The misconception that all dogs are brought to a shelter because of behavior problems is wrong. About 95% of dogs in shelters are brought there because their owners were moving, allergic, they got it as a puppy and grew too big, they didn't have time, etc. Very few dogs are actually brought to shelters for behavioral problems.
There are many pros about adopting a shelter dog:
Low cost. Shelter dogs are very inexpensive compared to purebred breeders. I got my ten-month-old puppy Harley for $175. Prices at shelters vary, depending on where they are, but wherever I have been, the prices have been low.
If you get an older dog, it more than likely has had a bit of training. I got Harley housebroken and he already knew "sit", "shake" and a few others. Getting a new puppy is time-consuming, and there are hundreds of shelter dogs who are already partially trained waiting for a home.
Adopting a shelter dog is saving a life. Many shelters are becoming no-kill shelters, but even in no-kill shelters, dogs deteriorate. Some are overlooked for months to the point that they become depressed. Others are moved from shelter to shelter, having to readjust constantly.
You are giving a dog a second chance. You don't know where he/she came from or what happened, but opening your arms and your home is giving that dog another shot at life and happiness.
If you have mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, a dog can help. There's a reason why people have emotional support animals. I adopted Harley for that purpose. He's my medication for my anxiety. (Don't think I am saying he's just my medication, he's still a dog and still needs to be treated properly, and he is, he is very loved)
A dog forces you to get out. That walk you promised yourself that you would do all year for your resolution can now be achieved. A dog needs to get out, and so you have to go with it. Plus, you'd be surprised how many new people and new doggie friends you will be able to make while out and about.
The people at the shelter have been around the dog and are able to give you as much information as possible. Harley was on antibiotics and the shelter workers told me everything I needed to know of how to get him to eat it. While they often don't have a lot of time to be with every dog, they will tell you everything they know.
But there is a downside or two:
You don't know your dog's history. You only know what the shelter has told you. You don't know how he/she is going to react in certain situations. Luckily for me, Harley was just not fed a good diet, so he's skinny, but he has no behavioral problems and does not act like he was abused in any way. The problem with not knowing his/her detailed history is that you do not know if he has any triggers that will cause problems for you in the future.
You don't know what breed your dog is. Harley was listed as a border collie/pointer mix, but upon looking at him closer and going through Google images, he appears to be a border collie/Italian greyhound mix. The only way to be 100% sure about what you are getting is if you do a DNA test on the dog. Harley will be getting one soon himself.
A shelter dog is not a bad choice at all. Go visit a shelter, you may just find your best friend.
(And yes, the photo is of Harley)