Here are just a few of the many things you should look into before making the commitment to a dog.
1. Prior or existing health problems
Always check to make sure that the dog is healthy and hasn't had past issues. When checking to see if the dog has any existing health issues, ask as many questions as you can and make sure you understand the health conditions the dog does have if they have any. If they do, make sure you are prepared to take that on as an owner, because it can be a big job. Some potential health problems could be allergies, hip issues, arthritis, etc.
2. Behavioral problems
Though it takes dogs three months to fully be comfortable in a new home, they may need to be in an only dog home or with no children. Make sure to ask if the dog has any issues with children, other dogs, cats, loud noises, or anything else. There are a wide variety of things that the dog could've gone through to have gotten these issues. Some may be fixable, but you have to be patient and loving with the dog.
3. Why the dog entered the shelter
Check to see why the dog was surrendered. The previous owners may have just decided they didn't want the dog anymore or it could be for different reasons, like the dog isn't good with children.
Make sure you are getting a dog that is in the right age range for you. Younger dogs may have more energy and need more maintenance while older dogs might be more set in their ways, but may not always be as energetic and need as much space.
Make sure you do your research on the breeds you want beforehand. Different breeds may be prone to different health issues, behavioral problems, or energy levels. For example, Huskies and Border Collies, along with other working breeds, are extremely high energy. These high-energy dogs need more time dedicated to them and more space to run and burn their energy off.
6. Whether or not they are crate trained
Crate training is a big deal. It needs a lot of time to be dedicated to it. If you are getting an older dog, then it may take longer and may need more time dedicated to training them. You might ask yourself, do you want a dog that is crate trained or are you willing to put the time and energy into crate training your animal yourself?
7. Other training
Please keep in mind a lot of these dogs are not trained, especially if you get an adult or young adult. A lot of these dogs have had a rough life and deserve the time & energy to be put into them to make functional dogs. Not every dog you adopt will be trained well or trained at all. Take the time to do so, because they really are great dogs and deserve the time and energy to be put into them.
If you do find a good fit for you, please remember to have patience with these dogs. They deserve love after everything they have been through. They may be a lot of work, but when you adopt a dog you're signing up for the work and the time needed dedicated to them.
The photo below is of my sister's first adoptive dog, Snuggles! She is actually a registered Emotional Support Animal. She helps people through panic attacks, nerves, social anxiety, etc.