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Things to Consider When You Adopt A Dog

Updated on June 21, 2012

Toy Poodle


Are you thinking about adopting a dog for the first time? A puppy? An adult dog? A small dog? A big dog? There are so many things to consider when you want to adopt a dog, such as his/her breed, height, weight, age, gender. You also need to decide where you want to adopt a dog (i.e. from the animal shelter, from the pet store, or from a friend). Sidenote: Make sure you’re not allergic to dogs.

Choosing A Dog Breed

There are so many breeds to choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of them! :) They are all so lovable AND they will befriend you instantly. The most important thing is to go with your heart. Which one do you like the most? Which one do you see yourself taking care of?

Here are 50 popular dog breeds:

You can access the full list of dog breeds at this link.

Flat-Coated Retriever
French Bulldog
German Shepherd
Golden Retriever
Great Dane
Irish Settler
Italian Greyhound
Jack Russell Terrier
Labrador Retriever
Norfolk Terrier
Saint Bernard
Shih Tzu
Siberian Husky
Standard Poodle
Sussex Spaniel
Toy Poodle
Welsh Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Alaskan Malamute
Standard American Eskimo Dog
American Foxhound
American Water Spaniel
Australian Shepherd
Australian Terrier
Basset Hound
Bearded Collie
Belgian Sheepdog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bichon Frise
Border Collie
Cairn Terrier
Chow Chow
Cocker Spaniel
Doberman Pinscher
English Cocker Spaniel

Golden Retriever

Small vs. Large Dogs

When you choose to adopt a dog, you need to consider its height and weight. Are you able to take care of larger-sized dogs? Or do you feel more comfortable with a smaller-sized dog? Large dogs such as, Siberian Husky, Golden Retriever, or Greyhound are very heavy and tall (when they stand on their hind feet). Small dogs such as, Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, or Yorkshire Terrier are short and tend to weigh less than ten pounds.

You can do more research by visiting a pet store or veterinary clinic to interview a dog professional.

Siberian Husky

The Dog’s Age

The younger the dog is, the more energetic it will be. Dogs are just like human beings in that elementary kids have more energy than grown adults do. You will need to decide if you want a puppy or an adult dog.

If you choose to adopt a dog from the animal shelter, he/she might be an adult dog (more than a year old). Keep in mind that these dogs could have entered the animal shelter in a physically and psychologically fragile state. The volunteers at the animal shelter will help these dogs rejuvenate. There is also a possibility that the dogs came from loving homes, but the owner might not have been able to take care of them anymore. Regardless, you will need to take care of it so it can feel more lively and comfortable.

If you choose to adopt a dog from the pet store, he/she will most likely be a puppy (less than a year old). These little munchkins will have lots and lots of energy. Take care of it so that it will grow into a healthy adult dog.

Standard American Eskimo Dog

The Dog’s Gender

Are you thinking about adopting a boy dog or a girl dog? You can’t go wrong with either one. It's your choice after all.

Keep in mind that male dogs tend to mark their territories wherever they go. They will have a couple ‘accidents’ at home.... but cleaning up accidents come with owning a dog. Female dogs will have accidents as well .... they’re just like female humans in that they have their occasional menstrual cycle (but not as frequently).

It’s up to you to train your dog the best you can. You can train them to go potty outside in the yard or on a newspaper inside your home. It all depends on the owner. Some people prefer to have ‘indoor’ dogs and others prefer to have ‘outdoor’ dogs.


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    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      I adopted two wonderful labs and I love them, but next time I will take into consideration the fact that smaller dogs are easier to clean up after and to exercise!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      A great hub for a first time or any time dog owners. The main consideration is to bond with your dog right away. I have only adopted two dogs from shelters and I loved them very much. A Cock-a-Poo and a Dauc-a-Poo--both were very sweet and lovable.

      Your Hub Friend,


    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Good hub Amy, people don't realize the commitment and responsibility of owning a dog, the dog will become part of the family. I had a yellow lab that lived for 18 years, 6 of them were with cancer and it got quite expensive, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. So one big consideration for dog owners is the commitment :) Keep on hubbing, voted up and useful.

    • MSantana profile image


      6 years ago from Madison Wisconsin

      Request information about training or behavioral habits. Sometimes some habits are very hard to change w/o a lot of time, patience and investment. Adult dogs like people come with a baggage. Adopting a pet is a strong commitment, please take it seriously.

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Derdriu! I have an all-white toy poodle :) He's 8 now :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Amy, It's very helpful how you set down helpful questions to ask when shopping for big/small, female/male, old/young dogs. Also, I like how you mention different sources, such as acquaintances, ads, pet stores, and shelters. Additionally, it's fun to read and periodically look at the four happy smiling faces of an eskimo, husky, retriever, and toy puddle.

      In particular, I agree where you say that we'll be happy with our choices since dogs are all great! What kind of dog do you have?

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing and with a big Welcome to HubPages, Derdriu

    • mythbuster profile image


      6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Nice hub. Great pics. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image 

      6 years ago

      Thanks Amy - you could be a Dog Whisperer! Adopting a dog is a good way to go considering how many there are in shelters.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub, you written a wonderful hub to alert everyone who's thinking of adopting a dog, good job.

      Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great Hub - There's much to consider when choosing a dog to share your life. Well done!

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this hub. I have enjoyed having dogs in the past but right now I am not home enough to care of a dog properly. I'm looking forward to the days when I can have one again. They are great companions. The unconditional love is amazing. Good job!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very well written and put together hub, love all the beautiful photos you used in this hub,well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Amy - Nicely done article ! Next one you do on this general subject, let the folks know how to handle things when the dog does the adopting (like our "War Dog" did when he walked in on us one day when we were not paying much attention...)

      Gus :-)))

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Beth....thank you for informing me about my mistake in the article. Also, thank you for helping me revise that mistake. :)

    • Beth100 profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      Amy, thank you for revising your article. :)

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Beth100 that's a valid point. you're right :) i'll make corrections to this hub.

    • Beth100 profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      You have some very valid points to consider before bringing a dog, or any pet, home. As a previous breeder of rotties, one thing that is the most important: consider allergies. I have met many people who want to adopt/purchase a dog, and they do, only to discover that they are allergic to the animal. The animal is then sent to the shelter, destroyed or left in the country to "survive on it's own". My policy with my pups and young adults came with a 60 day guarantee -- I'd rather they return the pup to me than place it in a shelter.

      Once you determine the top three breeds, go to the breeders and talk with them. Bring a list of questions. Research. Research Research!!

      As for animal shelters... the animals generally go in with mental, emotional and physical abuse. What they receive in the shelter is much better than what they had received before. Therapy always begins within the shelter and no animal is adopted out until it has been rehabilitated to the point it is safe for people. Some of the animals come from good homes, and they will re-adapt quickly to a good home environment. I praise the work of the shelters -- the volunteers and staff work from their hearts and give all that they can to show the animals that humans do care about them.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Good hub. Adopting a dog is a big responsibility. Lots of sensible tips. Voted up

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are great tips. There are so many factors to consider when adopting a dog, but being a pet owner is so rewarding!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      We lost our dog a few months ago to cancer, and recently got another rescue Jack Russell puppy named Rodney, he is a bundle of energy there's never a dull moment, but we still miss old Megan. Love the dogie images. You've written a good informative hub. Voting up.

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you, Kathleen! :) I'm having fun writing hubs.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great work on this hub. You really covered the subject! Looking forward to more!

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you for reading my hub, Dream On! :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      6 years ago

      I love to visit my brothers dog so friendly and nice.I leave with alot of dog hair everywhere.Enjoyable read.

    • Amy Hyun profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Hyun 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      thank you so much, Angela!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      The Picture you have of the siberian huskey is great! Very pretty article!


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