[Follow up post to Are you Ready for a New Pet?]

One decision made: We are getting a dog! Lots of new decisions to go..

The kids want a small “cute” dog & my husband wants one that is easy to travel with, so we are aiming for one that will be no more than 20lbs.

My husband is also mildly allergic to dogs, which we didn’t discover until after our pug had been gone a few months & his allergies miraculously cleared up! So we need to look for a low-shedding, low-dander, “hypo-allergenic” variety. Poodles, havanese, maltese, shih-tzus, bijons, some terriers, & many of their mixed-breed puppies can be good for people who suffer with allergies..so we are looking for one of these.

We also live in a city apartment, so we need a dog that isn’t “yappy” that will annoy the neighbors. We all agree we want a puppy that we can train and love and watch grow from the beginning.

When we first decided to get a puppy, I was set on rescuing one from a shelter, but after weeks of searching, I quickly realized it isn’t quite that simple. First, puppies are very hard to come by in shelters. You should be open to adopting a dog at least over a year & sometimes even much older or of unknown-age to adopt from a rescue shelter. Next, you are often unsure of parentage, making allergen prediction nearly impossible.  I also found that in our city, the shelters were filled with large guard dog types..not what we were looking for.  To find a small-dog puppy with known parentage I had to search shelters in a much wider radius & they were so rare that several in a row were snatched up before I could get our adoption application approved.

I was even told by one rural shelter that they probably wouldn’t even approve us for adoption because they don’t believe that dogs should be placed in “urban locations” regardless of whether we were fit to be dog-owners! So as much as I had hoped to “rescue” a dog, we have decided that we were going to go the route of a breeder, which poses a whole set of additional decisions and a lot more researching to avoid puppy mills.

I’ll be back with updates on our search for our newest furry family member soon but in the meantime, should you have any tips for acquiring a new dog, PLEASE share your comments here!