Choosing the Perfect Pup

Choosing the Perfect Pup

Puppies require the greatest amount of training and attention, especially during the first six months. Be prepared to dedicate much of your time to housebreaking and raising your new puppy. Your dog will likely have plenty of accidents in the house, and will probably chew on your furniture and personal belongings. These problems will gradually resolve with dedicated training, but patience is a must.

You should also be aware that your puppy might grow up to be different from your expectations – that is not necessarily a bad thing, but just something to keep in mind.

Take a look at our puppy selection checklist, and match the answers of these questions with your family’s needs. Choose wisely, and you will have a best friend for a lifetime – a dog that will truly be a joy to have, and a treasured member of the family.

Puppy Selection Checklist

Here are some of the most important questions that you need answered before choosing a puppy breed:

  • 1. What is its temperament like?
  • 2. What is its mature size and weight?
  • 3. Is it good with children?
  • 4. What are its breed-specific health problems?
  • 5. How long is it estimated to live?
  • 6. How much does it shed?
  • 7. How much does it eat?
  • 8. Can it be easily housebroken?
  • 9. Does it require a lot of grooming?
  • 10. How noisy and/or protective is it?
  • 11. Does it require any special care or management?
  • 12. Is it good with other dogs and animals?

Rules to Remember

  • 1. Never buy on impulse, or because you feel sorry for a frightened or timid puppy.
  • 2. Do not assume that your dog is a pedigree. Just because it has been supplied a certificate – especially if the pup’s parents cannot be seen – some of these certificates may not be genuine. Always check the breeder’s credentials.
  • 3. Unless you are an experienced dog owner, you might not want to pick the puppy that pushes all the others out of the way to get to you. This is normally the most dominant of the litter. Also, do not go to the other end of the scale to pick the runt or the frightened one, as you may be in for a whole heap of problems. You are far better off picking a pup from the middle rankings; the breeder should be able to advise you on this.
  • 4. Visit dog shows to meet dog breeders and see actual dog breed specimens. Remember, the puppy you choose today will be a member of your family for at least the next decade. Take your time and choose wisely. Any breeder or pet store who pushes for a ‘buy now’ decision should be avoided at all costs.
  • 5. If you are after a specific breed, it’s a good idea to go to the breed clubs of the type of dog you are looking for, as they generally know each individual professional breeder, and respect each other’s ethics and work. They should be able to point you in the direction of quality pups available.
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