Adopting Your Best Friend
When visiting a shelter or breeder, you want to pay attention to the energy of each dog to try and match the level of intensity that you carry each day, both at home and in public. You must understand that all dogs ultimately need a strong leader to make them feel comfortable and relaxed each and every day. If you choose a dog that is very playful, one that is jumping on and nipping at all of the other puppies, then you should expect that behavior to continue through the early years and beyond so be prepared to match and exceed that energy if you expect to ever get your intended message across. Try and set yourself up for success by choosing a low level energy dog, one that isn’t worried about being all up in everyone else’s business. This is ideal for most families where a dog can learn to spend time alone or with others while maintaining a calm and relaxed state of mind. Be sure to make a good impression by immediately establishing ground rules from the moment you meet the puppy all the way through the first ride home.
However, if you live a fast paced lifestyle and want the same from your dog, then choosing the higher level energy dog may be the better choice but you have to remember that the dog’s ability to focus is directly related to their level of energy. If you plan on teaching many commands or achieving a service dog status or even competing in agility trials, then you must pay attention to the dog’s energy level and ability to focus on you.
Regardless of energy levels, when you bring your dog home, remember to allow the dog to adjust to your lifestyle and never the other way around. Dogs expect to be led by an alpha, otherwise they will assume the role themselves. If you begin to adjust your life to accommodate what you believe is good for the dog then it’s very possible that the dog will sense your indecision and distance itself from you, so remember to always be the strong leader your new friend needs.