Choosing a dog is a big decision and it’s important that you choose the right breed for you, making sure that it’s one that suits your lifestyle, not just now, but in the future.
And once you’ve decided upon a breed, you then of course need to pick your actual dog.
First you need to find a reputable breeder and arrange an appointment to choose a dog from the litter they have available. Whatever you do, don’t buy a dog from a puppy mill or pet store.
Of course when you go to the breeders, the puppies will all look so adorable, running and squabbling and play-fighting. So how do you decide which one is for you?
Well, it may seem obvious but you should always choose a puppy that appears bright, alert, healthy and energetic. Arrange to see the mother, and if possible the father of the litter as this will give you clues to your puppy’s personality.
Once you’ve picked out a puppy you like, you should then do a quick examination to make sure everything’s okay.
What to look for when choosing a dog
Here’s a quick checklist of things that you should be aware of before you decide to take a dog.
Make sure the eyes are clear, bright and free of discharge. There should be no signs of any inflammation or irritation.
Check the ears and look out for an signs of a crusty or waxy discharge, or an unpleasant odor. The inside of the ears should be a healthy pink color.
There should be no sores or lumps and the skin should not be flaky or feel oily to the touch. Stroke the coat with and against the lie of the fur and note if any hair falls out.
Mouth and teeth
Gums should be pink and free of any odor. Teeth should meet perfectly (except in breeds like the Boxer or the Bulldog).
The anal region should be clean and dry with no signs of diarrhea or discharge from the genitals.
The puppy should feel “solid” when picked up and possibly be a bit heavier than you’d expect.
You’ll also want to observe the puppy at play with its litter mates. Dominant puppies may well grow up to be dominant adults while submissive puppies can develop into insecure adults, so you should look for a happy medium.
Follow this advice on choosing a dog and you’ll have a much greater chance of avoiding any behavioral and medical problems later on.