The Right Puppy
Choosing the right puppy is a very important decision to have to make. By making the informed choices from the beginning you will be more likely to go home with a with a happy and healthy faithful friend.
- Always go to the breeders premises. Never meet up with a breeder who say they will deliver the puppy to you or meet you, as you cant be sure of the puppys background. Alarm bells should be ringing! They could have been puppy farmed!
- You will usually go to the chosen breeder when the pups reach about four weeks of age. At this point you choose your puppy. If possible you want to make extra visits to your chosen puppy before the day of collecting and taking the puppy home.
- Puppies learn from the mother (dam) and its litter mates. They learn what is acceptable behaviour and how to communicate with each other. This is why you usually collect your puppy at eight weeks old. (This can vary)
- You want to spend time at the breeders observing the litter of puppies. Watching their behaviour when they are playing with each other. You are looking for a pup that has a nice balance of happy and active play. It is best to avoid quiet and lethargic puppies or the puppy that is dominant and over bearing.
- You want to look for the right puppy that feels comfortable coming up to, wagging its tail. It will be ok to pick the puppy up (just out of courtesy check with the breeder first). The puppy may wriggle to begin with but then be happy to settle in your arms.
- Before choosing the right puppy ask the breeder questions i.e. How much the puppies get socialized and handled as it is very important to start doing this from a young age. Are they reared in the family home or an outside kennel?
- Be aware if the mother (dam) rejects one of the puppies. It is usually because the mother(dam) can sense there is a problem with the puppy. If the breeder chooses to bottle feed, there is a chance that the puppy will have problems as it grows older.
- A good breeder will be happy to give you lots of advice and will probably want to ask you some questions about your work and home life.
- The breeder will usually give you a information pack (especially if they are registered with the kennel club) which will help you with your puppy. This will include the feeding routine the puppy has been used to, grooming and details about any worming and flea treatment it has had. It is usual practice for the breeder to get their vet to give the puppy a general check over and its first vaccination. Details of the puppys first vaccination and when the second one is due will be in the pack along with the vaccination card which will have come from the breeders vet. This will have all the vets contact details on it. Some breeders will have the puppy microchipped by the vet at the same time of the first vaccination. The paper work for this will also be in the pack.
You should receive a contract of sale and your new puppys kennel club registration certificate.
- The breeder will probably reassure you that if there are any problems in the future with the puppy/dog to contact them.
- A mini health check is advisable. Look for...
- Bright, clear eyes with no discharge.
- No discharge around the nose.
- Clean ears with no smell coming from them.
- Clear, clean rear end.
- Gums and teeth not bleeding or inflamed. Teeth clean and not chipped.
- Fur in good clean condition with no bald patches.
- The puppy scratching itself as it could be an indication of an irritation.
- Make sure there are no lumps on the body.
- The belly button is not swollen.
- Not too fat or too thin.
Have fun picking the right puppy!