Help a dog in need by choosing a rescue puppy instead of a pedigree pooch. To make sure you make the right selection, take note of the following tips.
Make sure your chosen puppy is/has/comes with:
- A reputable shelter or rescue organisation – Do your research and visit a few before you even look at the puppies.
- Confidence – this cannot be taught later. Timid pups grow into anxious adults with potential behavioural problems like fear aggression.
- Healthy – a bad start health-wise can lead to lifelong health problems. You might even have to deal with losing your puppy after you have fallen in love with him/her. A common issue with rescues is mange. A sickly puppy will end up costing you a lot of money.
- Friendly – it is easiest to work with a puppy who trusts people and enjoys human interaction. Taking on an aggressive puppy is a major commitment. Make sure the puppy is relaxed around food and will allow you to take a bone away without trying to bite you.
- 8 – 10 weeks old when leaving Mom. Hand reared pups or pups who are separated from the mother and litter early battle with dog/dog interaction and bite inhibition (they bite too hard!).
- The right breed or mix for your home and family. Pitbull crosses are not for everyone – they often have socialising issues. In fact, all terriers and terrier crosses are likely to squabble with other dogs. Indigenous Africanis (township dogs) are known to scavenge food, dig, bark and nip. They are not ideal for suburban living where they are left alone for long periods.
- The right size and energy level – High energy dogs need high energy owners who enjoy walking, hiking or jogging. Need a couch potato, choose a laid back puppy.
- Inoculated and de-wormed – the rescue organisation should arrange this and include it in the adoption fee.
- A contract or arrangement that you can return the puppy if things don’t work out or the puppy is sickly.
- NEVER take two puppies and don’t allow anyone to try to talk you into doing this. It always ends in heartache for everyone and is literally “double trouble”.