Things to consider when getting a puppy
Getting a new puppy?
- Firstly, never get your puppy from an unknown source. Puppy farms are horrible places where bitches are over bred and
all dogs are kept in poor conditions. There is little regard for the dogs well being as profit is the main aim. There are often hundreds of dogs of all breeds on a puppy farm and they are in poor health and often the puppies are separated from their mother way too early. Most puppy farmers will transport their puppies across the country to dealers, who then sell them from the internet, pet shops, free newspapers or even motorway service stations and this makes it a lot more difficult to identify where the puppy originated from. If you are getting a new puppy never trust a ‘breeder’ who tells you that mum is at the vets or out on a walk etc! For more information about how to avoid puppy farming visit PUPAID.
- Ensure you are able to see at least the mother of the litter if not both mum and dad! The parents of the litter should be confident and happy to approach you and be petted. Any fearful behaviours such as cowering, tucking tail under body or reluctance to approach new people should be a warning that the litter are likely to inherit such traits.
- The breeder should be happy to show you around and let you view the litter a few times before you select your puppy. It is vital to select a Breeder who has put the necessary time into starting early socialization and habituation. They should have introduced the litter to lots of different people and allowed them outdoors to explore ( probably supervised in a pen). This early socialization will go a long way to developing confident puppies. The best place to get a puppy if you are a normal family household is from a breeder who lets the pups live in the same environment. Getting a puppy which was raised in a barn or outhouse will be seriously lacking in vital development for dealing with family life.
- Rescue centre’s are a great option as you can give a loving home to an abandoned dog. Try Battersea Dogs and Cats home, or Dogs Trust
Which puppy should you choose?
- Research the breed thoroughly before you decide on a breed. Do you want an athlete who will need 2 hours of running every day or do you want a dog who is happy to plod around the block and a quick 10 minute burst of running? Do you want a dog who can go to work with you or a dog who will accompany you to visit family or to the pub or assist you in every day tasks at home.
- Anyone who is out at work all day should think again before getting a puppy. Dogs are social animals and are generally sad when left at home all day. If you do work then make sure you have arranged day care or a dog walker to break up the day for your pup.
- Once you have chosen which breed, make sure you then research breeders and choose a reputable breeder.
- The puppy aptitude test or Temperament test are terms used to determine how sensitive or confident a puppy is. These simple tests can establish which puppy will likely grow into a confident dog and one less likely to develop fear related behaviours. It also assesses particular breed traits such as retrieving drive in
- Other Examples are Sound sensitivity, Degree of social attraction, confidence or dependence and response to strange objects. Some good breeders will carry out such tests prior to re-homing their litter. This is another sign of a good breeder (as long as they do not use techniques which involve deliberately applying pain or prolonged periods of fear). A great example of a good test can be viewed here:
Costs to consider:
- Cost of the puppy itself
- Vaccination and vet fees
- Worming and flea treatment
- Accessories such as collar, lead, harness, i.d tags, bed, towels, shampoo, brushes, toys, chews
This already amounts to approximately £750 as a minimum. On top of this there are also monthly ongoing costs such as
- Training classes or One to One sessions
- Vet Fees
- Yearly booster vaccinations
- Monthly flea and worming treatment
- New accessories as old ones wear out.
So there are a lot of things to think about before you even bring your little bundle of fur home. Please discuss the options with all the family and make sure everyone is happy with the final decision.
Finally when you get your puppy I hope you enjoy every moment as it goes so fast and they grow very quickly!