Each dog has its own personality, and that’s what makes them such terrific companions. They complement our lives in so many ways because of the immense diversity among the breeds. From large dogs to tiny ones, from shaggy mutts to hairless purebreds, there is a dog for everyone!
One of the first things you are going to want to ask yourself before you adopt a dog is whether you want a purebred or a mutt. It may not matter to you, and if so, you are ready to go out and start looking. This decision should come from the heart and be totally based on what you want, and not necessarily on what a friend thinks. It should also NOT be based on a dog you saw on TV or in a movie. If a specific breed interests you, get some good information from a breeder or a person that understands that particular breed. Spend some time sleuthing online to learn about the breed. You might learn something about the breed that concerns you, and it’s best to get that information BEFORE you go the shelter or breeder.
Joel has worked with lots of breeds throughout his career, but he confesses to having a soft spot for mutts. Don’t be offended!—“mutt” just refers to a mixed-breed dog. There are also a few other classifications for mixed-breed dogs such as “mongrels” and “Heinz 57’s.” Call them whatever you want, but realize that there are thousands of these lovable mixed-breed dogs all over the country just waiting for you in animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups.
Here’s a few quick tips on selecting mutts. Many mutts have a predominant breed in them. Maybe a mutt looks a lot like a Labrador retriever or a Pit Bull. That dog will carry many of the same traits and characteristics of this predominant breed. Know something about the predominant breed because the dog you’re considering may carry some of its negative characteristics. If you are looking for a laid back dog and you adopt a dog that has a lot of Jack Russell in him, he is most likely going to be high-strung.
If you’re adopting from a shelter, ask a staff member about the predominant breed of the dog that interests you. Once you get that information, come back to this website, or the AKC website to get some good information on the breed BEFORE you adopt.
Before you go the shelter, have an idea of the breed, mix, or size you are looking for. Whether you’re an intense and energetic person or a relaxed homebody, there’s a dog out there to fit your life and home, and knowing something about the breeds can help you find that match.