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How We Choose Our Pups
Study looks at how adopters decide a dog is “the one”
Nemo and his cute freckles.

The first thing I noticed about my oldest dog, Nemo, was the cluster of cute freckles on his nose. But I knew he was “the one” as soon as I held him in my arms and he licked my face.

The ASPCA wants to understand more about how we pick our pets so they can better help homeless animals find new homes. They conducted a study of 1,500 prospective adopters at five animal shelters across the nation on how they decided on their pet.

The research found that people are most likely to choose adult dogs based on their behavior, but are most likely to choose puppies based on physical appearance. Not surprisingly, age was more important for puppies than adult dogs.

However, despite behavior and looks, having some sort of connection, like the way Nemo licked my face, was the deciding factor that convinced people that a particular animal was “the one.”

How did you know that your pup had to be a part of your life?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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