- First and foremost, consider the prospective owner's current, not past, energy, health and exercise needs. Does she enjoy a couple of daily, brisk walks or prefer a slow amble around the cul-de-sac?
- Are the rigors of potty training a new puppy likely to be a fun challenge for this new owner, or perhaps a bit more trouble than they need?
- Does the prospective owner have the physical ability to pick up and/or restrain the dog being considered?
- Is this potential owner a confident and ardent taskmaster with a take-charge attitude, or more of a follow-the-leader type of personality?
- Will this owner have strong opinions about the rules his dog is to follow, or does he plan to baby the pup and take an 'anything goes' sort of approach?
- Are the prospective owner's finances in good shape to provide a healthy diet, regular medical care, and training classes or sessions to assist with teaching the dog proper manners?
- Is the new owner able to access areas that are dog-friendly for potty breaks, within close proximity to her front door during inclement weather?
- Does the owner have sufficient area for an indoor romp, laser tag game, or other indoor play, when the weather turns bad for days at a time?
- Is the owner able to drive, or does she have access to dog-friendly transportation to pick up pet supplies, make grooming trips and vet visits?
- Will the owner be able to adequately socialize the dog during neighborhood walks, pet store visits, dog park trips or other dog-friendly activities?
Choosing a medium to small breed with a history of less activity and more submissive behavior would likely be the most successful match. There are many available through rescues and Humane Societies. Try Petfinder and AdoptaPet online, where you can search breeds, size, sex, age, location and other criteria that will help you find the right companion. Take your time to be sure, and don't ever adopt a dog sight unseen. Visit more than once, if possible, to assess the dog's energy and behavior among other humans and dogs.
Let's use this post to assess how many readers out there have a senior in their life that might enjoy a new companion--or perhaps they themselves are the senior. Comments on this post or at my Facebook page, will be entered in a drawing for a "New Dog Kit": a small dog carrier, 2 bowls, a guidebook to Caring for your Dog, a bottle of enzyme carpet cleaner for "oopsies", sample dog food, 1 Greenie, a starter kit of Toki Poki trading cards (just for fun!), a lanyard key chain for your dog walks, and a dog whistle. Sorry; the Scruffy doggie stays here! He's just our spokesDog for today.
Good luck with your new best friend, and remember, it's all worth it. Oliver will be sure to have a few thoughts on this topic. Drop in at 5 Minutes for Fido to hear his opinions. Finally, don't miss the opportunity to win big doggie and dog-lover gifts in my MANKINDdog raffle at this link. Happy tails!
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