How to choose a Puppy

You most likely don’t know how to choose a Puppy. You find puppies in the newspaper ads, in dog rescues, at breeders and friends.

There are different aspects you should consider before you buy a dog. Many people just take any dog from the litter of neighbours or take the first cute dog they see in the dog rescue without investing much thought into this matter.

First of all you have to understand that each breed has different characteristics. Match these with your character and lifestyle.

If you take a dog from the dog rescue you often are not sure where it comes from and don’t know his genetic influences. This may not matter as the people in the dog rescue can tell you about the dog’s character, but when it is a puppy, the character is not fully developed yet.
Cute Puppy Pictures

I believe if you are a tolerant, patient and understanding person you can take any dog. But give it some thought as you may want a dog with specific characteristics like a big guard dog to guard your house and family. He will alert you of an intruder’s presence and scare him away and is ready to attack. Or if you live in a small apartement you may want a little toy dog that can be easily kept in small places.

Usually people who breed dogs privately at home have no clue about breeding and know nothing about genetic factors or genetic diseases. These dogs cost less than dogs from professional breeders. You should talk with responsible breeders to get an idea about all this.

Questions you should ask:

Is the dog nervous?

Does this breed shed? If yes, then your flat will be full of hairs.

What kind of diseases is typical for this breed?

A good breeder will ask you questions as well to find out if you are suitable for his dog.

Many breeders believe that they are good breeders but in fact they have no idea. A good breeder will not talk you into buying his puppy and he will not sell him cheap just to get rid of it.

Ask Questions

A good breeder has invested a lot of time and effort (and love) in his puppies and tries to find the right person for them. For this reason he will usually ask you a lot of questions to find out what kind of person you are.

If you are interested to go to a specific breeder, ask him a few questions on the phone before you go there. This might save you time.

How many Breeds do you have?

If the answer is “more than two” then forget it. Nobody can take care of more than two breeds in a responsible way.

After how many weeks will he sell you the puppies?

If it is less than two months then forget him and ring up another breeder. The normal time is 10-12 weeks. It is okay if the puppy is older. But avoid dogs between 5-9 months that grew up at the breeders place, as it can take a lot of time and nerves until the dog gets used to the various sounds (and noise) in your apartment like television, kids, cars etc.

How many Dogs do you have?

If he has too many dogs (more than 16 dogs) then forget him, as nobody can take care of a lot of dogs in a responsible way. In this case he just wants to make money selling as many dogs as he can.

Can I see the Mother of the Puppy?

If you can see the mother of your puppy, then this is good, if not then ring up another breeder. He should be able to show you the mother to see how your puppy will look like when he is grown up. If he can’t show her he has something to hide.

How to select a Puppy in a Litter?

Puppies look very cute and are irresistible, so control yourself and don’t buy just any puppy you see. You should understand that each puppy in a litter has its own special character. This means you have to study the character of each first to be able to select the right puppy for you. Wait until the puppy has been with his dog family for at least 8 weeks before you take him away as he needs this time to learn important things from his other family members and socialize with his brothers and sisters.

Pecking Order

The dog family has a pecking order or peck order, a hierarchical system in which each puppy has its place. And every puppy acts accordingly depending upon its rank within this social system.

The point is that you should choose a puppy that will accept you as the boss of your pack fairly quickly. Both of you must know that you are the boss and the leader of your pack.

If you choose a puppy that has the wrong personality type for you you might have a hard time to convince him that you are the boss. It just takes longer and requires more patience and a consequent education until he has accepted you as the pack leader. To avoid this you have to study the personality of each puppy and select the right one for you, that is a good match to your own personality.

Pecking Order in the Pack

1. Intelligent, energetic and dominant Type – the Boss

These puppies are on top of the pecking order. He thinks he is the best and loves fighting because he wins all the time. He wants to be the first and might jump on you when he sees you. He will attack things that are in his way. This puppy is dominant and it takes more time and work to convince him that you are the boss.

If you don’t train him consequently then the puppy becomes the boss and will dominate you and your family and will not be the right puppy for your kids.

2. The Vize-Boss

He does not avoid fighting but he is not so dominant like “the boss”. He might jump on you to show you that he is a smart guy.

3. Easy going Personality

These puppies are in the middle of the pecking order. For them fun is more important than power. They take things easy and fight only if they have to defend themselves.

Most of the time this puppy likes to play peacefully or to explore things. This puppy will sit there in a relaxed way and will seldom jump on you when you enter the room but will rather walk along with you.

This puppy is good for families with kids as it has a high tolerance level towards noise.

4. Reserved Personality

This puppy shows a quiet and passive behavior and does not like to get involved in fights. If challenged he will easily submit to the strongest to avoid a fight. If you come into the room he will never jump on you but will observe you instead. It might be suitable for older kids. Don’t go rough on him as he is very sensible.

5. Shy and fearful

These puppies are at the bottom of the pecking order. He does not like to fight. If he is attacked he will give up and submit or run away as he is fearful. He most often plays alone in a corner with his toys. He does not like loud noise or chaotic conditions. You will feel sorry for him. This puppy is not suitable for kids. You need patience, time and compassion to build up the self-consciousness of a shy puppy.

Observe the behavior of the puppies in the litter while they are playing to study the character of each puppy and choose one that fits your personality. Wait until the puppy has beeen at least 8-12 weeks with his family. During this time he will learn respect from his mother and to control his bladder. Both things are very important.

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