That feeling you get when you’re on your way home with a new puppy is an exciting one. You’re now the proud new mum or dad to a wiggly, beautiful bundle of joy, how much fun is that?! However most new owners fall into the same traps over and over, and this can even go as far back to the choosing of what puppy to bring into your home. For example, if you like running and want an exercise companion, then a Bulldog isn’t the one for you. If you like to lounge around the house all day and aren’t particularly active, maybe steer clear of Springer Spaniels. If you don’t want to spend every waking hour you have walking your dog, then don’t get a Husky! With the vast number of different breeds that are around now (over 450!) there is something to suit every lifestyle but picking the right one is much more important than it may seem.
Many people allow their hearts to rule their head, myself being one of these people, and I learnt that the very hard way what the consequences of doing that were. Hopefully I can share some information over the next few weeks to help arm you with the skills you’ll need for those first 6 months at home. Picking the right breed is very important, picking the correct temperament is even more important. There are several things you can look for when talking to a breeder or viewing puppies for the first time. It’s a hugely exciting experience going to see a litter of puppies, an emotions can and do take over! Try and keep level headed, this is a big decision that needs careful consideration, there are some unscrupulous breeders out there and you don’t want to get caught out.
Things To Think About
Remember, DO NOT RUSH!! This is a HUGE decision, you will be sending the next 10-15 years with this animal as your companion. Unfortunately picking the wrong type of dog is one of the main reasons dog end up in shelters. Think, what was the dogs original purpose? Dachshunds like to hunt, Corgis like to herd and nip, these behaviours WILL come out in your pup as it gets older and need to be satisfied one way or another, is that something you are willing to take on? Ask the breeder questions; which puppy appears to be the most confident? Which one appears to be the most reserved? What are the temperaments of the parents like? Think about what energy level you would like in your new puppy, do you want a slow, calm and relaxed dog or do you want an individual with a bit more drive? You MUST always see the dam, the sire may not be anywhere near, but a good breeder should be able to provide you with details, puppies must be with their litter mates and mother until at least 7 weeks of age. What health tests have the parents had – can you see certificates? Where will they be housed when whelping? If you arrive and things aren’t quite right for whatever reason – leave! Never feel pressured into the sale of a puppy, a good breeder would happily offer a contract at the point of sale, along with being the first port of call if you unfortunately end up needing to rehome.
If you’ve done all your research and feel confident in your decision, then it’s time to bring that puppy home! Now the fun stuff starts…or does it?! You obviously need to make sure you have everything in place, beds and blankets, bowls and food, a crate and some toys along with puppy pads if you’re going to use them Personally, I am around 6 weeks in to owning my new female puppy Rhodesian Ridgeback. It has been…tiring to say the least! There have a been a few cuddles here and there, but my focus at the moment is habituating her to our home, my other animals, my work place, and the outside world. It’s a lot to ask of a little puppy and takes a lot (A LOT!) of time and patience. Her first day home was quite overwhelming for everyone involved!