Choosing dog breed, how to find the right dog for your family

For the past ten years I’ve spent a great deal of my free time volunteering at a local no-kill animal shelter in Colorado. Many of the dogs that come through the doors are mixed breed, but there has been a steady increase of purebreds that have started to show up on the doorstep.

Some are strays, some are victims of abuse; and recently some have been outcast from their homes with their humans as a result of the scary economy. What hasn’t changed is the fact that many animals end up at shelters because their families didn’t take the time to ask themselves the important questions before getting a dog.

Some of these questions include: * Am I truly ready to adopt a dog? * Do I have the time to dedicate to this dog? * What are the traits of this breed? * Will my lifestyle fit this breed? * Does my yard have enough space for this breed? * Are some breeds typically better with children?

Although dogs are just like humans with unique personalities and quirks, there are some characteristics in certain dog breeds or mixes that are common. For instance, a border collie would probably not be happy spending its days in an apartment while a greyhound may surprisingly enjoy being a couch potato. Some dogs are naturally good with children (aka Nanny Dogs) and some are overly territorial.

It’s not enough to base a decision solely on a dog’s looks or a movie your child saw with one “just like her.” They rely on us to welcome them into their homes for the right reasons and make them part of their forever family.

To find out more about choosing the right dog for your family, please visit