What goes into finding that New Puppy,..Responsibly? Part 1

February 26th, 2007 by Loren

All too often a person or family decides to add a new furry family member, and without research, makes a spur of the moment purchase or adoption. What most people don’t think about is the investment they are making, which over the years (8-20 years) will amount to $5000 to $10000. The cost of basic care will be the same whether you buy a good dog or a poor specimen. There is of course the possiblity of more expenses if you purchase an animal which lacks the hardiness, or health credentials that should be behind a well-bred animal.

So, what steps are involved in buying a New puppy responsibly? Above all remember: You need to have patience.

First: Do you your research! This is key.

1. Read up on various breeds. Even if you end up with a mixed breed the knowledge you have about the breeds that were crossed will help in having a happy and successful relationship with your new pet.

2. Read up what it takes to care for a new puppy and what training the new puppy will entail. These are things you and your family should start long before you go out to pick up your new family member. You may decide that a “puppy” is not right for your family.. and may decide on an adult dog instead. (Even an adult dog will need training.)

3. Decide on the qualities you want in a new puppy. They should compliment your lifestyle, but in buying a puppy/dog you must understand you are likely to have to compromise certain things. Think: Do you have an active lifestyle? Are their children in the household or children that visit often? Do you live in an apartment? Have a fenced in yard? Will you be able to walk the puppy multiple times in a day? Consider all aspects of your daily life. If you travel often and don’t want to kennel your furry friend, or hire a dog sitter while you are away, will a Great Dane be your most responsible choice? Be realistic: Are you away from home to work 8-10 hours a day. Will the puppy/dog be home by itself during this entire time? Do you have white carpets or furniture that you are not willing to let the dog near? Is it fair to confine the puppy or dog to one room in your house to protect your living space? Remember a puppy/dog is an active living being. Stuffed animals are readily available in most toy stores.

4. In part 2 of this article we will go into more detail about the various things you need to consider when you go to pick up your puppy/dog; but as part of the research stage you should look at all of the various places you can get a puppy/dog. (ie. Commercial breeder/petshop, Hobby Breeder, Shelter, Rescue, Pure-breed Rescue, Backyard Breeder.) Each one of these are very likely available in your area. However, you may also have to travel in order to find one that you like or that has the puppy/dog with qualities you are looking for. Often, Hobby breeders, shelters, and rescues, have a limited resource and you may have to wait a considerable period before you find your perfect match. It is often here that patience comes in, fighting the impulse to make a hasty adoption/purchase is often one of the most difficult things to do. However, those who wait tend to have the greatest confidence in their choice and tend not to regret their decision. These people are often the ones who gain a lifelong rewarding experience. Backyard breeders and Commercial Breeders/Pet Shops, on the other hand tend to deal in high volume breeding/brokering; Temperment and health are not priorities in their breeding/brokering programs. Puppies from these sources are readily available, but tend to require greater expense in health care, tend to have less stable temperments, and often are “sold” to you with promises and registrations. (Registration does not mean quality. Any individual with a purebred dog may breed to another purebred dog of the same breed and provide the puppies with AKC, UKC, ACA or other registration. The parents may be very poor specimens of their breed, and their puppies poorer still. The difference in price between a puppy bred by a serious/hobby breeder and another individual who has no in-depth knowledge of the breed may be very slight. Many people tend to seek to make a few dollars by having a litter of puppies. These people may not have the knowledge or be willing to spend the money to do the right breeding and properly raise the puppies and to have the health credentials behind them.)

Next: Part 2 You have done your research.. Now What?

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