THE DOG BLOG
by Bob Ottenbrite
Are You Considering Getting a Puppy?
Are you prepared to make a commitment to your new canine companion for at least 12 years? If you are, then you will have a lot of factors to consider. Many people choose a puppy on how cute they are or on an impulse. You should research the breed that you are getting and determine their energy levels and their innate behaviours. Do you have the energy and physical well being to handle a puppy of this breed? You and your puppy will only be happy if you are compatible. Many herding, working and hunting breeds are high energy. You must keep these dogs both mentally and physically stimulated to prevent behaviour issues from developing. Have you considered the type of coat that your prospective puppy will have as an adult? Many breeds require a thorough grooming every day whereas others are “drip and dry”. Have you considered the monetary obligations to your dog? You will encounter veterinary, nutrition, toy, training, housing, grooming and boarding fees to name a few. Perhaps the largest commitment that you will have is your personal time with your dog. A puppy needs a lot of your time to raise it into the dog that you dream about. To develop a solid relationship with your dog requires a lot of time, especially training and play. There is a saying that you should keep in mind, “you always end out with the dog that you deserve”.
When looking for a puppy it is wise to shop around; not for the best deal but for the best puppy. You should visit where the puppy lives and be introduced to the puppy’s mother and perhaps father as well. Take some time interacting with the mother and observe the puppies and how she interacts with them. The puppies often mimic the mother’s behavioural traits.
If you are adopting an older puppy or dog that was abandoned by a former caregiver, then several visits will be necessary. Perhaps arrange for a trial sleep over at your home. You will discover many traits that you may not have observed during your visits. An older puppy or dog that is up for adoption may be carrying some emotional baggage so please be prepared to show lots of understanding, and patience.
In the next issue we will cover how to prepare the arrival of your new canine companion into your home.