Choosing the right puppy for you
Deciding to get a puppy is not a decision to make lightly; remember your new friend is likely to be with you for the next 15 years so it’s important to be confident that you are ready for that level of commitment both in terms of your lifestyle & financially. Will a dog still fit into your plans in 5 or 10 years’ time? If the answer is no, then do not get a puppy! You may of course consider getting an older dog that will still allow you the benefits of dog ownership without such a long term commitment.
Draw up a list; before you choose a breed or type of dog, have a think about what you would want from your new pet and what you can offer them. For example;
- Size once fully grown
- Exercise requirements
- Level of grooming required to keep healthy
- Ease of training
- The breed’s temperament
- Common health issues
Once you have your list, start to research breeds that fit your requirements. Even if you don’t particularly want a pedigree dog, this is still a useful exercise to determine what ‘kind’ of dog may suit your family e.g. small Terrier type or lively, working type etc.
You can then start to look for a breeder or contact rescue centres with a good idea of the kind of dog that is going to suit you best.
Do your research; ask trusted sources such as vets, groomers, and trainers to see if they know of a good breeder or look on the Kennel Club website for a list of their assured breeders. If you have a friend with a nice dog, then ask where they got their dog from.
Be prepared to wait, most good breeders will have waiting lists for their puppies and may only breed one or two litters a year (less in some cases). Rescue centres will often take your name and details and contact you if they get a suitable candidate come into their care.
Be very careful of buying puppies off free ad sites on the internet, no matter how cute the photos or how genuine the advert sounds. Unfortunately, puppy farming is still rife & free ad sites are the main source of sales for puppy farmers, often disguised as family breeders.