Buying A Puppy

How to Decide on a Breed

What dog breed is best for my lifestyle?

Deciding what dog breed to get is as important as deciding whether to get a dog in the first place. Every breed has different traits and care needs. We recommend researching various breeds before contacting a breeder. Breed research is necessary because you may find that while you think a puppy is absolutely adorable, that breed’s personality may not align with your lifestyle. Dogs SA breed pages also provide facts and specific information about each breed that will help make your puppy decision easier.

What about the size of your home?

Is there enough room in your apartment for your Labrador Retriever? What about your backyard, if you even have one. Is there a good amount of space for your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier to run and burn off all her energy? These are all things to take into consideration when deciding on a breed.

What should I consider when bringing a puppy home to children?

Research whether the breed you are interested in does well with children. Some breeds want the spotlight and are needier and will not be happy if attention is given to a child or something other than them. Like children, puppies require a lot of attention, love, and energy. It can be exhausting! Think about a puppy as another child when making this decision. Can you integrate the commitment to a puppy into your current parental responsibilities?

Do I want to buy a puppy or an adult dog?

The advantage of getting a puppy—aside from its irresistible cuteness—is that you can raise it by yourself from the beginning and participate in its training and socialization, every step of the way. The disadvantage is that training a puppy requires a great deal of time and patience. Busy families should keep in mind that puppies cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. They need plenty of trips outside, frequent meals, and lots of interaction with people, not to mention love. Adult dogs can be ideal for people who want a dog with fewer needs. Mature dogs tend to be calmer; some are already house-trained and know basic obedience.

How much does a puppy cost?

This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you’ll want to make a wise investment. Ask breeders and breed club members to get a rough idea of prices, but don’t make decisions on price alone – more expensive isn’t necessarily better. Make sure you find the right dog for YOU.

And remember, the price of the puppy is just the beginning of the costs. You will need to care for, feed, groom and maintain your dog’s health with regular veterinary visits throughout its life.

Choosing the right dog

A dog can provide companionship for many years. So, when you decide to add a dog to your family, it is important to take the time to find the ideal dog. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing one that will fit in with your family and lifestyle can be a difficult task.

Many purebred dogs were developed to perform a specific type of work. There are breeds that herd stock, guard, aid hunters in the field, and there are even dogs that work to keep the barn free from vermin. If you are thinking about getting a purebred dog, it is imperative you understand what type of work a breed was developed for.

Many times a dog’s behaviour and reaction can be directly related to its genetic makeup and instincts. For example, a breed used to herd stock will love to chase, and the breed developed to guard may have a strong tendency to become very possessive. Both of these types of dogs may require special training in order to grow into well-mannered and trusted companions. In your search for the perfect dog, you will find it helpful to identify characteristics inherent to different breeds.

Narrow your search down by being able to recognise and decide what temperaments and tendencies of a breed best fit your family and lifestyle. Here are some examples or questions to ask yourself that will help you choose a dog that is best suited to your household.

Should you select a puppy or an adult dog?

Puppies require a lot of extra time, patience, socialisation and training in order to become well-mannered and well-adjusted adults. This new demand on time may be difficult for some families, especially those with small children. Many times an older dog is already housebroken and is past the chewing stage, and will require less time and training than a young puppy.

After you have taken the time to choose the type of dog best suited for you and your family, use these helpful guidelines to select the ideal dog or puppy. When choosing a puppy be sure to see at least one of the parents. Most often the personality and tendencies exhibited by the puppy’s parents will be seen in the puppy as it matures. Look for a friendly and outgoing dog or puppy. This is the one that happily approaches, wants to be with you and calmly accepts petting.

Choose a puppy that has been raised in a neat and clean environment. For example, puppies from pet shops often are difficult to housebreak and have a hard time getting used to life in a home environment. Do not select a pup or dog that is shy or clingy. Dogs and puppies with these tendencies have a very difficult time adjusting to life in a busy household. When you decide to add a dog, take the time and effort to find the perfect dog for you and your family. Choosing the right dog is the first step in having a pet that will grow into a wonderful and cherished companion for many years to come.