Don't Base Your Decision Only on Breed
One of the biggest mistakes people make pre-adoption, Littrell says, is making up their mind about what they want before even meeting a dog. “Dogs deserve to be treated as individuals, so don't focus too much on the breed or breed mix,” she says. “Take the time to get to know the particular dog you are considering.”
Certain breeds, of course, have common traits: Golden Retrievers might be very friendly. German Shepherds tend to be protective. Bulldogs are usually easy-going. But these are not hard and fast rules, and people with certain preconceived notions, who adopt a dog based on specific personality expectations, might end up disappointed.
“Take the dog you are considering on a walk, play with him or her, and talk to the people taking care of the dog to find out their impressions,” Littrell says. While you can’t ever know for sure how a dog will behave in a new environment, you’ll at least see how your personalities mesh, which is crucial to a successful experience.