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Choosing a dog: where to start

The handsome Boris
The handsome Boris
Chicagoland Dog Rescue

There are many things to consider once you have decided to bring a dog into your life. Choosing the right dog for your lifestyle is essential. You have to take your other pets – if you have any – or children into consideration.

First think about size. Which size suits you? A small dog that is easily carried around? Perhaps a medium or large size that takes a bit more space. Small dogs have needs that larger sizes don’t necessarily have. They need to be kept warm in the winter. (Think sweaters!) They also tend to be a bit more delicate and vulnerable than their larger counterparts. If you go for a larger dog, don’t forget about tail space. Happy dogs with tails at table height can sweep more off the table than dust.

And what about activity level? Some dogs are content to sit with you, and not demand much more than a casual walk a day. Then there are others that need to use a lot more energy, the dogs that become good running partners or endless ball chasers. Luckily there is a dog for every activity level.
Age is a big consideration when starting to look for a dog. Puppies are adorable, but they require a huge amount of attention and training. Like small children, you will always be cleaning up after them, especially during the first few months. The key to dealing with a puppy is patience.

An older dog may be the perfect option for you if you don’t mind doing some training, but don’t necessarily have the time that a puppy takes. When evaluating adult dogs, it is far easier to understand their temperament and energy level, as those attributes have already settled in.

There are many things to consider when choosing a dog. And talking to the right people is a good start. The people at Chicagoland Dog Rescue are knowledgeable and will go out of their way to answer all of your questions. They can be found online at