Many people spend more time researching a new car or kitchen than they do finding out about a puppy. Getting a puppy is a very emotional decision; we tend to make the choice based on what a puppy looks like, rather than whether it will suit our lifestyle or time commitments. Consider why you want a puppy, how much time you can give to it each day; what its breed instincts are; is it a breed more likely to bite children. Seek advice from friends, your local Vet and/or a professional and accredited puppy trainer. (See www.apdt.co.uk).

Breeders, what to look for, a few basic rules.

  • Always visit the breeder’s premises, never buy a puppy without doing this and do not accept the “kind offer” from a breeder to have the puppy delivered to you.
  • The mother not being present, do not accept any excuses for this, she should be with her litter.
  • The pups being isolated in a garage, shed or barn away from human and litter mother contact.
  • Check the Kennel Club registration of the mother (dame) and father (sire) and see how many times they have been registered as litter parents. It should be low single figures at most.
  • Ask for the details of people who have bought puppies from previous litters. Contact them; ask about their pup’s health, temperament etc.
  • Do not take children with you on your first visit, try walking away from a litter of puppies with your children present. In addition, you never know what you are going to expose children to with regard to puppy welfare and care.
  • Look for litters of other breeds of puppies, big clue of a commercial puppy farm.
  • Visit more than once; keep in regular contact with the breeder.

If you have any doubt about the puppy, the breeder, the temperament of its parents or the environment the puppies are being kept in, then walk away; there is always another puppy. Remember, a puppy will be with you for approximately 10-15 years; this is a long time to rue a mistake.

Having chosen your puppy and arranged to bring it home, (this should be at about 8 weeks), what next?

My basic puppy starter list is:

  • A crate about 1 ½ times your pup’s body length as it would be at about 16-20 weeks and some soft bedding to go inside.
  • 4 puppy size of Kong chew toys, fill them with a dollop of cream cheese to help your puppy when teething.
  • Food and water bowl.
  • A good quality, (not cheap), puppy food, this is false economy and may lead to potential health problems
  • Lead and collar with identity disc.

Have an appointment arranged for a professional and accredited puppy trainer to come and see you (and your family if applicable), a few days after your puppy has arrived.

Arrange a visit to your vet; speak to friends and family in your area as to which one they use and are happy with. Make sure you fully vaccinate your puppy.

Book a place on an accredited puppy training course; ask other puppy and dog owners where they went and who they would recommend.

Oh one last thing, when selecting your pup’s name, imagine yourself in the park calling your puppy, keep it short, one syllable is ideal and do not choose something that ends in “O”, it will sound to your puppy that you are telling it off.

If you have would like to speak with me, please do contact me, Richard Grant 07753 609999. Alternatively, if you’d prefer, email me richard@k9help.net