Choosing a puppy
When you choose to get a puppy there are a number of places you can go to get them. For example, you can consider whether to rescue or to go to a breeder for a pedigree dog, however if you do buy from a private seller make sure you do your research first to ensure they are a registered and responsible breeder. You can find them through your local veterinary surgery or by contacting The Kennel Club. It is best to avoid getting puppies from pet shops.
Pros to choosing a puppy
- If you choose a pedigree puppy you are more likely to be able to predict its size and physical attributes when it grows up.
- You can get a more comprehensive idea of the puppy's physical and emotional background than in the case of an adult rescue dog.
- You can get a full medical history of the puppy, especially if you go to a breeder.
- The best time to start training is when your dog is young; so getting a puppy means you can take full responsibility for teaching and training them as you like without the need to correct old habits.
- Training a puppy can be a big part of the bonding process.
- The probability is that you will have many happy years with your dog.
Challenges of choosing a puppy
- Puppies are adorable, but they're also destructive and exhausting. Do not underestimate the time and commitment a puppy needs and the amount of work training can take. If you put in the hard work at the beginning it will make for a happier and easier dog in the long term.
- Young puppies learn from every experience, which can be a very good thing but it also means you need to pay constant attention. If you work full time or are likely to leave your puppy at home alone for long periods, it might not be the best decision for you.
- Puppies can be great with children, but they also need consistency. It's important children understand the puppy is not a toy and to treat it with respect so it does not develop bad habits.
Before purchasing a puppy
- Check the living conditions of the litter.
- Find out if they have started to explore outside yet.
- Ask about the puppy's parentage and see it with the mother. Puppies should not be separated from their mothers before eight weeks of age.
- Check their medical background, whether they have had their vaccinations and been microchipped (and ask for the official pet passport with vaccination and microchip certificate)
- Find out if they have had any flea or worming medication to date.
- Ask what measures have been taken to socialize the puppy.
- See if the breeder is paying careful attention to you; a responsible breeder will want their puppies to go to a good home.
Whether you get an adult dog or a puppy will change your experience of owning a dog, and each has its pros and cons, but whichever choice you make, preparing properly and doing thorough research will set you up for a rewarding experience and a happy addition to your home.