A puppy should never be given as a present. The whole family should be involved in the process of choosing a dog. Many people take more care when choosing a new car than they do when choosing a puppy.
- Research the breed you are interested in, don’t just choose a breed you like the look of.
- Do not purchase a puppy from a pet shop or from the side of the road.
- Do not purchase a puppy that you are not able to see with the litter.
- Choose a breeder who is involved in his/her chosen breed and not breeding for the money.
- Make sure the breeder handles the puppies from birth so that they are well socialised.
- Make sure you meet the mother of the puppies and that she is the kind of dog that you would want to take home. (not aggressive or nervous). If possible, meet the father too.
- Ask for health checks on the parents and make sure your pup will come to you inoculated.
- Don’t take your kids along when you first visit a litter. Wait until you have found the right breeder for you – all puppies are cute.
- Never buy a puppy you feel sorry for, you create a market for more badly bred puppies.
- Take only one puppy from the litter – two are double trouble!
- Never take a puppy away from the litter under 8 weeks of age.
- A well bred puppy out of your league? How about rescuing a dog from one of the animal welfare organisations.
- Take your new puppy to Puppy Socialising Classes as soon as you get him.
Many puppies given as presents are re-homed within 6 months or even put down. Make sure yours will not be one of them.