You need to prepare in advance before getting a puppy.
Whether you’re choosing a puppy or adopting a dog, do your research first. While you’re amazed about the cute pictures on the internet you can easily be fooled by breeders and shelters that are not that honest.
I’m not saying that they don’t deserve home and love, they do, but be careful and don’t be fooled.
Everything you need to know is:
- What you want;
- Know what you’re getting;
- What to do when you get the puppy or grown dog;
- How to avoid being behind before you start training.
So here is a guide on how to prepare for getting a puppy and what to do when he arrives.
How to choose and buy a dog?
1. Carefully search and select a breeding kannel when you prepare for a puppy
When looking for great breeders remember that your puppy is raised at that home and everything he knows right now comes from his first home.
So, you would want a puppy that has already had its first housetraining sessions.
This would include starting to realize where he sleeps and does his business. Even better if he understands that outside is his potty area.
Chew-toy-trained – this would prevent destructive chewing in the future, excessive barking, hyperactivity, owner-absent behavior problems, and separation anxiety.
Moreover, a higher-level breeder would have taught some basic commands like come, sit, down and settle.
The best practice would be that the puppy would be thoroughly socialized with at least 100 people. Because by the age of eight weeks, when the puppy comes to your house, the Critical Period of Socialization is almost over by two-thirds!
2. Try to avoid these things when you prepare for getting a puppy
An eight-week or older puppy that has been allowed to run amuck, pee and poop everywhere, chew on anything, and bark excessively because that is exactly what it will continue to do as soon as you get it home.
Also, you don’t want to buy a puppy that has not been socialized to people, especially children and men.
Otherwise, starting about five to eight months of age, your young adolescent dog will gradually, yet progressively, become shy, wary, standoffish, and fearful of strangers, especially men and children.
And, you absolutely don’t want to buy a pup that won’t live for long.
You certainly do not want to lose your heart to a puppy that is likely to die before it is three, five, or seven years of age. Check the dog’s parents and genes.
3. What to do when selecting your puppy
Observe the puppy’s behavior and temperament.
If you want an active dog, that loves to play and run around, choose a dog who runs into your arms and shows the initiative to play.
But if you want a calmer, more down-to-earth dog, choose a puppy who sits back, lets his brothers and sisters do their thing.’
So it’s more of a preference, what kind of a dog you want. But remember that any dog can be calm or active if you train them correctly.
TOP 10 Tips for new dog owners
1. All family members need to agree on the choice of breed and type of the dog;
2. Prepare yourself when getting a puppy – research the breed in terms of activity level, behavior, health, and life expectancy. Have all family members test drive at least five adult dogs of your chosen breed.
No book, video, or breeder will give you a more realistic appreciation of breed behavior than the dogs themselves;
3. Research breeding kennels in terms of longevity (Litter Longevity Index) and whether the pups have been raised to be companion dogs (housetrained, chewtoy-trained, manners trained, and socialized to people);
4. Select a good breeder;
5. Know how to select, raise and train a puppy before you get one;
6. Think carefully about house rules before you get your puppy, e.g., Where will it spend the daytime? Where will the pup sleep at night? Who will be in charge every hour of the day? Write down the rules;
7. Prepare your house before your puppy comes home;
8. Buy at least half a dozen hollow rubber chewtoys to stuff with food and give to your puppy every time you confine it to the crate. Chewtoy-feeding is the easiest way to reprogram your puppy’s brain and teach the best habits in the shortest amount of time;
9. Socialize your dog with at least 100 people between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks;
10. Reward Training is the quickest and easiest way to teach basic manners — Come, Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Heel, Settle, Shush, Rollover, Beg, Bow, and High Five, etc.
Top 10 Tips to select a Breeding Kennel and choose a Socialized and Well-Trained Puppy
- Before you even visit a breeding kennel, check the pedigree and the Litter Longevity Index. You want to make sure that your puppy is likely to have a long life. Yes, even for large breed dogs. It is so sad that so many of them don’t get to celebrate their seventh birthday;
2. Check out (train and play with) the breeder’s adult dogs — a good indication of how the pups will turn out;
3. Check the breeder’s Socialization Log for the past eight weeks, especially paying attention to how many men and children have handled and trained the pups;
4. Check the breeder’s Housetraining Log for the past four weeks. Pay particular attention to any “mistakes” and how many times puppies have been rewarded for using the toilet area.
Check for an accessible, designated toilet area that is separate and some distance from their living/sleeping space. Especially check that there are no feces or urine deposits in the living/sleeping area;
5. Check to see how many hollow chewtoys are in the puppies’ living area and that there are no food bowls.
Bowl-feeding is pretty silly because it wastes so many food lures and rewards that could have otherwise been used to train the puppies: to love people, especially children and men, where to pee and poop, what to chew, to Shush on cue, and to Come, Sit, Down, Stand, Stay and Heel on cue.
Moreover, bowl-feeding is decidedly physiologically and psychologically unhealthy;
6. Check that the puppies have periodic alone-time in individual crates to prepare them for long times of being alone in their new homes, to maximize chewtoy-training, and to predict elimination so that the breeder was able to teach the pups to pee and poop on cue and reward the pups for doing the right thing in the right place at the right time;
7. Check that the puppies readily approach all family members. Once you’re starting to get some personal preferences and working out which pups like you, start to concentrate on one or two favorite puppies.;
8. Check that the puppy settles down quickly in your lap, becomes a relaxed rag-doll, and thoroughly enjoys being handled by all family members.
This will give you some idea of the extent of neonatal handling done by strangers. Especially handle and examine (gently stroke) the pup’s scruff, ears, muzzle, paws, and nether regions, hug the puppy and gaze into its eyes;
9. Have each person in your selection team teach the puppy to Come, Sit, Lie Down, Stand, Stay, and Rollover on cue to get an idea of what they have been taught, or how quickly they learn. Try to get the puppy to play Fetch and Tug;
10. Now, and only now, consider selecting a puppy based on the 3 C’s — Coat Colour, Conformation, and Cuteness. But again, all family members must agree.
Adopting a dog or a puppy from the shelter
Searching for the right shelter
Look for a shelter that is with far more people than dogs, and with the people, interacting, socializing, handling, training, and playing with the dogs throughout the day.
Great shelters have education, entertainment, comfort, and companionship for all of the dogs.
It is not sufficient for shelters to merely cage dogs, feed, and clean up their feces with little interaction or education.
Calm and quiet, housetrained newcomers would be forced to soil their living/sleeping area and no doubt become hyperactive and noisy within just a couple of days.
A dog shelter is often somewhat of an unknown commodity and the shelter staff and volunteers must determine that each dog is friendly, confident, and safe to adopt out.
Selecting your dog from a shelter
Adopting a dog is very different from purchasing a puppy.
Purchasing a puppy is about researching breeding kennels to find the best puppy prospect in terms of health and behavior for the breed of your choice.
Adopting an adult dog is all about finding the perfect individual for you.
That dog is out there, all you have to do is find it.
There is no rush in choosing the right dog for your family.
Take your time though. Avoid hasty decisions and make sure all family members agree. There’s no rush. There’s a lifetime ahead.
When choosing your puppy, be aware that you will have to train him immediately when he comes through your house door, prepare yourself in advance.
It’s not an easy job to raise a dog, but it sure is worth it.
Be prepared, do your research, and have fun with your new family member.