What to look for when buying a puppy

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus, lockdown and people being furloughed from work there has been high demand for puppies. Sales have gone through the roof and prices are higher, I seem to see new pups wherever I go. Although it may seem quite easy, buying a puppy can be a bit of a mine field, so here are some things worth looking out for if you’re thinking of becoming the proud owner of a puppy.

Research the breed you are thinking of buying, what sort of dog will suit the family. Dogs have been bred for thousands of years for a number of different roles such as herding, guarding, ratting, retrieving, scent trackers, hunting, be aware of your puppy’s natural instincts and how it will fit your lifestyle. For instance some dogs require more exercise than others, some are not keen being left on their own too long, some will enjoy problem solving.

Where should you purchase your puppy from? You’ve probably heard about puppy farms, so called as puppies are bred for selling, mostly they do not receive human touch, they have little experience of the outside world, can be separated early from their mothers and other littermates and may not be medically cared for. So buying a puppy from a puppy farm could bring you a whole host of problems. Some have such serious illnesses and they won’t survive the first few months. Others might need ongoing medical treatment. Little socialisation early on can lead to problems with fear related aggression as the puppy gets older.

Make sure you have a reputable breeder where you can meet the mother and father of the puppies, if the father doesn’t live at the home, ask to see photographs. Try and meet the puppy on 2 or 3 occasions before collecting and ask questions about the grandparents health and personality, how the puppy’s been handled, how much human interaction and what kind of surroundings, noises, smells and sights it has been introduced to. If someone arranges to drop the puppy off to you, think carefully as you may be receiving a stolen dog. Do not hand over any money until you have met the puppy and know the breeder is genuine.

Remember that a puppy is the same as any baby, it is not born knowing how to behave and interact, it is your job to nurture and teach the behaviour you would like.

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