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How to choose the right Puppy

3 street dog puppies
Puppies, puppy behaviour, street dogs,

How to choose a puppy

The most important aspect of choosing a puppy is getting a breed that is right for your lifestyle. All too often clients mention I chose my dog because s/he was cute but if I had known what a handful they would be maybe I would have chosen another.

Really consider what lifestyle you have and how you expect a puppy or dog to fit into this, are you active, do you like going out in all weathers. Do you like being social at home and outside of home. How much time and money do you have to put into a puppy and dog?

Would you be better off getting an older dog if you don’t want to deal with a good year of solid training and believe me the training doesn’t stop there it is ongoing for the rest of your dog’s life. You do not get to a stage of life where your dog never needs some additional training or behaviour modification, our lifestyles change and our dogs have to adapt to this such as children coming along, or leaving home, jobs changing, as well as relationships.

So now you have researched the type of breed you want how do you find one?

A few do not’s

Do not buy one from the free ads, such as Gumtree, Friday ads, Preloved etc

Do not go to someone’s home and buy the puppy there and then no matter what they say

Do not meet someone in a car park to pick the puppy up, same of importing a puppy from abroad!

What you should do

Research breeders, if you don’t know how or what to look in a breeder get some help from vets or experts in the dog world and phone breeders for a chat about the dogs they have. A good breeder should be willing to answer lots of question and tell you a lot about their dogs. Visit a few breeders so that you can assess how they are similar or different they are and how and where they are raising their pups. Puppies should be raised in the home, make sure you see evidence that they are in the home and not just placed inside for your viewing. Puppy farmer commonly use normal suburban homes as a way of selling puppies so make sure its looks like the pups and mum have been living there for a while.

Visit the breeder a few time before getting a puppy, ask to speak to people that have had puppy from them before so see how they have grown up.

You should visit the puppy at 4 weeks and preferable another few time before collecting.

The mum should be present and happy with interaction between you and the puppy, any mums that are put away when you come is not a good sign and could indicate that they are nervous and genetically can carry this behaviour onto the offspring, avoid a puppy from a nervous mum. It is now illegal in the UK to sell a puppy without viewing the mother, this is called Lucy Law, see here for details, Lucy’s Law spells the beginning of the end for puppy farming - GOV.UK (

Also puppies that are shy and staying back and avoiding interaction will struggle with new situations and is a sign that this puppy will need a lot of reassurance and training to cope with life. You should also avoid over boisterous ones that are nippy or stealing food or toys from the other litter mates, the most ideal would be the playful and calm puppies who want to investigate you and the surroundings.

All should be vets checked and come with first vaccination, flea and worm treatment, and microchip is another legal requirement. Getting a puppy is a very exciting time but do not fall into the trap of an emotional purchase from a dubious breeder, report these breeders do not support them!

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