dog that is slightly more excited to greet you inside the kennel and is also more energetic once in the visiting yard. The dog is moving around at a quicker pace, greeting you more excitedly, engaging in play with you or with toys. These type of dogs enjoy regular activity and interaction, are playful and curious.

If you are an active family you want to look for a dog that is excited to see you at the front of the kennel and is most likely toy and food motivated. Once in the yard they are running around, interested in all the smells, running up to you and greeting you and then running off. These type of dogs need to be physically and mentally stimulated on a daily basis, always ready to play, and loves to learn.

As an active family you can get a more mellow dog and it will be an easy lifestyle for both of you, but if you are a more laid back family and you get a high energy dog the adjustment will be harder for both of you. If a high energy dog is living with a laid back family the dog may start to become destructive (digging, barking, chewing, escaping, anxiety, etc) because it is not getting the outlets it needs to burn all of that energy.

Once you think you have found your match ask the shelter staff what their thoughts are on this dog. The shelter staff are the primary caretakers of the dogs and they know their personalities the best. Think about what they have to say and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions so you make sure you end up with the perfect match!

If you have more questions on breed selection or any other dog training issues contact Ruff House for more information. You can reach us here at or call us at 520-820-7252.