Let’s face it; we’re a nation mad for dogs. In fact, statistics show we have a whopping 89.7 million pups living among us. And, that number increases every day as more owners find their doggy destinies. It’s a happy story all around; we’re sure you’ll agree.

Or, is it? Though we love our dogs, the number of pups hitting homeless shelters suggest something’s going wrong. In fact, 3.9 million dogs are thought to enter shelters nationwide every year. It’s enough to break any dog lovers heart. In fact, that’s such a large number that it begs the question of what’s behind it.

It’s easy to discard those who give their dogs up as bad owners. And, that’s definitely the case in some instances. But, it’s impossible and untrue to consider everyone who gives their dogs up as unkind. In truth, giving up a dog is an incredibly difficult decision. Most often, though, owners simply can’t gel with their pups. And, if you don’t get along with your dog, your life can fast become a nightmare.

That’s not to say, of course, that such owners haven’t been a little negligent along the way. After all, they chose that dog above all others. And, it was down to them to ensure the match was a good one. Sadly, many of us let our hearts rule our heads when picking our pups. And, our dogs pay for the mistake.

In truth, entering into a relationship with a dog is the same as any other relationship in your life. You aren’t going to get along with every dog you meet. Sometimes, your personalities will clash. In other cases, you won’t have anything in common. With that in mind, it’s past time we took a little more care when deciding on our puppy pals. And, we’re going to look at just how you can do that.

Look for an instant connection

via GIPHY

An instant connection may not seal a relationship, but it’s still important. When we’re looking out for friends, we look for people who attract us physically before anything. You may look out for people who look like they’d match you. And, the same rules apply to dogs. When searching on sites like www.mdpuppiesonline.com, look for a dog who sparks that instant connection in you. We’re not saying you should jump on any dog which looks cute. Though, of course, that helps. But, consider everything that could make a difference. How are they sitting? Do they look friendly? Are you drawn to them straight away? Questions like these could lead you to find the perfect pup.

Research the breed

Once you have a dog in mind, take the time to research their breed. As you can see from sites like http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/, all different breeds have distinct personality traits. As such, each is ideal for different purposes. Of course, this is not an exact science. There are exceptions to the rules, and personality quirks for each different dog. But, when you’re approaching this with no knowledge, research of this kind can still be a huge help. For instance, a terrier of any sort is unlikely to be ideal if you want a gentle dog. Of course, our dogs are often a result of their environment. But, attempts to override their nature are often what lead to relationship breakdowns. Instead, be cutting here. If a breed doesn’t sound right for you, disregard it. It wouldn’t be fair on you or the dog to take things any further.

Browse before you buy

Golden Retriever Puppies Eating Kibble

As we mentioned, breed research isn’t an exact science. As such, it’s crucial you browse before you buy. Too often, we have the plan to buy before we see a dog. We stock up on their toys, and we get ready to bring them home. We even start to imagine them in our lives. So, even if they aren’t what we are expecting, we go through with the sale. Don’t make that mistake. Obviously, you need to prepare just in case. As a rule, though, you should never approach a breeder with buying in mind. Instead, treat this as a chance to browse. Take time to pay attention to how the dog reacts to you. You can tell a lot about personality the first time you approach a dog. Do they seem nervous or hostile? Nerves can be overcome, but aggression could be a bit harder to deal with. Are they excitable or calm? And, most importantly, does that initial attraction translate into your first interaction?