Are you thinking about getting a new puppy? Well, choosing a puppy is harder than it sounds if you want to ensure you get the right puppy for your lifestyle. If you’re asking yourself “how do I choose the right puppy?” – we have some advice for you.
Tips: How Do I Choose the Right Puppy?
The first thing you need to do is research. Whether you’re adopting a puppy or purchasing one from a dog breeder, you need to be ready to ask questions. With the internet at your disposal, you can Google the numerous dog breeds by any factor, including size, breed, nature, and lifestyle. While all puppies are super cute, not all will be a fit for your life.
Do you want a Great Dane or Chihuahua? One grows so large, and they can injure you with a wag of the tail, while a falling toddler can harm the other. Dog size should be a factor that you consider FIRST. Why? Because your ability to care for them is based on your home and yard size, if children are in the home, and cost. Larger dogs cost more in upkeep for food and toys. Even vehicle size is a factor. Can you take your family and that Great Dane with you on a family trip along with your luggage? Once you determine the size that’s right for you, that will wind down the breed options, taking you one step closer to choosing the right puppy.
If you’re adopting a puppy, your breed selection will be limited to what’s available at the time. Adoptive puppies are often mixed breeds of questionable parentage. Therefore, you need to be ready to choose a dog based on your interactions with them and the information provided by the foster care person or facility. However, if you’re getting a dog from a breeder, you’ll be choosing your preferred breed. These days, there are many tools online that allow you to choose the right breed for you based on a variety of factors. Plus, you may have a specific look for your dog. Do your research and get a shortlist of top breeds going.
Although many dogs have breed traits, such as nature or personality, it’s not a guarantee. This is because genetics isn’t perfect or predictable. A Golden Retriever may be known for its gentleness and ease of training, but it doesn’t mean the puppy you get will have either of those traits. That means when choosing your puppy, meeting them is essential, but we’ll talk more about that later. For many people, especially those getting dogs from a breeder, meeting your dog before taking them home may not be an option. In some cases, puppies from a popular breeder are assigned just before or at birth. You don’t necessarily get to pick which dog is assigned to you.
Some dogs need more exercise than others. And yet others have alertness that may lead to lots of barking. If that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle because you’re a late-waker who prefers to take gentle walks as opposed to two jogs a day, you need to understand that in advance of choosing your puppy. You want your new dog to fit into your lifestyle. And for the sake of your dog’s happiness, you’ll want to consider it too.
The Pick of the Litter
Now, if you’re lucky enough to visit a litter of dogs set for adoption or purchase, you’ll get a chance to meet a few puppies. Here’s what to look for:
- Talk to the foster caregiver or owner and ask lots of questions. Are all puppies eating and eliminating properly? Do they have an idea of the dog breed? Have the dogs been dewormed and vaccinated?
- Look at the dogs’ appearance. Do they seem healthy? Are their coats shiny? There should be no hair loss or sore spots.
- Observe how the dogs interact with each other. Are they hostile? Is there one that seems to come out on top? That’s the assertive dog. While the dog off in the corner hanging out alone will be the more docile, submissive pet. Each has their benefits, but it’s up to you to choose which one you’d prefer.
Once you get your dog, you’ll want to take them directly to the veterinarian to have their initial exam. Even if you’ve already purchased the puppy from a breeder or adoption facility, you can often give them back if there is a major medical issue or preexisting conditions.
We hope you enjoy choosing your new puppy!