How to find a puppy or find a dog. How to choose a dog
Where do you start? Have you and your family never owned a dog, but you have decided that you would love to have one? Or your children are pestering you for a dog and they absolutely adore a particular breed, but you are not sure if it is the right one for you? Or you think want to get a dog but aren’t sure about going through the ‘whole puppy thing’? Don’t worry, I can help you!
First time dog owners who spend time considering the right dog for them, save a lot of stress and potential heart-break later on.
Where to find help
It’s all a bit of a minefield, but having advice and support can save you a lot of heartache and money! You might think that Google can provide all the answers, but only if you ask the right questions! The Kennel Club have plenty of resources, providing information on many aspects of finding and owning a dog.
What are the steps to getting a dog?
In summary, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
Can you fit a dog into your life?
This is about the time you need to spend on your dog and with your dog, every single day. If you love going away for holidays and weekends, a dog is not for you. If you work full time and travel a long way to work, a dog is not for you.
If you spend a couple of hours every day playing on your phone or going for a walk, you probably do have time for a dog. It’s not just the walking, it’s the feeding, cleaning up and actual time to cuddle and play. I’ve talked about some of these issues in detail on my Puppy Buying Checklist.
What kind of dog would suit your lifestyle?
Once you’ve mentally set aside the time you will need, think about what you want to do with your dog. Don’t imagine your children playing with a cute, fluffy puppy, because a) puppies are bitey and annoying and b) they are cute and fluffy for a few weeks, before becoming bedraggled, muddy rats, or big, tatty monsters! Please read 4 Ways to Get A Perfect Dog.
What type of dog do you like?
Now is the time to really imagine what dog you fancy: What type of dog should you have? This post assumes a pedigree, but of course there are wider options, see below.
We are all seduced by the look of a dog and have very fixed ideas about what will work for us. But sometimes this image has been formed without any knowledge of the dog we like. You need to read the Breed Index with interviews with real dog owners to get some idea of what it’s really like.
Do you want an older dog or a puppy?
The obvious advantage of an older dog is that you don’t have to go through that awful ‘puppy stage’. However, you may just be taking on someone else’s problem! Having a puppy from 8 weeks of age means you get the chance to make the dog YOU want. Better still, if you are on a waiting list for a litter you will know what you’re getting from the minute it is born. However, please be aware: PUPPIES ARE NOT TOILET PAPER! Read on..
Do you want a pedigree or a crossbreed?
Pedigree or Crossbreed? You decide. Do NOT think I hate all crossbreeds and would never advise buying one. Or that I think ALL pedigree dogs are better than ALL crossbreeds. No way. It’s complicated. Which is why I’ve written about it in a number of ways, including Buying a puppy – busting some myths.
Designer Dog Breeds: What are they? Some of the newer crossbreeds are now well established and I fully expect that in a few more years they will become recognised pedigree breeds in their own right. Will that make them less desirable? Hmm, now there a question.
Dog Breeding – Conformity vs Individuality? It’s interesting to consider whether you want to be the same as everyone else, or a bit different? Are they a healthy option? That should remain your key criteria, because an unhealthy dog causes heartache and expense.
Do you want to buy from a breeder or a rescue?
Rescue or Breeder? You might think that as a breeder, I would argue that you should never get a dog from a rescue centre. Not at all. It’s a brilliant solution for many people.
In my ideal world though, there would be no rescue centres. Breeders would be responsible, caring about the health and temperament of their dogs above all else and ensuring that their dogs go to the correct homes, with people who care enough to manage them effectively. So who are these mythical breeders? They are Kennel Club Assured Breeders or have been in the past. They put their dogs first. Well wouldn’t you?
How do you find a good breeder?
Different Types of Breeder – consider the way that someone breeds. You want someone with experience and knowledge, who will support you once you have your puppy. Ideally, you should be able to build a relationship with your breeder before you get your puppy, which should continue afterwards, hopefully throughout your dog’s life. Read about how to judge a dog breeder here.
When you are ready to contact your breeder, take note of my tips on contacting a Dog breeder. You are applying for a puppy, not buying one!
Which puppy should you have from the litter?
Selecting a puppy: How do you choose which one to have? This describes the selection process. Most people want the ‘puppy to choose them’. How lovey, when the puppy is the one that comes over to you to say hello. As if. That one already belongs to someone else. Trust the breeder you have worked so hard to find.
How Much Is That Doggy In The Advert? Since I wrote that post, the price of puppies has skyrocketed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Shame. Be aware.
Buying a puppy? Want it now? Too bad. Please be prepared to wait?
What should you do to prepare for your puppy?
What do you need to do once your puppy has arrived?
Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs? And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think. If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME? Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.