Adopting a puppy is a huge decision, one that will alter your life in more ways than you know. He will bring you joy and aggravation. He will test your patience and reward you with infinite love. He will be your friend and your play mate, your little terror and your snuggle buddy. Bringing home the right puppy can seem like a challenging task.
There are benefits to different dogs just as there are drawbacks to different dogs. Whether you want a large or small dog may simply depend on your personal preferences, the space you have available, how settled you are in life, and your propensity for travel. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, you will probably wander in that direction, although there are advantages to having your basic run of the mill mutt. Dog with indeterminate genetics tend to have fewer health problem than purebreds.
If you are still living in an apartment or rented space, you may want to consider someone a little smaller. Some apartment complexes will only take dogs up to 25 pounds if they allow dogs at all. Some landlords are more comfortable with smaller dogs as well.
Finding a litter can be the most challenging part. Shelters are of course the first place to start, although they rarely have puppies for very long. If you go to the shelter and manage to find a puppy, spend as much time with him as possible before committing. Remember we call it adopting a puppy. Adoption is a life long commitment. Taking ample time in choosing your new little beast is imperative.
If you have an active household with constant chatter and noise and other animals, bringing home the little guy that was quivering in the corner is probably not the best choice. You will need someone who isn’t quite so fearful of the world around him. However, if you live alone or in a quiet environment the quiet little guy may very well come out of his shell with you.
The internet and the newspaper are constantly supplied with puppies. Do not go to the nearest puppy mill to get your puppy. For starters, you will more than likely be bringing home a puppy bound for health problems. Secondly, you are perpetuating an atrocity by financially supporting one of the greatest crimes against the innocent.
Find a Reputable Dog Breeder
A reputable breeder can easily be located with just a little bit of homework. While registering with the American Kennel Club is a good step, puppy mill dogs can be registered as well. The absolute best way to know whether a breeder is knowledgeable and conscientious is word of mouth. Talk to people. Take yourself to puppy parks and ask questions. People love to talk about their dogs and you can walk away with more information than you ever knew you wanted.
Once you have found the litter that matches your basic requirements. Spend time with the puppies as often as possible. Playing with them often will bring out their natural personalities and give you an idea of how they will act when you bring them home. The boldest of the litter will grow bolder with age. This is good if you have a lot to contend with at home, however you do not want to foster a bully.
Watch how the puppies interact with each other as well as how they interact with you. The puppy who seems to have a high tolerance for rough housing but doesn’t back down is most likely to be good with children. Fearful puppies may not grow out of their fear, but run very little chance if they are tossed into chaos. Aggressive puppies are bound to become more aggressive before they can be brought down to a
Most of the time our puppies make the choice for us. This may sound a little new age, but it has a ring of truth to it. When playing with a litter one may more often be interested in you than the rest or one may be the first to reach you and the longest to hold his attention with you. Sometimes a puppy will just crawl right up into your lap and fall asleep. These are all signs of bonding and while they may not be the final decision maker they are certainly worth considering.
Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into committing before you’re ready. If you need more time, explain that, although some people will put deposits down on puppies before they are even born. Just because the puppies are going quickly doesn’t mean you should jump on the bandwagon unless you’re sure it’s true love. After all, puppies are a commitment for at the very least the next ten years. You will not regret taking your time and coming home with the right little guy for you.