The decision to add a dog to your family could be taken in a split-second, but pick a puppy which perfectly suits your requirements and taste is never an easy task.
More often than not, many people ignorantly consider only the “Cuteness Factor” when they want to choose a puppy. You too might actually be thinking about going down that same path.
I realized there is a lot more to choosing a puppy than just cuteness. Everybody loves a cute dog and I do too, but there other equally or even more serious factors which I find necessary to be considered when looking for a good puppy. Interesting, isn’t it?
The very first advice I give to anyone who wants to add a puppy to his/her family is that you should never make the mistake of choosing the puppy which runs straight towards you i.e. you should be the one to choose the puppy and not the puppy choosing you.
Most families always make the mistake of choosing an energetic, bold and vigorous pet who starts all the fun stuff such as grabbing the toys, jumping all over your body, or getting hold of the leg of your trousers, all accompanied with an adorable growl.
These types of puppies are definitely interesting to play with but I assure you that this will only last for an hour or two at the breeder’s house. When you finally take them home, they will be a nuisance and can’t be easily trained.
For instance, an example of a breathtakingly cute puppy which everyone will love to keep as a companion for the rest of their lives is the Border Collie Pup. It’s so cute that you are tempted to buy it immediately, but trust me, this is the type of decision which can cause lots of problems along the way.
The disadvantage of the Border Collie Breed is that it is among the most energetic and smartest dogs nowadays. You are required to stimulate it physically and mentally every day and it also requires a lot of stimulation. Lack of such stimulation causes the dog to be very destructive and annoying. I don’t think there is anybody who will comfortable with such a situation.
Here are some of the basic tips I will recommend for anyone who is looking to add a puppy to his/her family. You can get a puppy from many places such as a neighbor, a friend, dog shelter or pound, a newspaper ad, a rescue center or a breeder.
Regardless of where you decide to buy the puppy from, make use of these tips as they will go a long way to help you pick the most suitable puppy for you or your family.
I have outlined some of these essential tips in the guide below:
Selecting the Perfect Breed:
I will suggest that you locate a breed which suits your family’s lifestyle before you go out to search for the perfect puppy.
You may consider all dogs to be the same if you haven’t owned several breeds of dogs before. There are of the same species because they have the same body structure, i.e. the have a wagging tail, four legs, the ability to bark, a tongue which they use for licking, the ability to bite, chew, and enjoy belly rubs.
It is of utmost importance that we remember each breed has a unique look, needs and personality, the same for you and your other family members. I have outlined some of the things we need to take into consideration when choosing a breed below.
- The composition of your family, i.e. the ages.
- Your home’s size.
- The regular leisure activities you carry out with your family.
- If you have access to a fenced yard.
- Your level of activity.
- The amount of time you have to spend with your puppy.
- The reason for which you purchased the pup (agility, working, hunting, companion, obedience and so on and so forth).
- The types of breeds you like.
- Your income (it is more expensive to cater for a larger breed than a smaller one).
“Top 10 Cutest Dog Breeds”
Take note that there are several types of canine companions other than the purebred species. Most people always go for the purebreds, thinking they are the most suitable. However, I’ve noticed that there are many mixed breed puppies searching for homes in which they can be loved and who are also very loving, caring, intelligent and loyal.
Healthwise, I will also recommend the mixed breed pups, thanks to the fact that they are usually stronger and much healthier. Plus, they ever inherit the hereditary health complications that many purebreds faces.
You can find the mixed breeds through several ways, but I’ll also advise that you avoid purchasing them from pet shops and puppy mills.
It is worth mentioning that there are thousands of dogs, including all sizes, breeds, and ages in rescue societies and pounds who are waiting patiently for a lovely family to find them. If you adopt a puppy from one of these lonely pooches or rescue organizations (which may die young if they are not adopted), there is a high possibility that you will live a happy life with them provided you shower the pup with the love and care it needs.
From my experience, I have noticed that rescued dogs love their owners unconditionally as they seem to be aware of the second chance which has been granted to them.
Selecting the Right Puppy from a Litter:
This is a very tricky procedure when you are selecting the perfect puppy for your household. The reason for this being that the puppies in a litter all look alike and you can’t actually look at this jumble of squirming, chubby little pups and not be tempted to take one home.
The first thing you need to do when you enter a pet shop to purchase a pup is to observe and evaluate the pup litter as a group. If the litter is made up of four pups and three are staying close to you and barking at you, this litter is probably very risky. As for the fourth puppy, it might be that it hasn’t developed those distrustful and shy genes yet.
When I stand in front of a litter of pups, I have just one aim. I search for the healthiest puppy with the temperament/personality that catches my eye. It’s not all about cuteness.
All the puppies are usually very adorable and charming and will be so tempting. But at this point in time, I will advise you to keep emotions aside and make the healthy choice. I know this is not an easy task, but you will have to try.
Choosing an unhealthy pup paves the way for high vet bills, causes a lot of heartaches and is generally a very bad idea. You will need regular vet visits and loads of care in order to keep the pup healthy, getting rid of diseases and parasites.
Normal puppies in the puppy litter are usually curious, trusting and friendly. You will see them run around your feet, play with your shoelaces, nibble at your fingers and always try to crawl into your lap. You can distinguish such puppies from the way they interact with the members of their litter. You have to take note of the pups which are:
- Outgoing, strong, noisy and bossy,
- Submissive, quiet and gentle,
- Win tugs of wars and grab most of the toys,
- Delicate or bullied.
Puppies learn lots of habits from their littermates and mommas. So they should stay for at least 8 weeks with their doggie companions so that they can benefit from this important canine education.
I will not advise you to take a 5 to 6 weeks old puppy simply because the breeder says their momma has stopped breastfeeding them, claiming they are good to go. Such breeders do not have the interest of those puppies at heart.
Dogs start weaning their pups when they reach 3 to 4 weeks and it is at this point that the human caretaker has to intervene and start feeding the pups with solid food.
The Sex of the Puppy: Male or Female:
Talking about the sex of the puppy, I really don’t think you can regard any sex as better than the other. Puppies are like humans on this subject of gender.
Sex generally has very limited influence on the intelligence, behavior, personality, etc. of the dogs. The puppy’s temperament and personality depend on its upbringing and genetics rather than its sex.
Even though the sex is not really a determining factor, there are several differences between the female and male which you have to consider when picking a pup. They are as follows:
Female dogs face the “season” immediately they reach the stage of sexual maturity which is once or three times annually (this depends on the dog as well as its breed). This isn’t a problem faced by the dog but its owner. You have to take note that her season lasts for an approximated period of three weeks and she will bleed for some time during that period.
Those who have elegant furniture, carpets or practice sleeping with their dog in bed will definitely face a lot of challenges with respect to the destruction of valuable property.
Nevertheless, I will advise you to purchase “doggy-diapers” which are made specifically for this season. If you are a female puppy owner, you will need to make her used to these diapers or she will rip them apart and get on with her business smoothly every time you try them on.
Another issue will be trying to keep her away from the male dogs in the neighborhood who will seek for her attention. When dogs need to satisfy their natural urges, they become very innovative i.e. females have gotten impregnated through fences linked with chains.
The male dogs also have their own problems. One of these problems is the fact that any un-neutered male will feel the natural urge to visit any fertile female dog around the neighborhood and you’ll be amazed at the distance your male dog will walk in order to respond to the pheromones sent by the female dog.
Moreover, strong and bold males are more likely to engage themselves in dogfights as they seek to prove their superiority to all the other contenders in the neighborhood.
Generally, male dogs are a nuisance with their habit of “spraying” or marking. This is done by urinating on anything the dog considers to be in his possession. They use this to clearly indicate to other dogs that they should stay away from that particular thing in the dog community. He may decide to mark rose bushes, trees, a fence-post or the side of your house in order to make his point clear. This would have been OK if this was done only outside.
The real problem sets in when he starts marking and spraying property inside the house such as the bed frame, sofa, front door and dining table. Nevertheless, house-training him early can reduce or eliminate this problem as it doesn’t surface till he reaches the early adulthood or adolescent stage.
“Choosing a Male or Female Puppy?”
Pick a Puppy – Final Word:
The points above provide some important explanations of the main things you need to know when going out to choose the right pup for your family. Some of the problems highlighted in this guide may not show up at the moment of purchase but later on while the puppy grows up.
It is advisable that you invest sufficient effort and time in the selection of your perfect pup which will become an integral part of your family for a very long time.