How do I choose a puppy?
First of all, please think about it really carefully. A fun bouncy puppy can be an amazing addition to your life but the commitment has to be there for life. They are demanding in time, money and they need lots of training and socialisation to be balanced.
Ok, so you’ve thought it through? You’re happy you can give that puppy a happy, healthy home? Great, what’s next?!
There are thousands of abandoned doggies home and abroad and if you think you can provide them with stability, love and training, there are lots of people out there willing to help. (including Furry Tails, we have lots of experience and training techniques to help with the issues you face)
That said if you still want to buy a puppy from a breeder, ask your vet and Kennel club for their recommendations. Sadly, too many puppies are bred for a quick profit by a puppy farm. They are not cared for, left unsupervised and they don’t even check you are right for the dog. If you’re looking on the internet and there are puppies significantly cheaper than some of the same breed, this is a warning sign. They offer them cheaper so they sell them all and also when/if you do visit, you’re expecting less and less likely to report them.
So you’ve found a good reputable breeder? What’s next?
Make sure you see the puppy with its mother, they shouldn’t leave them till 8 weeks old so there is no excuse for them not to be there (within reason) so if it feels odd and they make their excuses, call the RSPCA and tell them your suspicions. You could be saving hundreds of puppies lives. 20% of puppies (4 times more than the average) bought from pet shops or the internet suffer from Parvovirus, which is often fatal and can cost up to 4K to treat (2014 Kennel club PAW survey)
Watch them interacting with people, children (If this is a concern for you) and especially the other puppies in the litter. Make sure you visit them at least twice and the both times the facilities are clean and they all seem healthy and alert.
Check all the paperwork, you should be able to see a vaccination certificate, health check from the vet and if it is a pedigree dog, the Kennel club certificate. If they appear unwell when you pick them up, do not take the puppy. Most breeders subscribe to insurance for the first few weeks post puppy purchase, so check this.
You’ve done all this? Perfect! For the best start in life, get them to socialisation classes and dog training and watch all your hard work pay off with a well-trained and happy puppy!