I am all about shelter dogs. I like adult dogs whose quirks are all out on the table. I lived with an adolescent dog once and it sucked. Puppies are cute but they have too much energy, too sharp of teeth, and any problems they develop are all your fault. I like to have the scape goat of the previous owner to blame all of my dog's faults on. I also tend to have quirky dogs and I am more of the work around kind of owner than the impose my discipline type of owner. That said, I also take all of my dogs to dog obedience and get at least a few of the details ironed out (sit, down, off, momentary stays, etc.). I also know myself and take care to pick dogs who are not out to dominate people from the get-go.
So when I started obsessing about getting another dog about six months ago, I started looking at shelter dogs on line. But now that I have two kids, I am looking for a very particular kind of dog. I am looking for a dog like the one I had growing up, tolerant, not disturbed by lots of noise and chaos, tolerant of molesting by small children, and generally happy go lucky. Because I feel like I need to be more conservative in our new dog's character, I think I will adopt our next dog from a rescue organization who has dogs in foster homes. This way they know more about the dog and can more carefully evaluate whether the dog will be good with kids. I spend a lot of time looking at lab mixes on petfinder.com.
I don't know when we will get another dog. Mitch and I are currently in negotiations. But when we do, I want to do everything I can to make sure that we have a dog that we will be happy with and that will be happy with us.
By the way, if you want to see some amazing photos and stories of a domesticated non-domestic dog (one that I will NOT be getting as a family dog), check out this cool blog that my friend Tiffany told me about www.dailycoyote.blogspot.com