How to Choose a Puppy

How do I choose the right Puppy?

There are few joys in life like owning a puppy.  But, with owning a puppy comes many responsibilities to your dog, yourself, your family, and your neighbors. Many new puppy owners acted on impulse and later realized the commitment they had made. So, how do I know which puppy is right for me? You must first ask yourself am I up for the challenge? Can I handle the demands?  Am I ready for the work of having a new puppy? Second, as a family you must determine what the family’s DNA is made of.

The family DNA consists of your life style. What are the activities and hobbies you enjoy doing? Where are you financially?  But most importantly everyone living in the household should agree before any puppy is brought home. If a puppy is truly becoming a member of the household, everyone must commit to the training and well-being of the puppy.

Once all family members have agreed to be involved in the training it is time to choose a puppy. The only way to select a good puppy is research. You must research the breed that best fits your life style. It may be a mixed breed (Hines 57) or one with papers. But take the time to research the breed.

The next step is to select a breeder. A good breeder will be choosy in placing their puppies. As well you should be equally choosy when selecting where to purchase your puppy. Consider the following when selecting a breeder.

The Puppy

  • Socialized to humans: How many people daily and what ages, gender etc.
  • Socialized to sounds: Music, Television, household appliances, etc.
  • Living quarters
  • Play area and toys
  • House breaking
  • Food/Treats
  • General health and vaccines

The Parents

  • Are they on site –  ask to meet them
  • Living conditions
  • People friendly
  • Good behavior
  • Observe general health
  • Well trained

The final step is selecting the right puppy for you. Again everyone in the household should agree on the selection process. See which puppies make eye contact with you. Which ones enjoy being handled, including feet, tail, ears etc. Which puppies stay close to you or follow you when walking away. See which stay or flee when loud noises occur. These are basic puppy temperament tests. It is important to realize there is no pass or fail resulting from the test, but it serves as an indicator to match the puppy’s temperament to your life style. For additional information regarding puppy temperament testing please contact us.

As a dog trainer and behaviorist I can assure you these tips are the most important first steps you can make when purchasing a new puppy.  Remember the puppy will be in the family for years to come. So, take time to research and select a puppy that fits your life style. Let me know your thoughts or questions.