Tips for choosing a Puppy
If you’ve decided to get a puppy then a great deal of thought and care should be taken to get the right one for your family.
We’ve suggested a few things to think about that will help you when you get your new puppy.
•Think about the dog your puppy will become. Some breeds require a lot more exercise than others. How much time can you give to your dog? Will you need help with dog walking?
•What space have you got available in your house and garden?
•Decide if you have a particular preference for the gender of the dog.
•If you are thinking of buying a pure breed then find out everything you can about the breed. The Kennel Club will be able to give you a lot of information. Puppies registered with the Kennel Club should have a certificate and pedigree available for you when you collect the puppy.
•If you are getting a cross breed, and you know what the crosses are, then look at the individual breeds involved.
•Don’t overlook the type of coat your dog will have. Some dogs require a lot of grooming and some will shed hairs more than others. Will you need the dog professionally groomed our clipped.
•Research whether your breed of dog is prone to have certain health problems.
•Beware of buying puppies from puppy farms.
•Always visit the home of the breeder.
•Make sure you see the puppy’s mother and, if possible, the father as well. Look at how sociable the parents are with people. Do the parents have any obvious behavioural problems? Are they clean, happy and healthy?
•They should be at least 7 or 8 weeks old before they leave their mum. They should be fully weaned at about 7 weeks old, if they aren’t, then they are probably younger than the breeder is claiming.
•When visiting the breeder go prepared with questions to ask. They should be willing and able to give you information about feeding, worming, inoculations, the parents and have available all relevant paperwork.
•Ask how many litters the mother has had as it is against the law to breed a bitch more than six times. Frequent breeders are required to have a licence.
•A good breeder will ask questions about you so that they can establish if their puppy is going to a good home.
•The puppies themselves should look happy, clean and healthy. They should have warm bedding and fresh water. They should be on a well balanced diet. Check that they are moving about normally.
•Find out how frequently the puppies have human contact during the day. They should be experiencing normal household background noises such as radio, television and people talking. The puppies should have been introduced to new experiences in a controlled manner. For example given toys to play with and allowed to explore small safe secure areas?
•A good breeder will allow you to return the puppy if there are any health problems. So get your puppy seen by a vet within 48 hours.
Remember. If you are at all unhappy when visiting the puppy then make your excuses and leave.
Also avoid breeders offering more than 3 breeds.
Avoid pet shops.
If you are unsure about a breeder then contact your local council or trading standards. If there is any sign of cruelty then contact the RSPCA.
Finding a puppy.
If you are looking for a pure bred puppy then a good place to start is the Kennel Club find a puppy service. On their site you can search for only kennel club registered puppies and get email alerts when new litters are added.
There are many other ways of finding a puppy, such as: