The process of picking a puppy can be very exciting but sometimes we are so eager to find a dog that important factors that help us choose the right one are overlooked. Here are some things to think about before picking your puppy.
1.What kind of Dog?
All puppies are cute so what’s next on your list of priorities? Energy level? Size? Smarts? Make sure to do the research on the breed you’re looking for before assuming it’s the breed for you. A lot of people want a very smart breed of dog like a border collie or a Shetland sheepdog but if you aren’t providing the right outlet for these highly intelligent animals, they can easily start running the show. Breeds like these need lots of jobs to do to keep their active brains busy so if you’d rather be watching television instead of heading to agility class you might want to reevaluate your choice.
2. Where to buy?
Take some time to do the research before deciding where to buy your pup. There are several options out there!
Price is a factor as well. If you’re going to buy from a professional breeder, you might be paying more than you would from a hobby breeder. Also, make sure to avoid backyard breeder and puppy mills. These breeders breed only for profit and the conditions the dogs live in are dreadful. Always be sure to visit the breeder’s home so you can see the conditions the dogs live in and decide for yourself.
If you’re going to buy online, make sure to meet the dog and owner first. Use your judgment and don’t rush anything. The same goes for pet stores. Ask for the dog’s papers and history. See if you can visit the place where the puppies came from. If the store is reluctant to give you this information then it’s buyer beware!
A shelter is a great place to find dogs all shapes and sizes but remember to use your judgment here as well. Feeling sorry for an animal isn’t a reason to get one. Be sure you are capable of caring for a certain kind of puppy before buying!
3. The Volhard Puppy Test
Now that you know what breed of dog you’re looking for and where to look you can start narrowing down the search even more with the Volhard Puppy Test. This test will let you know where your puppy will be on a scale of dependant to independent.
The test is done when puppies are around 8 weeks old. A tester goes through 10 different tests to determine what a puppy will grow up to be like. Will the puppy be shy? Sociable? A great show dog? Tests range from “Sounds Sensitivity” (to see how they react to sounds like thunder) to “Social Attraction” (The amount of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.)
Once you have your puppy’s scores in each of the 10 areas, you will have a good idea on how the pup will turn out. Ask your breeder if they perform the test on their puppies. If not you can visit volhard.com to learn how to perform the test yourself. The video below shows a tester performing the Volhard Puppy Test.
4. Time for Training
Once you have picked your perfect puppy it’s time to make sure you understand how to keep them that way! Find a trainer in your area and set up a session to go over the basics. This way you wont be caught off guard when issues show up. Also be sure to enroll them in puppy class once they have had their second set of shots. I cannot stress enough how important socialization is to a puppy! Get them used to new things every day and once they have had their second set of shots be sure to get them into classes with other pups and out into the real world!
5. Puppies as Gifts
Avoid getting a puppy as a gift for someone unless you really know the person and what he or she is looking for in a dog. A puppy shouldn’t be purchased on impulse. Also, the recipient might not be as prepared for the work a puppy takes as you may have thought.
We can help keep animals out of shelters and off the streets if we put the proper time and effort into choosing the perfect puppy for us! Happy hunting!