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When you’re adopting a dog or even buying a puppy, you need to determine if it’s the right pooch for you. Which dog is right for your family depends on a lot more than just what the dog looks like and how cute you think it is. There are lots of things to consider, including the dog’s personality, how well they get along with you, and how well-trained or trainable the dog is. Before you decide whether a dog is a good fit for your family, whether it’s a rescue dog or a puppy from a breeder, you should think about the following things to make sure the right dog comes home with you.

Research Their Breed

If you’re considering a dog that’s a specific breed, you should research that breed to find out more about what you’re going to get. Of course, not every dog of a certain breed is going to be exactly the same, but there are plenty of things that you can understand from knowing the breed. You can learn about their potential health problems, personality, trainability, and more. You need to know whether a Teddy Bear dog is a good fit for families with children or whether a labrador is a good option for someone who isn’t very active. However, remember that breed isn’t everything, and the individual personality of the dog matters too.

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Speak to the Expert

When you’re considering adopting a dog, you should speak to the person or people who know most about that particular dog. While it can be helpful to get general information about the breed, it’s much better if you can speak to someone who knows the exact dog that you want. At a rescue shelter, this will probably be a member of staff who works closely with the dogs there or has information on the dog’s file about their different traits. If you’re buying from a breeder, they should have a good idea of the individual personalities of each of the puppies in the litter.

Have a Play Session

It’s hard to really decide if a dog is for you if you’ve never met them. Having at least one meeting before taking a dog home with you is a must, and several meetings in different settings can be even better. Meeting your doggy candidate in person means you get a chance to see how they react to you, whether they’re receptive to your presence and if you get on well together. You can have a relaxed meeting where you get to play and create a positive experience for the dog and for you too.

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Get the Kids Involved

If you’re a family with children looking for the right dog, you should make sure to involve them too. You might decide not to have them with you for the first meeting, but it’s smart to have your kids meet the dog before deciding whether the pooch will be coming home with you. Not only is it a chance to see if the dog is comfortable and friendly with your children, but you can also make sure that your kids like the dog too. If there are any nerves or they don’t get along, you want to find that out before you take the dog home.

Try Out Some Training

Another thing that you might want to check is how well trained the dog is or, if they’re not yet trained, how receptive they are to training. If you’re adopting a dog from a shelter, it’s possible the staff has done at least some work on training. They need to get dogs ready for adoption, and they know the dogs will have a better chance if they can behave well. Breeders will also start to do a little training with puppies, and they can tell you about some of the things that they might already have done.

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Have a Trial Period

Sometimes a dog might go straight home with you forever if you decide to adopt it. However, you might also have a chance at having a trial period first. Rescue shelters often recognize that a dog might seem like a good fit until they have been in their new environment for a while. So it’s a good idea to have a couple of weeks where you can see how the dog feels in their new home and let them get settled in before deciding if the adoption is permanent.

Before you adopt a dog, take some time to decide if that particular dog is right for you. If it’s not, you could soon find the perfect match.