Advice if you are looking for a new puppy
When making the exciting decision to take on a new Puppy there are lots of things to consider for your benefit but also for the puppy’s benefit.
It is important to consider the following points:
After working through these points and thinking about a dogs varying needs, a shortlist can be formed of a few different breeds of dog. There are a number of online resources full of information on characters, temperament, breed purpose etc to help make choosing the right dog easier. The “Find a Breed” page of the Kennel Club website is a great tool and can be found by CLICKING HERE.
Once you have a shortlist it is always very useful to meet the breeds and talk to owners of your chosen Dogs. This can be done in a number of places from local dog shows to large events such as Crufts or Discover Dogs.
At Little Orchard we offer “soon to be” Dog owners the option to come along to our classes to meet various breeds and speak to owners before you make the final decision. Trainers are on hand at the end of the lesson if you have any specific questions.
Once you’ve chosen the breed it’s time to source the best place to buy a dog from. You must consider that there are many people making money out of breeding dogs and that the dog’s health and temperament have to be the most important things to be achieved from breeding! It’ really important that you meet the Breeders of your chosen dogs and you’re happy with them before you commit to purchasing a dog. Once again there are a number of useful online resources to help you choose the correct breeder such as the Champdogs website or the Kennel Club list of registered breeders.
We advise that you select 2 Breeders and then visit them both. This can take place before the Puppies are even born!
Remember, you should be able to phone and speak to a breeder, ask to see one or both parents and ask as many questions as you see fit. Ideally they should be very flexible about when you want to go, showing they have nothing to hide and are happy to show off their dogs!
Once you are heading to meet the breeder or see the puppies you should stay focused and remember that you should not come away with a puppy at that first meeting. This is one of those situations when the head must rule emotion! Its useful to have a list with all those questions you wanted to ask the breeder and a checklist to carry out an assessment of the puppies.
The following advice can be applied whether this is the First visit and the Pups are born or it’s a return visit once the pups are born.
Can you greet and handle the mother? – Mum should be happy to see you without being nervous so you should see no lowered body language, growling or backing away from your approach as this will tell you what she may have taught the puppies.
She shouldn’t be so over excited that she knocks you over as this may lead to puppies learning to be very boisterous.
Look at where the puppies are kept – They should be clean and free from any urine or faeces. They should be kept fairly warm but they should not feel hot to touch. Its not good if they are all cuddled up tightly to keep warm, neither is it good if they are all spread out to cool down. We would hope to see provision for play, sleeping and toileting.
Meet the pups – An ideal puppy greeting would be them trotting up to see you but are polite when they interact. They should not push everyone out of the way and insist on all the attention as you don’t want the pushiest puppy in the gang. You also don’t want the puppy that hides at the back and is scared of people and has not learnt that they are good things. You should take to the puppy and smooth it, see if you can handle its body and pick it up. The puppy should enjoy the attention, it may wriggle and play but you should not have undue avoidance or any aggression or nervousness.
Watch the puppies interact with each other and their mum, they should be happy, playful and exploring their environment and you. They should not be so overexcited to the point of growling and biting. The mother should be firm but kind and fair during the interaction if she needs to keep control its important she does so but only with as much force as needed.
Examine the puppy – A healthy puppy will have bright eyes with a clean, shiny coat with no scurf or parasites. It should not have a pot belly as this can indicate worms. A puppy should not smell or have any discharges from eyes, ears or genital areas and should walk freely and comfortably.