What type of temperament would you like in your dog? Enthusiastic and exuberant all the time? More independent and aloof? Something in between these two types?
What about hair length? Shorthaired dogs? Longhaired dogs? A quick tip: longhaired dogs require regular grooming and can be high maintenance. Another thing to consider is that different dog breeds have genetic health issues.
Larger dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia. This is a degenerative disease that affects the hip joint. When a dog with hip dysplasia matures, the hip joint and socket can no longer bear the animal’s body weight. The dog will have a difficult time running, walking or even standing. The only cure for this condition is surgery.
Smaller breeds of dogs have genetic concerns of their own. Dogs that are in the “toy” breed category, such as the Pug, the Pekingese and Lhasa Apso, are prone to breathing problems. These dogs have a short muzzle (or nose), which affects sinus and nasal development. Breathing problems are oftentimes not evident in a puppy. They become apparent only as the dog matures.
Do research on the Internet about the kind of dog you are considering. There are forums online about most types of dogs where you will get all the information you want from pet owners. People love to talk about their pets!
All this background work is important to become an educated consumer BEFORE you buy your dog from a breeder.
Now you are ready to find a reputable dog breeder. What should you look for in a dog breeder? Honest dog breeders will be more than happy to answer every question you may have about their dogs.
Good breeders care about the dog’s environment. Note if the dog breeder’s facilities are clean? Are the puppies well cared for? What type of puppy food do they use? Have the puppies had their shots? Breeders should provide a complete record of the pup’s healthcare since birth.
Beware of breeders who are interested only in making money. They generally don’t pay much attention to their dog’s emotional needs and health concerns. This type of non-caring breeder profoundly affects the kind of dogs puppies will become. A puppy-mill environment only means trouble.
If you have doubts about a breeder you are thinking of doing business with, ask around at rescue groups or animal shelters about the breeder’s reputation.
Reputable breeders love their animals and go to great lengths to provide a proper environment and healthcare for their puppies. Puppies are products of their surroundings. A good, clean and caring environment will assure a happy, healthy pup.
Doing your homework first will go a long way towards finding that perfect puppy!
Lee Dobbins writes for E Pet Center where you can learn more about dogs.