Be ready to find out everything you can about your potential new dog. Before you hit the shelters, make up a list of possible questions, including:
- Why is he available for adoption?
- Do you know anything about his history?
- Is he housebroken?
- Was he ever returned after an adoption? If so, why?
- What's his temperament like?
- Does he have any behavioral problems?
- How is he with children, cats, and other dogs?
- Is he neutered; is she spayed?
- Are his vaccinations up-to-date?
- Does he have, or has he had, any illnesses?
- Is he on any medication?
- What's his approximate age?
- What are his grooming requirements?
- What are his exercise requirements?
- What commands does he know?
- Does he walk well on his leash?
Take notes while you're at the shelter. It can only take one wrong answer to make him the wrong dog for you; and you the wrong owner for him. Again, if you're not 100% sold, go home and ponder your notes until you're absolutely sure if he's the one.