How To Choose A New Puppy

Learn how to choose a new puppy that will be right for your and your family.  A lot of thought and planning should go into planning such a life changing decision. When you choose a new puppy, it is an addition to your family.

Decision to Choose A New Puppy

When you choose a new puppy, a lot has to be taken into account.  How big will the dog get. How much exercise will it need. What are your budget constraints. What kind of temperament does it seem to have?  What known medical problems does the breed tend to have?  Is your yard safe?  Finally are you home enough? All these are important things to consider when you choose a new puppy.

 There are some other very serious issues to consider before you choose a new puppy.  Are you looking for a dog to hunt with, run with, or hike with?  Is your family very active or is a lower energy breed better for your lifestyle.  Do you have a yard or an apartment?  Do you have children?

All of these things should be considered when you choose a new puppy.  Before deciding on a breed, it is often a good idea to go to local dog shows if you are considering a pure bred dog.  You can usually find dog breeders, owners, and handlers to talk to about any breeds that might catch your eye.   The American Kennel Club (the AKC) has directories of breeders and is a good place to start if you are just beginning.

Choose A New Puppy From A Shelter

If you are looking to choose a new puppy from a shelter,  before you adopt spend some time with the puppy at the shelter first.  Introduce it to all members of your family and make sure he is comfortable with everyone. Think, when you choose a new puppy as  a family affair.  You all have to learn the ropes anytime a member joins the family.

Avoiding skittish or unhealthy puppies.  Ask permission first so as not to startle the breeder or the shelter assistant, but make a loud noise, like dropping a metal dish.  Things happen in life that will be surprising.  What you will expect to see is the puppy recoil and cower, what you want to see next is the puppy relax and come over to you as soon as you talk gently and console it.  If you get down and call it lovingly, it should recover and come see you.  If it doesn’t, move on to the next puppy.  It isn’t a good sign.


Don’t ever pick the ‘runt’ because you feel sorry for it.  It is usually a bad and costly idea.  Often when a puppy doesn’t grow well, you will find it has less to do with just being smaller and shoved aside than it has to do with a genetic problem of some sort.  This is more true of pure bred dogs simply because the genetics of mixed breeds will vary in size, shape, and color more naturally.  Someone will be the right home for that puppy.  If you just have to have it, make sure you are set up for any additional problems that might come along with being frail or skittish.  Be sure to have your puppy examined within a few days of your purchase. Also, require a written puppy guarantee of some kind.

Others Things To Know Before You Choose A New Puppy

It can be simple, but there should be an agreement that you can return the puppy within a week or two if there should be any congenital defects observed by your vet, or if the puppy should come down with a virus in the first 7-14 days.  You may choose to keep him no matter what, but if you are not financially able to take on any extended burden, be sure you have a safety net.

It is crucial that your pick a breed that matches your family’s lifestyle. So many have strong attributes but may have some reason they won’t work for your family.  Many might be too big, have too much coat, require specific and significant amounts of grooming, or require too much exercise.  If you want to run with your dog, don’t get a basset hound. Even a boxer is not the best choice for a runner.  They have a very poor air exchange and overheat easily.  A condition which is due to their skull structure and can cause serious and potentially life threatening heat stroke concerns.

One thing to keep in mind if you are looking for a pure bred dog is to always purchase it from a breeder, not a pet store.  Pet stores are notorious for purchasing puppies from ‘puppy mills’ and ‘backyard breeders’.  This is not a good way to ensure you will receive any kind of quality in your dog.  You will often pay more for your puppy and be assured of no quality of breed.  The dog may have tremendous medical and health related problems and have an uncertain temperament.

If you choose to breed your own dog, would you sell the pups to the local pet store as soon as they could eat?  Of course not!  Although after six or eight weeks you may be sorely tempted.  You would want to make sure the pups were going to loving and safe homes.  You might even want to keep in touch.

The only pure bred puppies who end up in pet stores are the ones who no one cares where they end up because no one is putting any heart or care into what they are producing.  It’s just about the bottom line.

A breeder will usually not be any more expensive than a pet store.  Unless of course you intend to find a show quality dog, in which case the rules change a bit.  However, having said that, be wary of any breeder that says all the pups are show quality. It is highly improbable to produce an entire litter of show quality pups.

About The Author

This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice.

Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

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