Choose your breeder wisely.
What to look for when visiting a breeder and choosing your new puppy.
Before you even start exercising the idea of having a puppy, you need to do some serious, serious research about your chosen breed so you are fully aware of the breed requirements in every aspect of your dogs life.
Knowing the dogs personality and breed traits such as potential for grooming, drooling, train-ability, overall health, exercise needs, potential for weight gain, prey drive, potential for destructive behaviour or even aggression, size and weight, tendency to woof all day or howl etc. will give you a deeper understanding of any potential issues arising in the future.
You then will be able to enter this wonderful companionship fully prepared and with your "eyes wide open" ready for any hurdles a mischievous little pup will throw your way.
You might also realise that you will need to reconsider your chosen breed due to the fact that your current circumstances wont allow for the dog to live and enjoy a healthy and happy life ( such as your health issues, work commitments, living accommodation and environment etc.).
There is no doubt in my mind that you can give this dog a huge amount of love.
The question however remains - can you give this dog a healthy and happy life?
♥ Knowledge is power.
Research health information –potential inherited diseases, digestive problems, allergies, specialist diets, both parent health and diet history and ask all of these questions to the breeder, create yourself a list and ask every single question. A good breeder will be happy to give you all of this information, even more happy to know that the pup will be going to a safe, responsible and caring home. Most breeders will have a pack already prepared for you: with detailed information on the breed, Pedigree history, current diet with local contacts on where to purchase if you choose to continue with the current feed etc. Our one was a 40-page document.
♥ You should be able to view your pup anytime by making appointment with the breeder of course. If you feel that there is something breeder is not telling you or even worse, is hiding, your gut instinct most likely is accurate so act accordingly. Visit your new puppy at least twice - let them get familiar with your smell.
BONUS - free puppy playtime with at least 6 puppies – my understanding of Heaven.
♥ Do not collect your puppy unless they are 8 weeks old. It is a crucial time for the pups to start eating solid food and learn the dog behaviours directly from their mum. (If the breeder is happy to give the pup to you earlier than 8 weeks – reconsider if the breeder is responsible and caring one; or best – just walk away and report your concerns to local authority or animal welfare charity.
♥ Ensure your new pupster is kept with their mum and the rest of the litter mates at all times.
♥ Check that your new pupster has a regular access to a human interaction and cuddles and is kept in home environment (not in a backyard, cage outside, stables, kennels, garage etc) and has clean, warm facilities with bedding, food, water and toys. Even puppy pads if your breeder has a decent carpet.
♥ Your new bundle of joy should be happy and responsive, show no signs off any illnesses, discharges from ears, mouth, eyes, and no skin issues. Your puppy however will stink of wee. Guaranteed. Little pups wee on each other all the time so you will have to bathe your pupster for the first time as soon they are settled in their new home.
♥ Worming and vaccination. Pups coming from a responsible and experienced breeders will be vet checked, flead and wormed, come with 4 weeks free insurance and will be micro chipped.
♥ Get a written agreement that the pup/ the purchase is subject to satisfactory vet examination within 48 hours - for most breeders it will indicate that you are responsible and serious about your pups health. Book your vet appointment and get your puppy independently checked out. I know it sound awful, but will give you confidence in pups health and save you a ton of heart ache and a ton of £ later on. It is far better that you enter this companionship knowing all the information and facts.
♥ Lifetime aftercare and advice. Can you contact the breeder for any advice on breed, feeding, and training advice, health issues etc? The right breeder will have a superb amount of knowledge which they will be happy to share.
♥ Change of circumstances. If any devastation would happen to you or your life – would the breeder be happy to be contacted in such events to help and support with possible re-homing of the dog. Some might even offer to take the dog back if such an unfortunate events were to happen.
♥ Collect all your paperwork. Pedigree certificate. Puppy purchase recite or slip. Kennel Club registration. Microchip number as you will have to transfer your details on it. Vet insurance. Breed specification, dietary requirements, behaviour and training advice – again, our one was 40 pages long. On top of this most breeders will give you a little starter pack.
♥ When taking your pupster home make sure you have planned your visit prior and have got all your necessities ready.
♥ Your local animal charities and rescue homes has invaluable amount of advice, if in doubt, visit your local branch, research their web pages on internet or just drop them a call.
A dog is for life and not just for Christmas.
You are about to enter a companionship of , in best case scenario,up to 20 years filled with love and happiness (that is longer than most marriages or kids before they leave home).
Can you commit to such a responsibility?
Do you have enough time?
Do you have enough love to give?
Remember, you have your friends and family,
work and social circle, hobbies and interests,
holidays, alcohol, football etc.
Your dog only has you. You are their whole life.
So give this dog the best life and the most love you possibly can! ♥