Another tip for minimizing stress for both you and your dog?
"Create a smaller environment at home in which the dog can immediately settle into," says Halpin.
Think the kitchen. Or living room.
"Kitchens are great because a dog, particularly a puppy, may forget his or her house training for a bit. So time in a smaller space, like a kitchen, with easily cleaned surfaces, would be ideal for both the dog and the family," Halpin says.
Finn Dowling is all-too-familiar with the exchange between shelter staff and prospective dog adopters.
Staff: Just so you know this is a puppy, and he's going to coat everything you know in urine.
Dog adopter: He won't because he loves me.
Staff: Not housebroken.
Adopter: We'll work it out together because love is perfect.
"Well, love is perfect," Dowling says. "But sometimes, love pees on the floor.
"It's sort of like a falling-in-love moment when everything you're saying to them becomes white noise," she says. "If you feel like that's happening, ask if they have any handouts you can look at when you get home."
Feeling good about this? Get more info on adoptable dogs at the MSPCA and Humane Society Silicon Valley.