Which Puppy is right for you?
ow exciting that you’ve decided to bring a puppy into your life – it could be because you have more time on your hands – perhaps due to working part-time (this is why I got my first dog), or maybe life has moved on and its been a while since you’ve owned a dog and it is now time. The process is the same whatever your reasons, and like any big decision you will want to get it right – after all it’s a huge commitment and you want to start with a puppy that has come from a good source.
After you have decided what breed best fits with your lifestyle in terms of the amount of time you can commit to exercising your dog, its size and temperament, energy levels and how much grooming will be needed etc you’ve got to the stage where you need to find a responsible breeder – you will want to start with a puppy that has come from a good source.
A good starting point for a pedigree puppy is either the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme who have a puppy locator service, your local vets, or friends. It’s never a good idea to buy a pet unseen off the internet.
Before you contact the breeder, or are tempted to go and look at any puppies I would recommend you draw up a list of questions to ask, that way you won’t be tempted to buy on impulse. If you have done your research you will be aware of any inherited health issues associated with the breed, so you need to ask if these health checks were done before the bitch was mated and examine the certificates. Other things to enquire about are when the puppy has been wormed; what products you will need to buy for continuity; will any of the injections have been given before the puppy leaves; will it come with any insurance; and what age will the puppy will be ready to go to its new home. Good breeders will want to know their puppies are going to only the best homes they can find so be prepared also for the breeder to ask you questions; they will want to know you can provide a responsible home – so don’t be offended if their questions may seem probing.
In order to avoid unscrupulous breeders selling puppy farmed dogs it’s vital that you see the puppies with their mother, not only that but it will also give you an idea of her temperament and the conditions in which the pups have been raised. The environment should be clean and tidy, the puppies should be alert with bright eyes free from discharge. If the breeder has done a good job the puppies should be happy to be handled; run your fingers through their coat to check for anything unusual like red patches or black specs which may be as sign of poor management. Its also good to ask about what sort of socialisation or training exercises the breeder has conducted, eg exposure to household appliances and interactions with people; the more attention that has been paid to this the easier your job will be. If you are unsure of anything then walk away – there are always plenty of litters around to choose from.
Once you have satisfied yourself that this is the right litter and the right pup for you then you are sure to be off to a good start.