The Top 8 Things to Consider Before Adding a Puppy to Your Household
So you are thinking of getting a puppy?
Nothing is more exciting than adding a new life to your family structure, but you want to make sure you get the pup of your dreams and not one that gives you nightmares, right?
We can help give you some food for thought when it comes to new puppies!
Puppies are super fun, but they take a substantial amount of time and training!
Puppies need to go outside regularly; experts say you should take your dog’s age by month and add one to decide how often he needs to go outside and go potty. So if you have an 8 week old puppy that = two months, + 1: so your puppy should go out at least every 3 hours during the day!
Do you have the time to stay home with a puppy and let him out every 2-3 hours or would you prefer an older puppy or adult dog?
Temperament is my main focus when I am looking for a new dog. It is desperately hard to judge a little tiny puppy. Those of us that compete in different dog trials know that puppies about 7 months are much easier to judge than those that are super young. There are so many factors when it comes to temperament.
I look at mom and dad. If I can’t hug or kiss mommy and daddy dog…I probably don’t want a puppy from them. Even if I want a “protective” dog, I still want a social dog and yes you can have both!
The majority of puppies that I see with aggression problems came from an adult dog with aggression issues!
Even if the puppy is cute or seems social, or you feel sorry for him don’t take a puppy that came from an aggressive parent. If the adult dog has to be locked up when you come this is a serious RED FLAG!
#3 Activity Level
Different breeds and different dogs require different kinds of commitments. Let’s face it; all puppies require an immense amount of time and commitment, but some puppies require even more.
Was the breed you are looking at bred to work all day long?
Some lines of Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, Aussies, German Shepherd Dogs and even Golden Retrievers can be bred to work all day.
Active breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation and if the dog is bred from “working or field lines” you can guarantee the effort needed will be multiplied.
And, don’t think just because you get a small dog that Chihuahuas, Poodles, or Jack Russells are easy to live with!
#4 Purebred or Mix
Are you looking for a purebred or a mixed breed puppy? Rescues can still be a wonderful source for not only mixed breeds but also purebred puppies! Even if you are looking for a certain breed contact the local rescue to find out if they have puppies and which breeders to avoid!
I am a firm believer that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebred dogs! But, mixed breeds can still have health problems.
There are some breeds that are known to only live to 8 years old.
Some dogs have a high likelihood of cancer, heart disease, and other disorders.
If you get some different breeds narrowed down, talk to your vet! We use to talk, at the vet clinic, that a person would have to be a doctor to afford some breeds of dog! Your vet will be honest with you!
# 6 Training
Not all dogs are created equal! Some dogs are much more difficult to train than others and some dogs are not recommended for first time dog owners. If you want to herd cattle, don’t get a Maltese!
Figure out what you want to accomplish with your new dog and find an appropriate match. Some dog are good hikers and some dogs would peter out after 10 minutes or scrape their skin tender on a rock.
If you have high hopes or aspirations find a breed that fits your needs!
Do you want a small dog or big dog?
Although small dogs eat less; sometimes they take more effort, exercise and training than a big dog! Little dogs can be quite a challenge to potty train and to train in general!
# 8 Coat
Do you want to have to groom your dog every three weeks or do you want a wash and wear dog? Grooming can be quite expensive and some dogs require it at least every three weeks!
Can you handle having dog fur on your food, in your car, on your sofa and on your body constantly?
#9 Male or Female
There are great things about both sexes! I think my favorite is neutered males, if you neuter them early (about 16 weeks is ideal for me)!
Think about if you have other dogs in the house.
Females often have a difficult time adjusting to other females, and intact males will fight with other intact males.
Do your research and if you have other dogs see how they do with friend’s puppies!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.