AUSTIN (KXAN) - Choosing the right animal takes time, but it's worth it to get the right pet.
The main to look for when visiting dogs in a shelter is friendliness.
Look for dogs that come up to the kennel door to greet you.
Avoid dogs who appear afraid, aggressive or have big problems - your goal is to add a friend that will fit into your life easily.
Once you've found that friendly dog, take it out of the kennel on a leash for a short walk. Notice how the dog behaves on a leash and interacting with others. You're looking for calm and friendly behavior. If the dog barks or lunges at other people too much and you can't grab its attention - you might want to pass on that dog.
After walking the dog for a bit, you'll want to take it to an area where it can be off leash. A good tip for this part is to have treats on hand or a toy. Give the dog a few minutes to explore the new area and settle down. At this point, you're going to want to pay extra attention to your potential pet.
Notice if the dog comes back to you when called, if the dog is being affectionate, if the dog is interested in you or more interested in everything else around it. All these points will help you choose your dog carefully.
Once you decide you like this dog enough to take home with you, you'll want everyone from your home to meet with it. Any family members or other pets will have to meet this new dog, since it will be a new addition to the entire family.
Next week we will talk about prepping your home for your new pet.
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