If you’ve decided to get your first dog, or even add to your furry family you should always have a good idea of what you’re looking for before the heart strings get pulled.
There are so many places to look when it comes to the time to buy but your local animal shelter should be top of your list.
As well as the fact you will know exactly what you’re going to get you could be helping to save a life as well as possibly meeting the best friend you will ever have.
No matter where you find the right dog for you, the same basic rules will apply. You will find that a very young puppy not only vaguely resembles the adult dog you admired on the street but also the one it will become; a key fact you should always remember.
If you are looking for a puppy, rather than an adult dog, there are various methods of picking the best puppy from a litter. Some people will advise on avoiding the weakest and shyest, even though the runt of the litter may turn out to be the best.
Some breeders claim the mother picks out the best, so they remove the puppies from her and note which ones she brings back first. But everyone agrees that the signs of a good temperament in a very young puppy are friendliness, confidence, playfulness, and curiosity.
When you are tasked with choosing a puppy from a litter you should proceed by elimination. First of all is sex, male or female, this will eliminate 1/3 to ½ the group. Then you might consider colours or markings, next a playful and happy attitude. But always bear in mind the role he will play in your life. Do you want an active playful dog, or one that is quiet and more reserved?
Go with the one that most closely fits your lifestyle.
Choosing an adult dog is different. He has already achieved his full physical development and personality and he may also have acquired physical or mental quirks.
When choosing an adult dog of unknown past, you must use all of your powers of observation. Like the puppy, a good temperament is the most important quality of all. Keep in mind that adult dogs are more difficult to train, as they have already been trained by someone else.
If you are looking for a show dog, temperament may be secondary to physical conformation. There tends to be considerable difference of temperament between the show lines or breeds, and the working lines of certain breeds.
If you want a pet you can also show with some success, the best solution is to choose either one of the breeds in the sporting and working groups that have not been affected by artificial show standards.
Lastly, when making your final choice, choose from the heart and not so much by the book, and you will both be happier for it.