It can take a lot of time and energy to pick a puppy to bring into your home for its lifetime. You need to consider things like temperament, size, your living conditions, activity level, and much more before finding the perfect dog to bring into your home.
Drypet wants to help you better understand the importance of selecting a breed that is compatible with you and your family, as well as help you find that perfect breed for you.
What to Look for in a Puppy
Gut instinct for many people is to go into a pet store or animal shelter and find the cutest puppy to take home, however, that can lead to a lot of problems for you and your new puppy. Not all breeds have the same needs or personalities, and picking a puppy that doesn’t work with your family can lead to heartbreaking decisions down the road.
When looking for a puppy, you should consider the following:
- What is your living situation like?
- What size of dog do you want?
- How much energy do you want a dog to have? How much exercise can you give?
- How much grooming are you comfortable with?
- How much affection do you want from your dog?
- Does your dog need to be child-friendly?
- Does your dog need to be dog-friendly?
- Does your dog need to be cat-friendly?
- Does your dog need to be friendly with strangers?
- How trainable would you like your dog to be?
- How much noise are you willing to tolerate from a dog?
- How smart or trainable would you like your dog to be?
- Are you looking for a watchdog? Does your dog need to be territorial?
- Do you need a hypoallergenic dog?
- What is your budget?
These questions can help you narrow down the large list of potential dog breeds that will work in your home and adhere to the lifestyle you want to live. Once you have a smaller list of dog breeds that suit your situation and lifestyle, you can start narrowing down potential puppies based on appearance or personal preference.
Selecting the perfect dog doesn’t always come down to the breed, however. Individual dogs can all display traits that are uncharacteristic of their breed, so you should meet any potential puppies before bringing them into your home. The younger the puppy, the most malleable it will be, so if you have very specific needs, you should aim to get a very young puppy.
Shelter vs Breeder
There has been a stigma in recent years about purchasing a dog from a breeder instead of choosing to adopt a dog from a local animal shelter. For some people, purchasing from a breeder ensures that their dog will have the personality and physical characteristics that they want or need in their household. Responsible breeders work hard to breed and raise healthy puppies with all the desired traits for that particular breed, which you aren’t likely to get from a shelter animal.
Other people want to help remove a dog from the shelter environment. Shelter dogs may be pure bred or mixed breed, so if you find a puppy you are interested in at the shelter, you may want to do some research on the breed or breeds to see if it will fit into your image of the perfect dog.
Keep in mind that some shelter dogs may need additional care and attention. Abused dogs are common in shelters, and they may require more time, energy, and patience to own. Even though some shelter dogs come from an abusive past, they are all capable of love with a little work.
Remember that as long as you are willing to be flexible, you can learn to raise a happy, healthy puppy of any dog breed. Drypet recommends speaking with the staff at the shelter or the breeder to understand better the temperament and any other potential traits of the puppy you are interested in.
Don’t forget to check out our article titled What to Consider When Purchasing a Puppy.