how to choose a puppy | things to know before getting a puppy

How do you pick a puppy from a litter?

Most people want a puppy who approaches them first, as they believe the puppy has chosen them. The truth is that usually the same puppy has already chosen all the people she or he met along her short life. Some puppies are so sociable and easy going, that they approach anyone with great interest and happiness. Don’t get tricked by it. The first puppy to approach you doesn’t necessarily mean you should get him or her.

If you buy a puppy from a breeder, a good idea would be to ask the breeder to choose you a pup. A breeder spends a lot of time together with the litter. This person is the one who knows them and their parents the best. In most cases, a breeder can help you to determine which puppy is the best match for you according to your lifestyle and character. Sure, it’s not possible to foresee everything coming in the near or far future, but in general, some character traits are seen even among young puppies. Especially, if the breeder is an experienced one.

If the breeder cannot help you or you are looking for a pup elsewhere, the most important thing is health. The pup shouldn’t be too thin or too fat. The puppy should be sociable (although not necessarily running around all the time), shouldn’t be afraid of new people and noises. The ears and eyes should be clean.

Don’t bring your puppy home earlier than 6 weeks of age. According to the breed, this period might be longer (in general, at least 6 weeks for bigger dogs and at least 10 weeks for small breeds). This period is crucial for your pup to socialize in her litter, to learn at least the basics of dog body language and to safely grow with her mother.

When getting a new puppy, make sure she is at least 6 weeks old. If there’s no documentation to prove it (or even if there is, it’s better to double check always). Before taking your pup home, search how a puppy of your desired breed looks like at that age. Sometimes sellers are not trustworthy, and they try to sell puppies who are too young.

Some people feel sorry for the smallest, the most modest, and the saddest pup in the litter. Although it doesn’t mean that a puppy who looks like this will grow up into a shy dog, there are some chances. If you don’t feel that you would be a good owner for a pup who’s not confident enough, then don’t rush to “help” her. Every dog finds their owner, and by not taking the one which you feel sorry for, doesn’t make you a bad person. Your personality should match your dog’s. If not, things might get tricky later. So, if you are very sociable and easy-going, it might not be the best choice to get the most modest puppy from the litter. Most trainers wouldn’t do that; however, trainers usually opt for dogs capable of doing dog sports, which implies having a dog who is sometimes even too confident. A dog like this has its own nuances, also.

Don’t forget about your gut feeling. If you feel that you are attached to one of the puppies, go for it. Nobody can predict how the puppy will grow, so a bond between a dog and her new owner is important. It’s easier to bond when you personally like the pup.