The day you bring a puppy home is a very special time. There are however many things to consider before getting a puppy. Similar to all life events, time flies, and your puppy will grow into a dog in no time. Make sure you do do some serious research and thinking before you make the major commitment to having a puppy in your home.
To help you in your process of determining if having a puppy in your family we have created a list of questions with answers to these questions.
Selecting a Breed
- Can you tell me about the breed?
- How long have you been breeding?
- What requirements do you have for potential owners of your puppies, and how do you match puppies with their new owners?
- Can I meet the dam or sire to get a sense of the temperament?
- Have health tests been performed on the parents?
- How do you socialize your puppies?
- Are the puppies up-to-date on vaccinations/shots?
- When can I take the puppy home?
- Do you provide a health guarantee and a contract?
- How can we contact you after picking up the puppy?
The disadvantage is that training a puppy requires a great deal of time and patience. Busy families should keep in mind that puppies cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. They need plenty of trips outside, frequent meals, and lots of interaction with people, not to mention love.
Research whether the breed you are interested in does well with children. Some breeds want the spotlight and are needier and will not be happy if attention is given to a child or something other than them. Like children, puppies require a lot of attention, love, and energy. It can be exhausting! Think about a puppy as another child when making this decision.
Yes. Is there enough room in your apartment for your Labrador Retriever? What about your backyard, if you even have one. Is there a good amount of space for your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier to run and burn off all of her energy? These are all things to take into consideration when deciding on a breed.
Deciding what dog breed to get is as important as deciding whether to get a dog in the first place. Every breed has different traits and care needs. Breed research is necessary because you may find that while you think a puppy is absolutely adorable, that breed’s personality may not align with your lifestyle.
Finding a Breeder
You'll want to be sure that the breeder has followed the health testing recommendations for their breed. Find a list of tests here. Not all breeds have recommended health testing, but, where applicable, the best breeders will test their adult dogs before planning a litter.
Discovering information about the puppy's parents will give you a better idea of what you can expect from your dog. Ask about the breed and how your pup's parents compare to the official breed standard and other breed traits. How big are the parents? What do they look like? What kind of temperament do they have? Have the parents achieved any titles or awards?
Dog Breeds Have Required Genetic Tests
These Tests Should Be Done Prior to Breeding
Ask to see results of genetic tests
Each AKC breed has a National Breed club. There can only be one national breed club for each breed. The national breed club is responsible for the determination of which tests are required and which tests are optional for their associated breed.
There are over 200 dog breeds. Each breed has different required tests to assist in the determination of whether or not a specific dog has any negative genetic issues.
Before You Buy
Caring for a puppy is not just a financial investment, but also an emotional and time-consuming commitment. Getting a dog requires a lifestyle change. A dog, particularly a puppy, must receive daily care. This means proper diet, grooming, exercise, and veterinary visits.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a dog.
- Does my career and social life allow the time to raise and care for a dog?
- How many hours a day will my dog be left alone?
- If I cannot be home one evening, can I find someone else to walk the dog?
Raising a puppy is a huge financial undertaking and certainly involves much more than just a one-time fee. You must keep in mind the plethora of expenses that occur prior to bringing your puppy home and after. Don’t forget that your puppy will entail a 10-15-year commitment, too. Your puppy will need proper care: food, vet visits, and supplies (food bowls, collar, leash and toys).