A dog breeder raises, sells, and often shows dogs of a specific breed. Top breeders conscientiously raise puppies with good genetic lines. When possible, reputable breeders test dogs before breeding them in order to ensure they’re free of any congenital defects. Good breeders also temperament test every puppy before pairing him with an ideal home.
Puppies are infant mammals, and as such they need a lot of care and attention. This may sound obvious, but some people underestimate just how needy puppies are. They are also pretty much a blank canvas, which means they are totally reliant on their owners for guidance on how to live in human society. Before you commit, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you around for most of the day? Or if not, can you easily make arrangements for someone trustworthy to be there when you are not? If you work in a job where you will be away from the house 9.00am to 5.00pm without being able to take your pet with you or find someone who can spend time with the puppy during the day, we would really recommend reconsidering whether this is the best time for you to get one. Dogs are social animals and don’t like being alone.
- Costs associated with pet ownership? Dogs need to eat, they will need to visit a vet if they become sick or injured and for annual check-ups and vaccinations – we highly recommend getting pet insurance for your dog, they’ll need to be cared for if you go away and they can’t join you, they need toys to keep them mentally stimulated, a collar and tag. The costs of dog ownership can add up.
- Do you like a challenge? There aren’t many things cuter than a puppy, which is a good job as it does help the frustration quickly subside when they’ve gone potty on your carpet… Puppies are brand new to the world and they don’t know right from wrong. You’ll need to teach them every single thing you want them to know. They need positive encouragement and patience to help them learn how to be a good member of the household. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding!
- Will you be a responsible owner? There are laws governing dog ownership, and there are also things you can do to help make sure your pet is a good member of the community. You’ll need to train your puppy to behave around people and other animals, pick up after them, and make sure they are never out of control or allowed to harm anyone.
- Is everyone in your family onboard? If one person has serious doubts, please talk about this with each other first before diving in to puppy ownership. Owning a puppy is hard work and they learn faster if everyone has the same house rules and uses the same words and actions for training, so everyone needs to be committed.
- What breed or crossbreed is best for you? Dogs were developed to have different jobs, so some suit some lifestyles better than others. If you’d like a cuddle monster who isn’t bothered about long walks, consider a greyhound. If you’re an outdoorsy type who loves hiking and is interested in agility or other brain games, try a collie or spaniel type. Avoid active, intelligent, working breeds like huskies if you’d prefer a quick trip round the block twice a day – they will get bored, which can lead to problems for you and the dog. Having a dog as part of the family is one of the most rewarding, amusing and joyful things you will ever do!
The best thing you can do for your new puppy and your family is to make sure you give your new pet the best start in life, and that begins with choosing a trustworthy and caring breeder who has the pup’s interests at heart.