How to choose a puppy ?
When choosing a puppy there are many questions you should ask yourself to make sure you choose a breed that suits your family and lifestyle. Here are some useful things to consider when choosing a puppy.
There are many different reasons why you might want a dog, including:
- Protection or security
- Exhibition or show ring
- Working or trialling
- Or a pet for a family with children
Often the answer to this question will determine the breed of the dog, especially if it is a Working or assistance dog, as some breeds are more suited to certain occupations and environments than others.
Do your research on the attributes and temperament of any chosen breeds and, if required contact vet in our hospital.
If you are a busy person and rarely at home, is a dog really for you? A puppy needs constant attention, love and training as they can become bored and destructive as they grow if they are neglected.
Consider your lifestyle, commitment and availability of time on a daily basis.
The size and location of your premises will help you decide, but bear in mind many small dogs have just as high an activity level as larger ones, they just don’t need as much space. Also remember that the larger the dog, the bigger the food bills.
Males are usually a little larger and heavier than females. Make sure the size and strength level of your dog matches that of your children.
If you are not planning to show or breed, spaying or neutering is recommended.
A bitch comes into season at least once, or twice a year and must be confined and kept away from males for some weeks. Many health risks for a bitch are minimised once it is desexed.
What coat works for you ?
What kind of coat will your puppy grow into?
- Short coats: These coats don’t tangle or mat, but they do shed heavily twice a year. Examples include: Boxer, Dobberman, Great Dane, our native dogs like kanni, Chippiparai,kombai and country dogs
- Mid-length coats: Breeds with this coat will shed heavily twice a year, however the daily upkeep is usually minimal. Examples include: Rottweiler
- Double coats: Examples include German Shepherds, Spitz, Lhasa apso, Labrador, Beagle among others. These breeds have a long undercoat with a short outercoat.
- Long coats: This type of coat is usually silky and flowing, and needs daily brushing. Examples: Cocker spaniel
- Curly coats: An example of a breed with this coat is the Poodle. These coats will need regular grooming and haircuts, or professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Wire coats :Examples of breeds with this type of coat include the Wire Fox Terrier and the Scottish Terrier. These breeds may need to be clipped every 6 to 8 weeks.
What coat works for you?
If you do not want to maintain an adult dog with a long coat that requires daily grooming, consider buying a short-haired breed.
For those people with allergies there are also specific breeds that do not shed and are almost allergy free.
ACTIVITY LEVEL, PERSONALITY AND TRAINABILITY
Just as there are many different coat types among breeds, the activity level, personality, and trainability of puppies will also vary, depending on the individual puppy.
- High activity level: Cocker Spaniels, Jack Russell Terriers and Labrador, Spitz are just a few of the breeds known for high activity levels.
- Less active breeds: Chow Chows, Great Danes, and the Basset Hound are a few examples, usually best-suited for senior citizens, or people with a laid-back lifestyle.
- Personality: Some breeds, such as the Shih Tzu, Labrador crave being with their owner as much as possible and are best for
- people who are at home most of the time. Others, like the St. Bernard, will bond with their owners but usually don’t feel the need to follow them from room to room.
- Trainability:Every puppy needs training and each will learn differently. However, some breeds are traditionally easier to train, such as the Standard Poodle and the German Shepherd, among others.
The temperament of the puppy will depend on the breed you choose. As you learn about different breeds, remember the purpose for which the particular breeds were bred. For example, a Working dog or Gundog will be active in mind and body and will require regular occupation and a lot of exercise. Example: Our native breeds like Rajapalayam, Kanni and Chippiparai
You should always consider the ongoing cost of having a dog. Costs include:
- Veterinary expenses
Your puppy should have had his first vaccination and been treated for worms by his breeder. The puppy will require vaccinating again at 12 and 16 weeks of age, and worming at approximately 10 and 12 weeks.
Consult your vet on products available for:
- Flea control
- Heartworm prevention
These are essential, but can be quite costly.
De-sexing your puppy is recommended if you don’t have any plans for future breeding or exhibiting.
There are some breeds that are great with children but due to their size and strength are not suited to smaller children. Some working breeds, with loads of energy, are far more suited to older children.
Do your research on the most suitable breed for your family and educate your children on the correct way to socialise with the puppy, especially as it grows into an adult dog and its needs change.
A pedigree is essentially a birth certificate for your dog showing the 3 generation family tree and also proved that your dog is in fact a purebred.
Visit dog shows
Go to dog shows or obedience clubs, where you can talk to owners and see a number of breeds. Dog shows give prospective puppy owners an excellent opportunity to view the breeds available and the chance to talk to breeders and exhibitors.
It also allows you to see dogs of all ages, so you will get a good idea of what the adult will be like in size and temperament. Most weekends there are shows which represent many breeds, a group of breeds or a single breed.