It is vital to take time when considering which furry friend is right for you, they are in our lives for a long time and need a lot of care and attention to help them learn how to fit into family life correctly.
We recommend following the steps below as guidance for choosing the right dog.
Step 1 – Choosing which breed is right for you
- What do you want to do with your dog? Dog sports / go running / climb mountains / work sheep / go shooting / or a faithful companion that will be by your side and happy in the office with you whilst you work and sat cuddled up on the sofa? It is really important to note that dogs bred from working parents are often not suitable for a pet home as working dogs are bred to do just that….work, and they often have high energy and drive which doesn’t always fit in with modern day family life.
- How much time can you give your dog? Bringing up a puppy takes A LOT of time and commitment.
- Adult dogs need daily mental stimulation, exercise and care to satisfy their needs and to prevent behaviour problems from occurring.
- Dogs cannot be left home alone for 8 hours per day.
Aspects of the breed to consider:
- Size: How big will your puppy grow? Do you have room for a large dog in your house?
How much will they eat? Can you afford to feed them correctly?
- Coat: How much time and money will you need to commit to grooming?
- Temperament: pedigree dogs have historically all been bred for a particular purpose or job and a lot of breeds retain these characteristics even if they were bred for a pet home. Consider what your chosen breed was originally bred for; some breeds were bred to be independent and for their ability to work away from their owners. Others were bred for their sociability and willingness to work closely with humans.
- Health issues: Does the breed have a tendancy towards certain illnesses? If so have preventative health tests on the parents been carried out? If you have a particular breed in mind, please speak to your vet about potential hereditary conditions which may affect the breed. It is important you do your research BEFORE visiting any potential puppies as once you see them it is very easy to let your emotions take over.
- Barking: Some breeds are naturally more vocal and inclined to bark and yap, whereas some breeds are more sensitive to noise.
- Crossbreeds: if you want a cross breed, look at the breeds that have been crossed and what is involved with each breed.
Step 2 – Finding a breeder or rescue
- Once you have gained the information to the above and know which breed you would like its time to find a suitable, reputable breeder or rescue centre.
- Breeding puppies is a highly responsible thing to do, it takes a lot of time, money and space to do it correctly.
- BEWARE OF PUPPY FARMERS; for more information on this please ask to speak to a Vet or Nurse
A good breeder will:
- Be approachable and willing to answer your questions and be happy for you to come and visit the parents of the litter and have several visits to see the puppy when they are born. (Often it is not possible to see the father of the litter if he doesn’t belong to the Bitch’s owners).
- Be able to give you information on vaccines, worming and feeding.
- Have a good understanding of socialisation periods in puppies, this is vital as it starts with the breeder when the puppies are born and has a massive impact on the dog they become.
- The breeder should ask you questions, they should want their puppies to go to suitable homes.
- Are the puppies reared inside? If not are the puppies exposed daily to household noises and experiences?
- A good breeder will NEVER arrange to drop the puppy off to you or arrange to meet you at a service station etc. As new owners you must see where the puppy has been raised and responsible breeders will encourage this.
When you go and visit:
- Are the parent dogs relaxed, healthy and happy to see you?Do they have any behaviour problems? Do they run away from you or run at you barking or appear aggressive in any form? Puppies grow up and inherit their parents temperament, be sure it is a good one.
- Are the puppies clean, warm and well fed?
- Are the puppies experiencing an enriched environment and having daily exposure to different people and handling? This is vital in developing the puppy’s brain and mastering their motor skills!
- Your breeder should not let you take your puppy until they are 8 weeks old. A good breeder will also not let you buy litter mates. We do not recommend you do this as littermates with out careful, experienced management when living together can often result in behavioural problems, they are also twice the work!
- Once you have chosen your breed and breeder it is time to get ready for your new arrival!Ensure you are booked onto our puppy classes where we can guide you through correct socialising and training for you and your puppy! Booking before you get your puppy is highly recommended as our classes are extremely popular and spaces fill very quickly.