In addition to our core dog services, we offer puppy socialization classes. Contact the practice for further information.
Help in caring for your dog
Owning a dog is a life-long commitment. Many dogs now live beyond their 10th birthday so it is important that you seriously consider, before you buy a puppy, whether you have the time and financial stability in place to care for a dog. The commitment from you will hopefully turn your new pet into a relaxed, loving member of the family. The first thing to consider is whether to adopt a dog or get a puppy from a breeder.
There are an increasing number of dogs in rescue centres all waiting for a new home. These are often older dogs and often already have a basic grasp of training. You also have the benefit of being able to see what characteristics the dog will have as an adult and whether this behaviour is suited to your household. Getting a puppy from a breeder comes with all the delights (and hardships) of owning a very young, often very dependent young puppy. This requires a dedicated owner, as housetraining will have to be taught and the puppy cannot be expected to be left alone for long periods of time.
If you were to choose a puppy from a litter, there are a few things to bear in mind. Pedigrees are more predisposed to health conditions than mongrels and certain breeds are renowned for suffering from different diseases. Talk to your vet if you want advice on this. Once you have decided which breed you would like, it is next important to decide which puppy. It is a sign of a good breeder if they are happy to show you both parents when you come to view the litter.
Consider the reasons why some breeders may not want you to see the parents. A healthy puppy should be inquisitive, interested in new people and situations and at less than 10 weeks, shouldn’t be too shy. They should be an average weight compared to their litter mates, and have no signs of coughing or sneezing. The shy, underweight puppy in the corner is much more likely to grow into a nervous (and potentially aggressive) older dog than the confident happy puppy who is content to greet you when they first see you.