Choosing your new puppy – advice from an award-winning behaviorist and hot-listed author

Standard
  1. Don’t just buy from the cheapest back yard breeder.
  2. Don’t just buy from the most expensive (allegedly) quality breeder – even if they “import” impressive looking dogs from overseas or have the fanciest of websites.
  3. Do your research and ask the tough questions.
  4. When visiting in person ask questions about the sire and dam and look to interact with them.
  5. Don’t pick the pup that just jumps on you unless you want the future dog to jump on your kids and grandma when she visits for Christmas.
  6. Don’t just pick the cutest looking one. How vapid and shallow are you? Realize from the get go that the most important concern as far as quality of YOUR life and your pup’s life is temperament, aptitude, and behavior and energy…this will make or break your home life for as long as you have the dog!
  7. Don’t be talked into purchasing two pups at the same time so they can “play” that is normally a huge mistake.
  8. Don’t get carried away by your heartstrings and buy the sickly or weak or fearful puppy unless you’re genuinely prepared to do the hard and continual work of extreme socialization, forcing the pup into uncomfortable situations steadily increasing the pressure as you combat fear and future behavioral issues.
  9. Ask the breeder about the ideal pup for a house with kids and cats and chickens etc. You’re trying to do what’s best for YOUR household not just what’s best for the breeder’s bank account.
  10. Beware of breeders with too many sires and dams…they may not have enough time to socialize their pups during critical socialization periods that no one can ever get back unless perhaps you have access to a time machine or Dr Emmett Brown or Marty McFly.
  11. Don’t sign any overbearing or over controlling contracts.
  12. Beware of breeders that are keeping their pup’s TOO SAFE due to Extremely common yet a mostly irrational Fear of Parvo! To cultivate a healthy immune system very young pups need to be outside, on grass, putting things in their mouths, and exploring the earth. Most dirt is good for a pup (the homeostatic organism greatly aid in gut health which, in turn effects the whole body’s health). The modern medical industry did NOT create the creatures we all know and love commonly referred to as dogs…ancient peoples did! And they did it a long, long, long time before vaccines were ever around. Somehow pups survived. The immune system (like a pup’s growing mental and emotional state) must be exposed to plenty of varied situations and normal environments if you desire future success.
  13. In almost all cases you should drive to pick up the pup because the pup might be terrified during a plane ride at a young age and cause fear and anxiety that is usually very hard for most dog owners to reverse.
  14. Be sure that the sire, dam, and littermates do not have any sort of food reactivity, possession or aggression issues. Most resource guarding is taught by the parent dogs or occurs when too little food is placed in the puppies communal bowl during their time at the breeders. Resource guarding is easily spread to an attitude of total domination possibly with aggression in pup’s that are rapidly growing during the first year unless the pup owner bends over backwards to correct it!
  15. Check the pup’s environment and be sure it’s pretty tidy. If the breeder’s been up on the chores and kept it clean this makes future housebreaking so much easier.
  16. Check the pup’s eyes, ears, skin, coat, nails, mouth, and rear end. Check their gait and how athletic they are. Compare the pup you’re considering with the other pup’s shape and energy. Go for the best health and usually the mid-level energy puppy.

Hope these little tips help ya!

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