How to choose a dog from a rescue centre with your head and your heart!

These guidelines are intended to help you think about how you choose your new dog, especially if you have not had a dog before. Most rescue centres offer excellent advice about which dogs suit which owners, so do ask for help and information from the staff when choosing a dog.

When you have chosen a dog, ask if you can take him out, but don’t just take him for a walk! Sit down with him so you can observe his behaviour and see how quickly he settles down in your company and how much he enjoys just being with you – this should be the start of a beautiful relationship, so take the time to make sure it’s right! If you have children, it is essential that the dog genuinely loves them – tolerance is just not enough!

Physical features to consider when choosing a dog:

Temperament features to consider:

Positive signs of good temperament and sociability are easy to confuse with over-excitement and arousal. Tail wagging does not always mean friendliness: barking does not always constitute a threat.

Good signs:

Avoid:

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