Choosing a dog is a big decision. Here’s how to make the right call
You’ve decided on a breed, making sure that it is one that suits you lifestyle, not just now, but in the future. You’ve found a reputable breeder and arranged an appointment for choosing a dog from the litter he has available.
On arrival you are shown the sire and then introduced to mum and pups. They all look so adorable, running and squabbling and play-fighting. So how do you decide…
Well, it may seem obvious but you should always choose a puppy that appears bright, alert, healthy and energetic. Arrange to see the mother, and if possible the father of the litter as this will give you clues to your puppy’s personality.
Once you’ve picked out a pup you like, you should do a quick examination.
Here’s what to look for when choosing a dog;
- Eyes: Make sure they’re clear, bright and free of discharge. There should be no signs of inflammation or irritation.
- Ears: Look out for an signs of a crusty or waxy discharge, or an unpleasant odor. The inside of the ears should be a healthy pink color.
- Skin: There should be no sores or lumps and the skin should not be flaky or feel oily to the touch. Stroke the coat with and against the lie of the fur and note if any hair falls out.
- Mouth & Teeth: Gums should be pink and free of any odor. Teeth should meet perfectly (except in breeds like the Boxer or Bulldog).
- Anal Region: Should be clean and dry with no signs of diarrhea or discharge from the genitals.
- Weight: Puppy should feel “solid” when picked up and possibly a bit heavier than you’d expect.
You’ll also want to observe the puppy at play with its litter mates. Dominant puppies may grow up to be dominant adults while submissive puppies can develop into insecure adults. Look for a happy medium.
Follow these steps when choosing a dog and you’ll avoid behavioral and medical problems later on.