I decided to make my post this an excerpt from my recent eBook that I published, Adventures of Puppy Raising. I wrote this book in order to help any new dog owners out there who don’t know or understand everything they need. As a medical professional, I have learned a lot over the years and even more so, the questions that all dog owners ask themselves at one point or another. My own experience combined with my knowledge of the veterinary field makes this eBook a vital addition to a dog owner’s arsenal. I have even compiled all the tips, advice and links to top quality dog products all in one place! If you like what you read here then head on over check out the rest of the book! Enjoy!
Getting Your New Puppy!
You decided to get a puppy but not quite sure where to start? There are hundreds of breeds of dogs out there as well as an immense amount of mixed breeds, so where to start? I created an outline of things to just keep in mind when getting a puppy, but first what is a puppy?
Everyone knows what a puppy is, baby version of a dog right? Well technically yes, but it’s a whole other animal at first. Puppies are brand new, they don’t know the rules or way of life, nor what’s expected of them. They poop and pee wherever they want, eat just about anything whether its edible or not, chew and destroy things if left alone long. They cry when they’re lonely, cry when they’re hungry. Just like a baby right, but people don’t see it that way. People forget just how much responsibility it takes to get a puppy to adulthood. It’s a rough first year for some but again this is an animal that doesn’t speak our language and doesn’t have its PhD in being the perfect dog. It’s up to us to teach that to them especially since so many people have a different idea of what makes a perfect dog, the breeds may not always be custom but the training is. Some people like dogs on the couch and bed, others prefer they sleep in crates or on the floor. Some dogs spend the day in the house while others go outside into a kennel. All of this takes training and teaching your puppy the ways of the house. There will be hard days where you think you can’t do it, if you read my eBook you will be prepared to get a puppy and I assure you this is just a bump in a road that all of us had to drive over.
The Story of Beowolf
When I got Beowolf he was 3 months old, a wolf hybrid, and he only ever knew my father and his original family. The first night was hard, he cried almost all night, but I was right there by him calming him and teaching him that I am his new mother and I wouldn’t leave him. The months following made that night look like a cake walk, he destroyed carpets, drywall, a kennel, a vacuum, my cell phone TWICE (after that I was ready to take him to the shelter) he was costing me so much money in damages! Not to mention I was making sure I fed him well, kept a roof over his head and kept on top of vaccines and neutering! It was a lot and I just remember being on my hands and knees praying to him in front of me, I was crying my eyes out screaming he was sent by the Devil to destroy me!
I can still see the sad look on his face as he knew I was upset but he couldn’t understand WHY, why! You ate my phone! It was at that moment I knew, as angry as I was with him the phone could be replaced, but he didn’t know why I was mad and that was my fault. I calmed myself down and thought about the dog I wanted him to be, great like Old Yeller, faithful like Lassie, a hero like Rin Tin Tin. These were the dogs of my childhood and were exactly what I wanted, but how did they get like that? That’s when it clicked, what changed everything about my relationship with Beowolf and I am going to tell you!
“Every great dog, started out as a puppy.”
That was it, I thought to myself ‘Every great dog, started out as a puppy’ and from then on I learned patience and understanding. I learned how to try and speak dog (body language) and not hold a grudge. Today I can tell you that every dog works at a different pace, but they will get there. Ask anyone you know who has a dog, they will all tell you their dog is the BEST dog they ever had! Some were easy pups, yes, but not all of them were, but all dogs are capable of being great dogs! To ensure this remains true, answer the following questions honestly and it will help you so much in finding the right dog!
Somewhere out there is a puppy just for you!
Finding the right puppy can be as simple as one falling in your lap for some, but for most, there takes a bit of searching. Asking yourself questions like what do you want or need. Sometimes it’s a matter of seeing inspiration on tv that triggers the desire to want a dog. Whatever the reason, whatever the breed or mix, there are a lot of things to consider when picking out a puppy. If you follow these steps and answer these questions, you are sure to find a suitable lifelong friend!
The Important stuff to do before getting your new puppy:
“It doesn’t matter how much you pay for a puppy; a dog’s love has NO price tag!”
What breed is right for you?
- o Go online, watch videos, do your research.
Petfinder is the leading online search database for finding ANY type of pet, everything from rescues to shelters all carrying mixed and even purebred dogs!
- o Do you need an athletic dog? Or a couch potato?
- o Can you keep up with the hair and grooming or do you want lower maintenance?
- o What size should you get? Do you live on a ranch or a house or an apartment?
- o Do you want something to do work with? Scent work, agility, obedience, sports?
- o Or something to just Weekend Warrior?
What can you offer a dog?
- o Activities
- o Mental stimulation
- o Home- inside the house
Would you be willing to invest time and money in a trainer?
- o If this is a No, then please search accordingly. (Find a breed more suitable for you!)
- o If Yes, then I have no doubt you and your new puppy will be a fine working team!
Adopt or Shop?
- o This depends on what you are looking for. You can find purebreds, mixed breeds and puppies alike in a shelter.
- o Almost all breeds have a special rescue dedicated to their breed and sometimes those places take in unwanted pregnant dogs, so a puppy is very easy to get.
Select a quality breeder/ rescue
o If you go breeder
- Research online. Read reviews. Do they have social media, if not keep it moving, no business breeder in their right mind would pass up the free marketing of Facebook and Instagram? If they aren’t on then chances are they have something they don’t want you to see.
- Look at the history of their breeding pairs. Are the pictures outdated? Are the dogs old? Or overbred?
- Ask around, you can find forums about specific breeds and they are easy to join. Most breed owners love their dogs and want to share it with the world. Go in a forum and ask if anyone recommends a quality breeder and you will be off to the right start. You may even get loads of tips, advice, or a direct link to a Reputable breeder!
o If you go shelter/ rescue
- More research but a lot of times if they are well established they have a history with success. Talk to whoever will be helping you find your puppy. Tell them what your plans are for the puppy, are you looking for a running partner? A friend for a baby (careful here). A gift for someone (I always say you should let the person its for pick the dog, nothing worse than getting a puppy when you aren’t ready for one or it’s not something you bond with as a gift)
- Meet multiple dogs. Sometimes the shy one in a kennel is the most outgoing outdoors, or affectionate in your lap. Meet a few, if anything its good for you to see what you like and dislike in a dog to help narrow down your selection and it’s good for the dog to meet new people and build their social skills.
- Petfinder will help you narrow down your search to find the right friend for you!
Meet and greet
- o You don’t have to take the first puppy you look at. You don’t marry the first person you go on a date with if the date was just mediocre. This is not your one and only chance to get a puppy, no matter what the breeder says, there will ALWAYS be puppies in that breed. Unless it’s love at first sight, meet a few other puppies. Try a few other breeders or rescues, impulse purchases especially when it comes to a living breathing animal is never the wisest choice. So make sure that puppy is the right one for you.
- o If you did your due diligence then you found the right one! Remember though, it always takes 6-8 weeks for a dog to be fully adapted in a new home to call their own so don’t forget they still need training and guidance as to the rules of the house. Especially if you are bringing a new dog into a home where one already lives.
This is just a small outline of things to keep in mind when meeting your new puppy. You can create your own checklist if you have specifics but these are some basics for selecting a new dog in general. These aren’t considered deal breakers but just things to keep in mind.
- o How well does puppy tolerate being picked up?
- o Does the puppy let you lay it back and rub its belly?
- o Does it care if you touch its feet, tail, ears, and mouth?
- o Does puppy come when you call it? Not a command just a “Hey puppy” and click your tongue.
- o If you make funny noises will puppy tilt its head or run away and hide. Not loud, same as you would a baby.
- o Does puppy want to play? Is it rough? Are they dominant or submissive? At an adoptable age, you can see these things naturally as they play.
- o Does puppy want to be around you or is more focused on finding mom or going back inside. If the puppy wants nothing to do with you, you can always build that, but it takes work, so know whether you want to work at their attention or not.
- o If you try and encourage play is puppy more focused on sniffing or doing something else? This puppy may be more suitable for someone who wants to work with it, such as sports or drug-sniffing dog.
- o If the puppy is being tolerant of another puppy or your child (again don’t leave children alone with puppies). If a puppy could care less about something leaning on it or messing with it then it’s a good sign that little guy doesn’t’ get angry at much. If a puppy is trying to nip and bite to get away from what’s bugging it then that’s a good indication it may nip at your kid for getting in its face.
- o Is puppy interested in a toy?
- o Is puppy interested in treats?
- o Does puppy want to go with you for a walk?
- o If whatever you’re doing gets puppy excited to be around you that’s a good sign.
- o Does puppy want to be pet and loved on?
- o Laying in your lap for a nap?
- o Like to give kisses? What puppy doesn’t!
- o If the puppy makes you picture your life in a year playing ball, going on hikes or just overall brings you joy when you think about the future then that’s the puppy for you!
Remember you don’t have to hold all of these standards up to a puppy, especially at first. This list shouldn’t go away after you first meet your puppy though but well after you take it home. Observing these signs in dogs, and in all dogs for that matter, will help you in the future while handling your dog.
I hope you enjoyed this section that came straight from my eBook. To read more about this and other awesome tips about vaccines, creating a puppy book, charts, and links to top quality dog products, then check it out here!