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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"A really companionable and indespensible dog is an accident of nature... You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens." -- E.B. White

Mr. White's opinion was expressed in 1940...I've noticed some of you have the same opinion. With Mr. White's opinion in mind, however, it's tempting to oppose it by saying good dogs come from good breeders, or that good dogs come from good parent dogs...especially with the technology and understanding available to us today. However, I have a different proposition for you...good dogs come from your own decisions. If you can accept this premise...you're on your own when you set out to find a good dog, you must be clear about what you're looking for, and you must do your homework...you'll accept my proposition.

Then consider this... We live in an age when there is more behavioral and biological understanding than ever before...more so than even in Mr. White's time. It seems simple, if you make the right decisions, you'll deal with the right kind of people. Make the wrong decisions, and you'll be dealing with people who could care less if your dog lives into adulthood, costs you multiple visits to the vet, or inherits a temperament ill fitted for our companionship. It seems simple, yet, we discuss at great length the epidemics and moral failures that still exist. Why?

Is it that some of us didn't ask the fundamental question should I own a dog? Or is it because we didn't consider our adoption options before buying from a breeder? Or is it as simple as, I didn't know what research I should do?

So I ask you then, where do good dogs come from? What do I need to do as a buyer, adopter, or foster to find a good dog? Where should I start? What do I need to know? What questions should I ask? What red flags should I look for?
 
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Wow, that was so touching. And I'm not being sarcastic, here I mean it. Because Yeah tis true, hard to find a good dog, that dude is soooo right. And this may sound wierd, but i would give my own life for Princess. She's like my sister or something you know. She listens to me when no one else will. Thats how close i am to my dog.:)
 

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well

Thing thing Im going to say is what most people will tell you. Its all in how a dog is raised. Any and every do g has the propensity to be a "good" dog. whats a good dog anyways? Smart, sweet, potty trained? I mean Im not contradicting you, or not trying to, but when getting a dog, the determinig factor should be are you willing to spend the time to raise the dog like you would have him. Ask breeders questions, ask shelters questions, just ask questions and you will find a dog suitble for you and whatever life you may lead.

excuse all the spelling errors I was in a hurry :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thing thing Im going to say is what most people will tell you. Its all in how a dog is raised. Any and every do g has the propensity to be a "good" dog. whats a good dog anyways? Smart, sweet, potty trained? I mean Im not contradicting you, or not trying to, but when getting a dog, the determinig factor should be are you willing to spend the time to raise the dog like you would have him. Ask breeders questions, ask shelters questions, just ask questions and you will find a dog suitble for you and whatever life you may lead.
What questions would you ask? What kind of breeders would you ask these questions of? What questions would you ask from a shelter? What would turn you away from one breeder over another? There's more to finding a good dog then needing to work with it. How do you determine smart? How do you determine sweet? And I'm sorry, but not every dog has the propensity to be a good dog. Example, guide dogs. Only a fraction of pups bred to be guide dogs actually become guide dogs. There are tests to determine which pup will be a candidate to be a guide dog. There are tests after you work with the dog that will determine if the dog will be a guide dog. If there are tests to separate a good guide dog from your average companion dog, isn't there more that can be used to determine what dog will be a good dog for you? It certainly can't be as easy as working with a dog. Yes, the dog's living environment is important, but what I'm looking for is what can an owner do to insure they are selecting the right dog for them before they are the dog's owner. You have to consider my proposition before answering this question.
 

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I cannot agree with your sentiments more wholeheartedly. I am one week into my own dog search, and am finding myself with more questions than answers, even though I have done tons of research. I also cannot believe how strongly breeders are lauding me for really doing my homework when doing research before talking to anyone just seemed like second nature. I don't want *a* dog; I want *my* dog, and with that should first come assessment as to what *my* dog might look and sound and act like.

The best answer I can come up with is, in short, that a good dog can come from anywhere. The source will probably be as individual as the owner. We started out on a search for the best Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder in our area on Thursday, and, if all goes well a few weeks down the line, will quite probably find ourselves taking three trips out to Ohio (a five-hour drive away) to meet the parents of our not-yet born Cardigan Welsh Corgi pup. We met the breeder by complete chance after she contacted us about a rescue dog we can't adopt because of timing. She kept us on the line longer after reading some internet forum posts we made (not here) taking issue with the cost of purebred pups near us. We want a quality dog, but I'm not convinced that I need to spend $1200 to get a pet-quality puppy whose closest contact to Westminster will be watch it on TV with us. Luckily this breeder doesn't think so either and is the first we've found who health check and guarantees her dogs to death while only charging $500. She also conveniently was the first to even suggest, after grilling us first thing about our lifestyle when she got us on the phone, that we check into Cardis instead of Pembrokes.

Basically, the point of my ramble is that to find a good dog you need to keep your eyes open and look everywhere. The mom of our litter isn't for-sure pregnant yet, so we're still hearing from rescue and are on one or two lists of more local breeders in case. Our dog is out there somewhere, and we'll find him or her soon....

...though it might be valid to also wonder if our good dog isn't going to actually find us.
 

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What questions would you ask? What kind of breeders would you ask these questions of? What questions would you ask from a shelter? What would turn you away from one breeder over another? There's more to finding a good dog then needing to work with it. How do you determine smart? How do you determine sweet? And I'm sorry, but not every dog has the propensity to be a good dog. Example, guide dogs. Only a fraction of pups bred to be guide dogs actually become guide dogs. There are tests to determine which pup will be a candidate to be a guide dog. There are tests after you work with the dog that will determine if the dog will be a guide dog. If there are tests to separate a good guide dog from your average companion dog, isn't there more that can be used to determine what dog will be a good dog for you? It certainly can't be as easy as working with a dog. Yes, the dog's living environment is important, but what I'm looking for is what can an owner do to insure they are selecting the right dog for them before they are the dog's owner. You have to consider my proposition before answering this question.

the example of a guide dog has nothing to do with attitude. You never said you were curious as to the functionality of the dog, but the personality. Ask breeders: how much time do you spend with this puppy a day, what kind of routines are you on, and in past litters when checking back on your pups a few years down the road how did they turn out. Any good breeder will keep in touch with people who buy their puppies. Ask shelters if they have any background knowledge on the dog and when spending time with the dog how does he act. You cant insure a dog is going to be perfect that would be like a woman going to a sperm bank and asking which sperm is going to give me the most well-behaved child?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the example of a guide dog has nothing to do with attitude. You never said you were curious as to the functionality of the dog, but the personality. Ask breeders: how much time do you spend with this puppy a day, what kind of routines are you on, and in past litters when checking back on your pups a few years down the road how did they turn out. Any good breeder will keep in touch with people who buy their puppies. Ask shelters if they have any background knowledge on the dog and when spending time with the dog how does he act. You cant insure a dog is going to be perfect that would be like a woman going to a sperm bank and asking which sperm is going to give me the most well-behaved child?
I'm sorry if you missed my intent. I'm trying to segregate bad decisions from good decisions when selecting a dog. I thought that was clear...maybe it wasn't. The example of the guide dog was merely to suggest that not all dogs are created equal, therefore, not all dogs, regardless of training, will be good dogs. And I'm sorry, but there are things an owner can do to insure they are selecting a good dog. I never said guarantee, I said insure. And as far as your sperm example, I'm pretty sure the donor is asked many questions about their background. Or I should say, I would ask that question before considering a sperm sample...that's what I would do to insure I wasn't getting sperm from a donor with qualities I wasn't looking for. Do you understand my intent now?
 

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I'm sorry if you missed my intent. I'm trying to segregate bad decisions from good decisions when selecting a dog. I thought that was clear...maybe it wasn't. The example of the guide dog was merely to suggest that not all dogs are created equal, therefore, not all dogs, regardless of training, will be good dogs. And I'm sorry, but there are things an owner can do to insure they are selecting a good dog. I never said guarantee, I said insure. And as far as your sperm example, I'm pretty sure the donor is asked many questions about their background. Or I should say, I would ask that question before considering a sperm sample...that's what I would do to insure I wasn't getting sperm from a donor with qualities I wasn't looking for. Do you understand my intent now?
Yes and sorry for not interpreting your point, working at the store i have people come in and ask all the time if I know any people that breed "good" dogs so having the freedom to debate on here and not in the store kinda was my motivation, but I see what your saying now and I understand all dogs arent created equal, but at anycost I enjoyed 'debating' with you if you can call it that you raised some thought provokers. As far as avoiding bad decisions i would just say talk to the ownners of dogs you enjoy being around and ask what they did when finding their dogs.
 

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You mentioned technology a couple of times - and although I love the internet and all it offers, I think some people (understandably) confuse fact with opinion while doing their research. I'm not sure the internet offers the substantiated facts allowed in good ole fashioned library research. My first advice, regarding the questions you post, is check out you library first, and for months. There is so much good stuff out there to take in.


I think I get where you're going so, in response:
What do I need to do as a buyer, adopter, or foster to find a good dog?
be honest with yourself about what you want, what you can handle, how much time, money, patience you have. Be honest, what can you afford, how much time can you give, how much time do you want to give?
Where should I start?
The library. The local shelter. A trainer you like. People in the dog business want to help dogs find good homes. IME, they are willing to help.
What do I need to know? What questions should I ask? What red flags should I look for
You need to know first, what you want. Then you need to know what is common in shelters near you. If you are looking into breeders, you need to know how to chose a good breeder. Again, the library will help with q's to ask, etc.

What do I know? I'm just going by what I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yes and sorry for not interpreting your point, working at the store i have people come in and ask all the time if I know any people that breed "good" dogs so having the freedom to debate on here and not in the store kinda was my motivation...
No apology necessary, I should have been more clear. And I would agree, a store is probably not as ideal of a place to debate as a forum.

As far as avoiding bad decisions i would just say talk to the ownners of dogs you enjoy being around and ask what they did when finding their dogs.
Yes! Talk to dog owners first before taking on a dog. Use anonomous dog owners as references for breeders, or shelters. I've found dog owners of good dogs are rich with information about how they found their dog, and about how easy or hard they are to care for. However, dog owner alone should not be used as a sole source for gathering your information.

My first advice, regarding the questions you post, is check out you library first, and for months. There is so much good stuff out there to take in.
Absolutely! Most books aren't going to lead you to an advertisement like the internet does. There's a wealth of information that can be found in a good book, and most times it's more detailed than anything you'll find on the net.

be honest with yourself about what you want, what you can handle, how much time, money, patience you have. Be honest, what can you afford, how much time can you give, how much time do you want to give?
Yes! Answer the question, should you even own a dog? I couldn't agree more about being honest with yourself. Every potential owner needs to look into their heart. Your heart will tell you if there is no space in your life for a dog...if a dog's life will be mostly unrelieved solitary confinement, if you will not train your dog, if the essnce od dog is irritating instead of pleasing, if you want a dog only for protection or as a banner of the ego, if a voice whispers to you that should things not work out you can always take the dog to a pound, you should not have a dog! You don't need me to tell you these things, let your conscience be your guide.


You need to know first, what you want. Then you need to know what is common in shelters near you. If you are looking into breeders, you need to know how to chose a good breeder. Again, the library will help with q's to ask, etc.
Conventional wisdom does suggest you should begin by deciding on a breed. There's something to be said for this. It makes no sense to choose a dog that isn't compatible with your lifestyle, otherwise, there will be suffering of both dog and human. Give or take a few, worldwide there are as many as 600 breeds and varieties. And of course, a whole music composition of genes can be played at your local shelter too. My point is between shelters and known breeds there are probably several breeds one could consider. I've recommended here in our forum that anyone considering getting a dog should investigate several breeds simultaneously to open up options...this is especially important when choosing an excellent breeder. I'd like someone to go more into detail on how to find an excellent breeder.
 

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This is what I did
Our Lula is a rescue and we have been really lucky in a way - no problems , touch wood. Every dog we get will be a rescue and then a good bred one. Support the ones that are doing it properly amd save a lfe.
T%o me a good breeder is:
They ask ques6tions
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To me a good breeder is: They ask ques6tions
Absolutely a good breeder will. It's a good sign you're dealing with a breeder who views placing puppies as something closer to an adoption procedure than a commercial transaction. They will ask you, why are you interested in the breed? They will want to know if your lifestyle and living arrangements are compatible with the character of the breed in question. They will want to know if you can provide for the physical, mental, and social well-being of the dog. I contend that you do not buy from a breeder who do not exercise this kind of discrimination.

This is only one part of finding a good breeder, what else is there to know?
 

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Oops sorry my laptop crashed at home and it must have sent that on its own accord. I also meant to list:

They are motivated by the love of their breed. they explain why they have chosen a particular line and how it is striving to improve the breed since ultimately they breed to improve the gene pool of their breed

They are active in showing/obedience/hunting/agility, etc.
They should talk to you about the breed in general, explain total breed care & educate you to the best of their ability. (Obviously you should have done your own research too)

They socialise the puppies - get them used to household noises, people etc...

They will help you choose a puppy that has a temperament that's compatable with you and your experience--and may talk you out of a puppy that you like if they do not think you and the pup are compatible.

They will provide you with pedigrees, health test results such as clear eye certificates and hip scores for both the mother and father. Personally I looked for a breeder that had health reports going back a few generations

They will always show you the motherand (if possible) the dad

They will discuss feeding, give you the food being used.

They give you the ennel Club registration forms - eplain them and sign over ownership.

The area the pups are kept is immaculate.

They will refund your money or give you a replacement puppy if your puppy develops any health problems.

They should always be there for you throughout your puppy's life, and be available to help you look after the puppy if your circumstances should change or for some raeson you can't keep the dog even later in life.

They will have a contract for you to sign stating :
You cannot breed the dog without written permission
You cannot take the dog out of the country without written permission
They want to know any medical issues throughout the dog's life

I'm sure there are more things. When we went looking for our Isabel the main things were health and size. (Isabel's pedigree goes back to 1860 when the first Bassets were imported :) )IMO too many Basset breeders are creating dogs too big, too long and too short. So I looked for good proportions and ones that's undercarriage was clearly a good bit off the ground !

And as somebody said before (if you are not rescuing)finding a reputable breeder does give you peace of mind ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
And as somebody said before (if you are not rescuing)finding a reputable breeder does give you peace of mind ;)
That was an excellent post detailing many of the things I would look for in a good breeder. So to sum up your excellent post we can say that in finding a reputable breeder you need to look for their morality, their helpfulness, their written guarantees, their conditions of sale, evidence of health and hygiene, their knowledge of socialization, and their curiosity in you.

Their morality should be a passion towards breeding excellent dogs.

Their helpfulness will be evident by how much they advise you on readying your home for the new pup, answering questions, and getting progress reports.

Their guarantees should contain clauses against genetic disease, especially those prevelant to the breed, and what will happen should your dog ever get sick. Obviously, a lifetime guarantee is a bigger committment by the breeder than a 1 yr. You'll also want to physically see copies OFA and CERF certificates on both parents, and they should be readily available. Your contract should contain a clause restricting transfers. It should also have provisions for if and when the dog should be spayed or neutered, and if it is a breeding quality dog, it should detail what age the dog may be bred. If the dog is spayed/neutered, your papers should be withheld until the dog is fixed.

Evidence of health and hygiene requires a site visit to the breeder's home. You need to look for modest comfort, and cleanliness. Obviously if the puppies are being housed in a dank basement or a dark, greasy garage, if you don't see hoses and cleaning supplies near the runs, if the place stinks, if the puppies have dirty ears, severe infestations, runny eyes or noses, if the parent dogs don't appear to be in the pink, thank the breeder kindly and leave. Under no circumstances buy from a breeder who won't let you inspect their premises. It should go without saying then, you should never buy a mail-order puppy, an internet puppy, a pet store puppy, a puppu mill puppy, a puppy from a broker, or an auctioned puppy because you're taking a gamble that turns out badly for thousands of people every year.

The breeder is responsible for a lot more than just the physical well-being of the litter. Good breeders know that the best breeding in the world is wasted without proper socialization. So I beg of you, if you're going to buy a pup, know the critical learning periods of a pup's development, and quiz your breeder's opinion on them. A red flag would be any breeder desiring to give you the pup before 8 weeks of age. Some breeders, like mini schnauzer breeders believe 12 weeks is ideal for mini pups. So talk to as many breeders as you can to identify differences in opinion.

If a breeder is reluctant to sell you a dog...don't be offended. Take heart instead. Buying a pup from a breeder should feel more like an adoptio process than a commercial transaction. They will ask you about your knowledge of the breed, if you're familiar with the drawbacks or needs. They want to know your living arrangements. And they'll want to know hoe you'll provide for the dog's physical, mental, and social well-being. If a breeder does not exercise this kind of discrimination, I contend that you should not buy from them.

So now that you've researched many breeds, and found an excellent breeder, how do you choose a pup from the litter?
 

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Since no one has posted yet- please allow me to answer.

Usually, if you buy from a good breeder, he or she will pick the puppy for you. Most dog owners don't know enough about dogs to be able to adequately pick a puppy.

For example: say you have two puppies- one, the female, is rambunctious and rotten (in a good way). However, there's a larger, lower energy male also in the litter.

Say a family comes in dead set on a male dog because of the following reasons: they're goofy, crazy, high energy and they have kids that would run the dog to death.

Which puppy would you want to give them? Answer: the female. She's got more of the personality that they're looking for DESPITE the fact that they wanted a male.

The family probably wouldn't have a clue about which one to pick, or would pick the boy just because its' a boy, and end up not having the puppy that they wanted.

A good breeder will also to temperment tests for the pups to get a better idea of what kind of dogs they will become. For example, if you are testing for aggression, you deliberately make the puppy uncomfortable. You may put him on his back, or touch a sensitive area, or let someone new approach him to see how he acts.

If he growls or snaps, you know that this dog will require lots of training, socialization, and a more experienced dog owner.

Also, a good breeder will probably not let the pick go to just anyone. The pick will end up going to the stud, or to a show/ working home.

If a breeder doesn't show, they don't really care what person gets what puppy. They just want to get them sold and out of their home/kennel.

I don't know much about rescues, and I know that most pounds tend to let puppies go fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Usually, if you buy from a good breeder, he or she will pick the puppy for you. Most dog owners don't know enough about dogs to be able to adequately pick a puppy.
I'd say this is very true, and what should be weighed is whether one could rely on the breeder. Siding with caution, I'd say no, I couldn't rely solely on the breeder. So I guess my next question is, should a potential puppy buyer have an understanding of the PAT (Puppy Aptitude Test) test or another means to test the puppy's temperament on your own? Would a breeder even allow this? What should we understand if a breeder does or does not accept our testing?
 

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I am really pleased this came up again good dogs come from
igood people and in my rant about breeders I forgot about the fantastic people that look after the dogs in shelters. They are all brilliant.
 

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So I guess my next question is, should a potential puppy buyer have an understanding of the PAT (Puppy Aptitude Test) test or another means to test the puppy's temperament on your own? Would a breeder even allow this? What should we understand if a breeder does or does not accept our testing?
As you said, it depends on the breeder. In my particular case, I was comfortable letting Orchid's human mom choose for me which puppy that I got.

I think that some people are suckered in by terms like, "Home raised puppies" and "AKC Registered" and if the breeder throws those terms enough, they'll get a sell.

Anyway, yes a layman can do their own test. It's really important to feel comfortable with the decision on the puppy. If you think that the breeder has picked out a puppy that's not what you wanted, then make sure they back up their choice with valid reasons.

I would say that if you are a newbie to puppies, here are things you should watch out for:
a growly, snappy puppy: it's cute now, but it won't be when he's a year and you have to muzzle him in public
Timid/ shy puppy: you're thinking, "Oh, how cute! he's shy like me!" It won't be cute in a year when you can't get him to leave the house, even to use the bathroom, due to fear issues. OR he turns into a fear biter
the runt of the litter : sometimes, the runt can be healthy. Often times, it just has to do with when that particular puppy was sired. However, smaller puppies may be an indication that the mother was not well fed during her pregnancy

Basically, you want a happy, playful, bright eyed puppy.
 

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Personally I commend you for asking these questions BEFORE you get a dog. Preparation and research can save you and your potential dog a lot of time, money, hassle.

Consider your lifestyle:
How many hours are you gone each day?
Are you willing and able to be home every 4-8 hours?
Do you have time EVERY DAY to spend with your dog?
Are you willing to make sacrifices for your dog?
Are you willing to pass up on vacations and trips if you can't find a reliable and dog-loving kennel or friend to take care of your dog?
Are you willing to come home after work before happy hour or going to the gym to let your dog out to exercise and go to the bathroom?
What kind of home do you have and how much space do you have?
Do you rent or own, and how will having a dog affect your homeowners insurance or lease?
If you rent, what happens when your lease is up and you have to find another place? Dog-friendly landlords are not easy to find, and typically charge more for rent if you have a dog. If you try and get one without telling the landlord, you can be evicted, or have to get rid of the dog with 24-48 hours notice. (This happened to me when I found an abused, malnourished dog who had been hit by a car. I wasn't trying to adopt the dog, I was just trying to keep her safe until I found a home, and I was lucky and found a great home for the dog.)

Consider your financial ability to care for a dog:
Quality dog food is expensive, especially with larger dogs. Research dog food brands. www.dogfoodproject.com/
Vet bills add up quick, especially with monthly flea medications and heartworm meds.
Kennels run $20 to $30 a day (maybe more depending on where you live)
Training and obedience classes also cost money, though less than replacing destroyed furniture, etc...

Why do you want a dog?
Make sure that your reasons for wanting a dog include making the dog happy, and caring for the dog 24/7. You need to be responsible for the dog everyday, not just when it's convenient for you.

What kind of dog should you get:
You shouldn't get a dog because he or she "looks cute". You also shouldn't get a puppy because they are cute.
You need to consider how big the dog will get or already is. How much space do you have in your home?
How much time do you have to give a dog and how active are you? Are your hobbies things you can do with your dog? (running, hiking, etc?)
If you work all day, a high maintanance and/or high energy dog probably isn't right for you.
There are lots of websites that can give you some basic information practically all breeds of dogs. Remember if you are considering a mix, to research both or all breeds of the dog, because they can have any combination of traits. Try www.dogbreedinfo.com or http://www.akc.org/breeds/index.cfm
Also consider health issues that certain breeds have. Pugs tend to have respiratory issues and can't tolerate a lot of heat or exercise. German shepherd and labs tend to have hip problems. Think about this before buying a dog from a breeder and make sure you a buying a dog that has been vet checked for these issues. Some breeders offer guarentees on dogs, but with stipulations, like timeframes that you must go to the breeder with issues. Make sure that when you go to a breeder you know what the common health issues are, what the breeder guarantees are, and what you must do to ensure your puppy's or dog's health.

A lot of people have already posted about breeders. They say that a dog is about 30% genes and 70% owner, so that is definitely something to consider with a "good dog". Good training, consistency, time, patience and commitment are all important traits to have with a dog. There are lots of good books out there on breeds, training, and dog ownership.


I went to several shelters before I found Marley. I knew I didn't have time to devote to a puppy, so aside from considering buying an older dog from a breeder, I knew I would be looking mainly at classified ads and at shelters. I looked at about 1-13 dogs before I met Marley. I knew that I didn't just want a dog, I wanted my dog. I couldn't get a dog that didn't get along with other dogs, because of my roommate's dog, so that eliminated a few of the dogs I saw. I found two dogs that were brought from Hurricane Katrina area, and both were nice, but I didn't feel like I conected with either, and when I left to fill out the application and bring it back the next day, I never went back. Then I went to the shelter that Marley was at. I actually went to see another dog, but he had been adopted earlier that day. The woman brought out Marley and I just had a good feeling. He was gorgeous, tentative, but interested. He didn't just run up to me, but he did greet me and take a treat from me. He definitely had loyalty to the worker at the shelter, who had spent the last month with him. He would jump up on her, but it was so gentle, he just kind of leaned against her. It was there trick, and she would alway give him a good petting or a treat when he did it. He never went to the bathroom in his kennel, even over night, and they believed he was pretty much house trained as well. He was submissive to other dogs, but loved to play. He got along with the office cats, and every other dog in the place.

I chose Marley because he was loyal, sweet, affectionate, energetic, but not overly playful to the point that he was rough with people or dogs. But the main reason I chose Marley was because as soon as I left the dog shelter, I felt like I was leaving "my dog" behind. I had said I needed to sleep on it, but put him on hold for a day. I also needed to get food and a collar and toys. But I hadn't even made it home before I called the shelter and said I'd be back the next morning.

Marley wasn't perfect. He was overly shy to new people, wouldn't play with the roommate's dog, and wouldn't listen to me when I asked him to do something. That was 6 months ago. Now he loves new people, but is still reserved. He runs from aggression at the dog park. He is very loyal to me, but friendly to everyone. He's completely housebroken and crate trained. He barks once or twice at people or dogs when he's in the back yard, and then stops. He goes running and hiking with me. He's loving, afectionate, playful, lyoal, obedient, and just a really "good dog". I feel like we were destined for each other, and I'd gladly throw myself in front of a car to save him. Lately especially, I've been thinking about how happy he makes me and how he is like a kid to me. I'd do anything for him. He gets the best food, dog toys and trips to the dog park almost every single day. He's truly my best friend.

If there's one peice of advice I can give, I'd say to take your time getting a dog or puppy and really wait until you find the dog that you can't leave behind. Spend time with the dogs, and see what you like about certain personalities and breeds. And finally, be very REALISTIC about the decision!
 
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