SD Selection Homework 1 

Now that you have read through the first few lectures, it's time to start filling out the Needs checklist.  

1. Make a list of tasks you currently need and may need in the future. Use these links to give you ideas of what tasks you need a dog for. http://www.iaadp.org/tasks.html

 http://www.iaadp.org/psd_tasks.html 

Once you have created the list, prioritize them in order of how important they are to you and fill them in the checklist. 

2.  Look at the task list. Do any of the tasks require a dog of a specific size? (for example, a dog that braces needs to be at least (ideally more) half your weight and the body structure needs to be tall enough to be easy to hold and compact enough to not cause muscle or joint strain for the dog. A long-legged or thin breed would not be suitable for this. Similarly, a dog that needs to pull a wheelchair with you in it needs to be of stocky build, athletic and large enough to safely pull your weight. 
For many tasks, size does not matter. For example, a dog that retrieves can be ay size as can a dog that does sound or most types of medical alerts. Persistence is more important with alerting dogs.  Overall, what height and weight would be ideal for your tasks?

3. Work through the rest of the items on the checklist, giving each serious consideration. Keep the size of dog in mind. What breeds come to mind as you think through your needs? Write these down.

4. Once you have identified a few potential breed candidates, then individual litters or dogs, come back and look at which paw is dominant, which eye is dominant and which direction the chest fur whorls turn. 

Which would be better overall for your situation? Puppy from a breeder, or an adult dog 18 months to 3 years old?

Keep this information in mind as you read the breeder and adult dog information.