So you’re looking for a puppy. Deciding to add a young pup to the family is a great way to build a lifelong bond and allows an opportunity to train the little guy in a way you that is tailored to you.
However, picking out the puppy that is right for you isn’t all that easy, especially if you have a soft spot for cuteness.
Find out how to choose the puppy that is right for you and learn the tips to get the traits you want.
Know Where To Pup Hunt
The first thing every dog seeker should know is where to buy a dog.
It may surprise you that pet stores and even some breeders, as well as some dog shelters are not the place to be looking.
The best places to find your pup are animal rescue shelters, humane societies and reputable breeders.
Say “no” to pet stores and uncertified breeders and shelters. Pet stores may seem like the perfect place to buy a dog, but more often than not, where they got the dog is shocking.
Many pet stores purchase their puppies from mass breeders, also known as puppy mills.
A puppy mill is a place where dogs have puppies over and over again, housed in poor living conditions and never seen by a veterinarian.
The puppies are cheap to buy and resell, so pet stores buy them and contribute to the puppy mill production.
Uncertified breeders and shelters are also not a good place to purchase a puppy. Just remember, dog shelters and breeders are required to be certified by the state for a reason.
These sort of facilities could have unqualified staff, dogs in poor living conditions, dogs in very poor health, inbreeding and lifelong health conditions.
Say “yes” to animal rescue shelters, humane societies and reputable breeders.
The common question many people have to this answer is, “but aren’t animal shelters full of dogs that people got rid of for a reason?”
Some maybe, but most dogs in shelters are left there due to their owner’s fault.
Often, people neglect to take their dogs with them when they move. Or, a dog had puppies and the owners simply didn’t want that many dogs in the house.
Certified dog shelters are also required to have a veterinarian on staff, so the puppy you go home with will have medical records including everything the pup has or needs done.
A reputable dog breeder is someone who willingly allows you to visit them on location. The area will be clean, spacious and well-maintained to meet the living needs of the dogs.
A good dog breeder will only breed one or two types of dog breeds, with extensive knowledge on all types.
Not only will the breeder openly answer your questions, but they will have a couple questions for you, such as:
- Why do you want a dog?
- Do you have a veterinary reference?
- Who will be the main source of care for the dog?
You will also be asked to show proof of condominium board (proof dogs are allowed in your apartment) and sign a contract to spay or neuter the dog if he/she will not be used as a show dog.
Don’t forget to ask your veterinarian!
Many times, veterinary clients have a “whoops” with one of their female dogs and look to the veterinarian to ask around for homes for the pups.
What better way to know the health of a dog right off the bat then getting a dog through an animal doctor?
Know what dog works for your lifestyle.
Puppies are small at first, but they do eventually grow. So if you live in a small, New York apartment a Great Dane might not be the puppy of choice.
Research the dog breed you are most interested in and ask yourself these questions:
- I work all day away from home, will this dog need more attention than I can give him?
- I have small children, does this dog breed do well with kids?
- How much exercise does this type of dog need?
- Does this dog have any known health problems?
- How hard is this dog going to be to groom?
- How hard is this dog going to be to train?
- Can this dog live outside all year long?
The Best Tips to Get the Dog Traits You Want:
- Always ask for certification of the shelter, breeder, and rescue facility you are purchasing the puppy from.
- Always ask for the puppy medical records and breeding records of both parents.
- Don’t let the puppy pick you, pick the puppy. Puppies which run up to you, pull on your pant leg and run around your feet barking may be adorable at the time, but they will get annoying at home. Puppies displaying this kind of behavior have behavioral problems that will be difficult to train out, so look for a milder pick of the litter.
- Know what is normal for a puppy. Puppies are young, they have no fears yet, which makes them naturally trusting, curious and friendly. If the group of puppies you are looking at act abnormal, this could be a sign of improper socialization. Dogs that do not get socialized often become skittish, aggressive and often run away from home.
- Have some one-on-one time with the puppy you are interested in. Puppies act different when they are not with a bunch of other puppies, so a little time alone will allow you to really evaluate the pup.
- Never allow yourself to get “talked into” buying a puppy. Some breeders often laugh off or sugar coat puppies that behave badly. Don’t fall for this little selling game and always trust your instincts.
Choosing the right puppy to join your family can be tricky and getting those perfect dog traits can be an even bigger challenge, but it’s not impossible.
By knowing where to buy a puppy, what to look out for and with a little research, you will have the pup of your dreams in no time.