I have two terrier mixes. One is a terrier hound mix called a Mountain Feist, probably with some other breeds mixed in because she is bigger than MFs are suppose to get. The other is a Rat Terrier x Chihuahua.
What was most important to me when I chose my dogs was their temperament. I had a list of what I wanted: Black, short and smooth coated, no double coat, upright or semi-erect ears, full tail. I didn’t want a pushed in faced (health and breathing issues) or a tightly curled tail (esthetic and expressive) But most importantly, I wanted an open, loving, friendly temperament.
I was in my early 50s when I got the older of my two dogs. The last of my pack of 5 and my favorite dog ever had just passed of age related health issues and I wanted another dog with that temperament. I looked at probably thousands of dogs all over the US on adoption websites til I fixed on my dog. I was in California and she was in Arkansas so it was a bit of a trick to make the adoption happened but it worked great and I was madly in love with her just from her photos.
Two years later I had a similar list but wanted a smaller and less energetic dog as her companion. It again took weeks and weeks and looked at hundreds of dogs but kept my search within 200 miles of my location. Found the perfect dog an hour and a half’s drive away.
I’ve never been happier. I thought about what I wanted in a dog, made a list and stuck to it. I was very conscious of not getting sucked in by emotions while looking at dogs. Both times it was a nerve wracking emotional roller coaster because there are so many dogs that need homes and I’m an empath. I knew it was likely these would be the last dogs I’d have through their whole lives because of my age so it was important to make reallly good choices.
Sticking to my list and selecting carefully was the best thing I ever did in my life. I wish I had done that my entire life with dogs, boyfriends and jobs, housing. In fact, if I ever look for a boyfriend again (unlikely) and when I play with the idea of changing jobs I will be using a similar technique. Last time I looked for a house I did that, made a list and stuck to it, it worked out great.