As you may know from previous posts, I lost my 10 year old Chow/Shepherd mix, Sephi, in early November. I still have my other dog Maya, but our home seems empty without two dogs. After discussing with my husband, we decided to get another dog after the craziness of the holiday season was over. Well, now that it is over and the search has begun.
But before we actually started looking for a dog, we needed to have an idea of what kind of dog we want. Some of the things we are considering are young, adult, or senior dog; purebred or mix; good with kids; good with other dogs; good with cats; laid back dog or active dog; laid back dog or affectionate dog; long-hair, short-hair, wire-hair, or non-shedding but requires grooming; indoor or outdoor dog; male or female; small, medium, or large; guard dog or doesn’t matter.
After much consideration, we have decided that we must have a dog that is good with kids and other dogs. We would prefer a medium to large adult dog who is already potty trained. We are a bit concerned about shedding, but it is not the most important factor. We don’t care if it is male or female or if it is mix or purebred. Once we knew the specific traits, we researched dog breeds to see which were most likely to be good with kids and other dogs.
Of all the dog breeds we looked at, my husband was partial to Border Collies. He liked the idea that they are super-intelligent. They are also high-energy dogs and can cause trouble if they are not well exercised both physically and mentally. I work from home so I will not have a problem exercising and keeping him entertained, but I really don’t want a dog that is too high energy. So a Border Collie mix rather than pure bred is probably a better choice.
We found lots of Border Collie and Border Collie mixes on PetFinder.com. In fact, there are a number of rescue groups in our area who specialize in the breed. We read their profiles on PetFinder.com and on the rescue websites and put in a number of applications.
By the way, we are also considering Keeshunds. My stepfather mentioned how great they are. Like Border Collies, they shed. But their hair has to be combed out. This is okay with me. I’d prefer to comb the hair out rather than constantly sweep up hair that is naturally falling all over the floor (like my Lab Maya’s hair). Keeshunds are not as smart as Border Collies but they are a bit more laid back. As long as we can find a Keeshund who is definitely good with kids and other dogs, it might be a good match too. So we put in an app for the Keeshund rescue as well.
We also visited the local animal shelter. There were a number of dogs there that might have been a good fit. It is a bit more difficult to tell if they are good with kids and other dogs or if they are potty trained. But for the right dog, we could work on any issues. We could have put in an app at the animal shelter but they generally do not take applications unless you have a specific dog in mind. We did not find a dog that caught our attention on our first visit so we will keep visiting as well as check with rescue groups.
One major difference between the animal shelter and the rescue groups is that the animal shelter was willing to accept an app and adopt out the same day, whereas rescue groups had extensive 3-4 page applications. The rescue groups are also going to check our references, our vet, and do a home visit. This might seem a bit intrusive for some people, but I have nothing to hide and appreciate that they are doing such extensive research to make sure we get the right dog for our family.
As of today, we are waiting to hear back on the applications. We will visit the shelter again next weekend and keep an eye out for more dogs on PetFinder. I will keep you posted on the progress!