How To Pick The Right Puppy
Once you have decided that you want a puppy and not an adult dog, there are still many considerations you have to make in order to choose the right one. Bringing a puppy into your home is a 15-20 year commitment, so it’s important not to take the decision lightly.
What To Look For In A Puppy
When you look at a litter or walk down the aisles of a shelter, look for a puppy that is actively seeking out your attention and does not seem overly shy or wary of you. Some people are naturally drawn to pups that are gregarious and playful while others tend to go toward the shy or frightened pup. Be aware, however, that the decision you make will impact your life in many different ways so take your time. Pups that are shy might continue to exhibit shyness as they grow and this could develop into fear behavior as an adult that is hard to manage.
Spend time observing a puppy in her environment and watch how she interacts with other pups, adult dogs and people around her. Encourage her to come to you and see if she likes interaction. Is she playful, does she mouth a lot or does she avoid you? How does she react when taken away from her environment? Does she investigate novelty or does she whine to be taken back to something she knows and feels safe in?
Do Some Research
Spend time talking to shelter staff or the breeder to get a better picture of behavior and how the pup you like spends her day. Is she playful? Does she bully the other dogs during play? Is she vocal? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions but these are all things you should observe before making a decision.
Puppies should never come home with you before they are at least 7-8 weeks old to ensure they have plenty of time with their mother and siblings. This is crucial in order to have a healthy, well-balanced dog into adulthood.
Jump to the pages below to learn more about how to pick the right puppy:
- Should I adopt or buy from a breeder?
- What breed or mix should I get?
- How do I choose a good breeder?
- What's wrong with buying a puppy from a pet store?
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