When you decide that you want a puppy, there are certain things you will need to take into consideration before you go to the pet shop or breeders to find one. The first thing will be the gender, do you want a male or a female. Males will be more dominant than females and tend to wonder off while females will give you more puppies when they grow up unless you decide to prevent her from giving birth, but that is a different subject for another day.
With the choice of gender made you may also want to decide on the breed. Some breeds are more intelligent than others, some are more loyal others make good guard dogs while others are fun pets to play with and so on. You need to know quite a bit about the different breeds because what it may be like as a puppy is not what it will be like as an adult so keep that in mind.
Now that those two have been decided, it is time to head to the pet store to make a choice. This is the step by step guide how to choose a good puppy.
- Evaluate the Litter: It is good to take note of the puppies as a group to know what to expect. Some puppies may act differently from their siblings, but they still may have a common gene which may come up when they are grown. You may find a litter of 5 puppies with one of them quiet in a corner while the other 4 are suspicious of you, that does not make the one in the corner any better than the 4, it just means they all have that gene of being timid and that is not a good trait. Shy or suspicious puppies will grow into shy and suspicious dogs that could attack you when scared.
- Evaluate the puppy alone: if you see a puppy you like, you need to see what it’s like away from the pack. Sometimes a bold and friendly puppy may be timid when left alone or a very energetic one may calm down when it’s just you and them.
- Temperament: When you are alone with the puppy, check its temperament. The kind of temperament you choose will depend on what kind of puppy you want, a pet for a child will be of a different temperament from that of a guard dog. For a pet, you want one that is playful but not too energetic and willing to take orders or follow you and come to you on instruction while a guard dog may be more calm, bold but not aggressive and equally willing to take commands.
- Talk to the breeder: The breeder has spent a lot of time with the puppies and so would know what to expect from them. Explain what kind of puppy you are looking for and then let them advise you. You should let them know which one you are considering and let them tell you more about it.
- Bond: Now with the choice narrowed down by your evaluation and recommendation from the breeder, you need to bond with the puppy, see if it is comfortable with you and you with it, does it seem like it will get on just fine when you take it away from its playmates? Do you feel like you can stand its behaviour and its look? When you bond with a puppy, it is happy to be around you, if you got up to leave, it will follow you and will be comfortable playing with you.
- Health: Make sure the puppy is healthy with no deformities you are not ready to deal with, there have been cases of pet owners buying a puppy and not realising until they take him home that he is blind in one eye. Examine the puppy and make sure it is healthy to your satisfaction.
Always remember finally, that you are going to be introducing this puppy to a new surrounding, new smells and probably new people, make sure you get a puppy that is going to adapt to these things easily, if possible, give it a try before you commit to choosing a puppy, a day or 2 at home may give you an insight into whether that is indeed a good puppy for you.