Sometimes, even with thorough planning, it is still hard to resist puppies with oversized paws and cute, button-like eyes or attractive full-grown dogs, for that matter. This is a natural response commonly observed among would-be owners at rescue homes and animal shelters.

A little planning can still go a long way when deciding which dog to adopt. Even if your previous plans are all but forgotten, remembering the tips below can still help you resist that overpowering desire to bring them all home.

Try talking yourself out of it.
Debate with yourself about your options. Ask yourself questions about whether you are ready to commit yourself to a particular dog. If you have doubts, even the slightest one, you should delay you decision. It is never a good idea to rely a lifetime commitment on a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Remember your game plan and stick with it.
Prior to going to the animal shelter, you have thought about the dog’s breed, dog’s size, the dog’s temperament, in fact even the color of the dog’s fur. Don’t forget these things when looking for the pet you would like to bring home. If you think you would easily fall for a dog, ask your wife, your brother, or a friend to tag along at the animal shelter. Get a second opinion. That never hurt.

Sleep on the decision.
A little time away from the dogs can help a great deal on deciding which dog to get. It is okay to sleep on your decision as this allows you sufficient time to evaluate your options. Only after you have thoroughly thought about your options should you decide. Otherwise, allow yourself more time to weigh your options.

Test the dog.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you are relying on pure instinct to guide you to your dog, without prior plans. The dogs in the animal shelters, on the other hand, rely on their animal instincts to find their suitable owners. If this is the case for you, it is advisable to first test the dog.

Do this by allowing the potential dog to sniff you. Ignore it for a few minutes while observing its behavior. The ideal dog is not clingy to its owner. It is people oriented and sociable but it should not force you to pay all your attention to him. If the dog wanders away and goes back to you after a few minutes, it is a good sign that it is a well-behaved, independent dog. It recognizes its owner, but does not demand so much from his master.

It is also not a bad idea to play with the dog. Dogs in stressful conditions don’t normally feel comfortable with petting. Usually, they are aggressive, shy, afraid or stressed. Test your would-be dog’s personality by playing around with it. A good response is often a good indication that a dog is comfortable around you.

Don’t be surprised if it is not playful though. It is enough that he tolerates being petted without showing apprehension.

Apart from using the above criteria, how else would you know which dog to adopt? Well, it always come down to your best judgment.

Check out some great recipes:

Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits

Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon salt — optional 1 egg 1 cup chicken broth — slightly warmed 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup rye flour — optional 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 cup cracked wheat 1... [Read more]

Bulldog Banana Bites

Bulldog Banana Bites 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup powdered milk — nonfat 1 egg 1/3 cup banana — ripe, mashed 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 beef bouillon cube 1/2 cup water — hot 1 tablespoon brown sugar Mix all ingredients until will... [Read more]

Liver Brownies

2 lbs chicken livers 2 C corn meal 2 C wheat germ 2 eggs 2 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic (not salt) 1/2 C dried parsley Liquefy livers in food processor, pour into mixing bowl and add other ingredients. Mix until smooth like... [Read more]

Bacon Bits for Dogs

Bacon Bits for Dogs 6 slices cooked bacon — crumbled 4 eggs — well beaten 1/8 cup bacon grease 1 cup water 1/2 cup powdered milk — non-fat 2 cup graham flour 2 cup wheat germ 1/2 cup cornmeal Mix ingredients with a strong spoon; drop... [Read more]

Dog Biscuits #2

Dog Biscuits #2 1 envelope dry yeast 1 cup rye flour 1/4 cup warm water 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk 1 pinch sugar 4 teaspoons kelp powder 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 cups beef or chicken broth 2 cups whole wheat flour 2 cups cracked wheat or 1 c. cornmeal GLAZE:... [Read more]

Classic Canine Cookies

Classic Canine Cookies 4 cups whole wheat flour 1/4 cup cornmeal 1/4 cup cooked rice 1 egg 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Juice from a small orange 1 2/3 cups water Mix all ingredients together well. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll... [Read more]

Flea Hater’s Dog Biscuits

Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast (available at health-food stores) 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 clove garlic, chopped medium, or 1 teaspoon powdered garlic (optional**) 1/2 cup chicken... [Read more]

Canine Meat and Grain Menu

Canine Meat and Grain Menu 2 cups cooked brown rice 2/3 cup Lean beef 2 teaspoons lard — or veggie oil 1/4 cup vegetables — no onion* Supplements Mix the above. You can cook the meat if you want to, use your judgment. Serve slightly warm.*For... [Read more]

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

Cheesy Dog Biscuits 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese 1/4 pound margarine — corn oil 1 clove garlic — crushed 1 pinch salt 1/4 cup Milk — or as needed Grate the cheese into a bowl and let stand until it reaches... [Read more]

An Apple a Day Dog Treat

An Apple a Day Dog Treat 2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup unbleached flour 1/2 cup cornmeal1 apple — chopped or grated1 egg — beaten 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed 3/8 cup water Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie... [Read more]