What to Look for When Getting a Puppy

Dog being trained in a field

Getting a puppy is without a doubt a very exciting time. Once you have made the decision to add an extra member to your family, the process of finding the right pup for you begins.

But what should you look for when deciding to get a puppy?

It is important to get the right one for you and your home, who will grow into a dog that fits in with your family and lifestyle.

Once you have decided that, it is important to think about where you’re getting them.  Not just for your sake but for the sake of the puppy and their welfare.

How to choose the right puppy for your home.

There are so many different dog breeds out there, the choice is almost endless.  Some key things to think about are:

Your home: How big is your house and how big is your garden?  Do you have a garden?

Toilet training without quick access to your own garden will be very difficult.  So, it may be worth considering an older dog if this is the case.

Size and energy levels are key when thinking about giving a puppy a home.  How big will that pup grow to be, do you have enough room to offer a larger breed of dog?  Especially if they are also an active or energetic breed?

Your lifestyle:  Are you around a lot, are you an active household who is happy to walk a lot each day?  Are you more relaxed and keen to be snuggled up at home?

It is important to make sure the dog you get is going to fit in with your life and how you spend your time.  If you’re an active household, with plenty of time to give a dog each day then an energetic breed could fit in well with you.  However, if this isn’t the case then research breeds that need less exercise/ mental stimulation to keep them happy.

Remember if you’re not able to give dogs the time, exercise and mental stimulation that they need then this is where problems can start to arise.

You can research breed specific information online and the kennel club even provides a short quiz to help find the right breed for you.

What else to consider

Now you’ve decided that a dog is right for you and narrowed down the right breed, make sure you can tick all the other boxes too.

Owning a dog isn’t cheap, even after the initial fee there will be vet bills for vaccinations, neutering, flea and worm treatment.  As well as a monthly insurance fee.

Will you need any dog walking or day care while you’re at work?  It is important to factor this cost in too.  And with these services in high demand it is often good to make enquiries about a place for your pup even before they come home with you.

Similarly, what will you do with them if you have a holiday booked?  Can you afford the cost of their care on top of your holiday?  Again, it is worth making enquiries with local boarders as early as you can.

Then, of course, there is training a puppy.  It is crucial that you make sure you have the time to do this as well as the dedication.  Reading a good training book prior to getting your puppy can set you on the right path from the moment they arrive.  Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy by Steve Mann is an ideal read.  And then look to enrol in a local puppy class to help you with all elements of basic training as well as guiding you with all those little puppy issues that come up along the way.

Where to get your puppy

Where your puppy comes from is crucial.  Their individual health and development can be hugely affected by where they were born and spent those first eight weeks.

The kennel club can help direct you to breeders who are registered and checked by them.  But if buying from an online site there are key things to check and look for.

Puppy farming is rife and these puppies and their parents are often living in terrible conditions and can have real health problems as a result.  It is vital that you try to avoid these and get your puppy from the most reputable breeder possible.

A few quick tips on what to look for:

Make sure you are always able to see mum.  This will help to show that these dogs have not been imported without her or stolen but also that she is in a good condition.

Are they council registered?  A lot of people breeding dogs are still unlicensed, however it is now a legal requirement for breeders to hold a council license.  Anyone serious and genuine will have taken the time to do this.

Take note of the initial advert.  If there are lots of good quality pictures and a nice, detailed write up it again shows people are taking an interest in the puppies and not just the profit.

Make sure the puppies have had the relevant health checks.  Details of breed specific checks can be found online or by asking your vet.

Take a look at our website here for help with boarding walking and training and visit our Facebook here and Instagram here for more information too.