What To Consider & How To Choose The Right Dog For You

What To Consider & How To Choose The Right Dog For You

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In this day and age, sometimes it’s buyer beware. With internet sales rising and the ease of shipping dogs cross-country, some breeders aren’t following the best practices to keep their dogs healthy and well-adjusted. Visiting the breeder on-site is the single most important step in choosing your puppy/dog. See where the dog sleeps, plays, and eats, and how he interacts with his dog family as well as people. A reputable breeder will be happy to accommodate your visit and will be willing to show you around. If they are pressuring you to meet somewhere else, it’s a bad sign.

A dog’s personality is highly influenced by their family genetics. That is, the most important factor in obtaining a loving pet is that it was bred from a dame and a sire that had these characteristics. This is why it is so terribly important that you choose your puppy after observing both the puppies’ parents. If the breeder will not let you spend time with both parents, do not purchase that puppy. This is why you should never purchase a dog through a third party such as a pet shop or pet agent. A conscientious breeder will be more than willing to introduce you to the puppy’s parents. All puppies look cute but they will grow into adults whose temperament and health are quite like their parents. If a parent is aloof, shy, aggressive, fearful, dominant or submissive, hyperactive, mentally dense, or forgetful then the puppy will grow up to share these traits.

The same rules go for a dog’s health. If a parent has bone or joint disease, allergic skin disease, bad teeth and gums, ear infections, eye problems, separation anxiety, destructive behavior, tender feet (cutting toe nails), oily musty skin odor, coprophagy, liver, heart or kidney disease, bladder stones, asthma, fatty tumors, poor physique or coordination, umbilical and other hernias or another disease, then the puppy is at least ten times as likely to inherit these problems than a puppy from healthier parents. Equally important, is the historic temperament of the bred of dog you select. It is easy to fall in love with a puppy the instant you see it. Don’t pick your puppy based solely on looks. Be familiar with the breed traits and characteristics of the dog you’re choosing to make sure it’s the right fit for your family. Often the weakest pup in the litter is the most appealing. But remember, you will have 12-16 years with this animal as member of your family. Do you want the vet bills that puppy will generate? Do you want the family tension it may provide? Do you want the guilt associated with owning a sickly pet? These are the reasons I never suggest a child be taken puppy shopping.

Choosing a dog is a decision best left to the most practical member of your household. I also do not recommend buying a puppy for as a present for special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays. Christmas and birthdays pass but the puppy becomes a dog and remains with you. So when you go puppy hunting, spend more time with the parents of the pups than with the pups themselves. Once you decide you would be happy with either parent, begin looking at the pups. Do not pick puppies from a litter where the first half have already been sold and left the premises - the best pups usually sell first. Do not buy the largest or smallest puppy in a litter. Look for litter size – generally the more puppies in a litter the healthier they will be. So when you have satisfied yourself on these general points, start looking at the pups themselves. Look for puppies that are playful and curious about your presence not forlorn and apathetic. The puppy should come up to you and begin to play. It should be clean & there should be no fleas or tapeworm segments on the pup. The owner should willingly supply the name of her/his veterinarian and satisfied customers from prior litters. Look at the general cleanliness of the operation. Don’t pay attention to awards, show circuit medals, size or working titles.

Do not buy or accept a free puppy from anyone who apologizes for its behavior by stating that it or its parents were abused. Abuse does not account for an animals innate traits. Some of the most loving puppies and dogs at your humane society came from atrocious conditions. Breeding animals conscientiously is not a very profitable business. If it is, it is because the owners are marketing the pups or scrimping on something such as the quality of their diet, breeding a bitch too often, breeding dogs whose health or temperament is undesirable, ignoring medical conditions etc. A host of medical problems are possible with inhumane or poor breeding practices. Poor breeding practices can lead to other disorders, such as higher risk of cancer and tumors, eye and heart disease, joint and bone disorders, skin, immune system, and other neurological diseases—even epilepsy.

Puppy mills are large-scale dog breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills treat dogs like products, not living beings, and usually house them in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, socialization, or even food and water.

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