Speaking personally I have a stern word with myself about knowing my limits before I even start looking. I set a limit on size and care, I don't want a dog that needs a massive amount of grooming or clipping, then I think of temperament and how the dog would fit in with our family and how much exercise it would need. Having all that clear in my head helps me to let my head rule my heart when I visit a re-homing centre.
AGE - as I always take rescues my one rule is the dog must be between 3 - 6 years.
BREED - I would research the breed very carefully before choosing. Tbh, I have always had collie x's before I fell inlove with boxers..........I only got a boxer after walking someone elses for 2 years and talking to the owner at great length about them. I am lucky as I walk a few different breeds of dogs it gives me alot of insight into how they are....
TEMPERAMENT - because I walk and board other peoples dogs, the dog have to be ok around other dogs.
The age point is interesting. I guess the older the dog the more likely they are to need expensive vet care. I always adopt rescue dogs and I don't have an age limit as such, but I would have to think very carefully about taking on a dog that was more than about 8.
Thanks, some interesting points there. If taking on a younger dog it is important to consider how you expect your life will be for the next 15 years or so, because you will have a responsibility to care for that dog for the rest of its life.
I have to admit that has happened to me too Orrymain, that is why I need to have a stern word with myself so that I stick to my limits and don't take on a dog that wouldn't really fit with our family situation.
I think another important point is to understand that every dog is different and you can never find a dog that will be like the one you have lost. The new one will become special to you in it's own way.