Aside from the budget considerations of costs of veterinary insurance, training, equipment, food, holiday care, and dog walkers (if you need one) and family considerations such as any existing allergies here are some things to research:
Different breeds have different needs
It’s important to research the breed in full before you welcome a dog into your heart and home.
Some breeds are predisposed to certain health conditions for example with dog’s such as French bulldog’s have a brachycephalic skull (shorter nose and and flat faced) and can be at risk of suffering from brachycephalic airway syndrome – this occurs when there is mismatch in the proportion of the skull and soft tissues within the animals nose. With this skull type the dogs have narrowed nostrils and they can find it harder to breathe, especially in warmer weather.
Exercise and needs
Although it can be tempting it’s important that you don’t simply get a dog because you like the way they look. It’s really important to consider their needs, think what was my dog or my cross breed dog (two different breeds) originally bred to do. Dog breeds are divided in to groups which include the hound group, the terrier, the gundog group, the working group and pastoral group. It’s vital to explore what physical and mental needs they may have because of this and ask yourself ‘can I provide suitable outlets for this energy?’
Let’s consider the Bedlington Terrier for example.
They were bred from the Whippet originally. They were bred to hunt hare and rabbits above ground. Terriers are fearless, persistent and energetic so therefore were great at their original hunting job! They have inherent traits so they require mental and physical simulation otherwise they may get bored and dig elsewhere!
It’s harder but not impossible to get a puppy from a rescue centre as they can go more quickly. If you’re thinking about getting your puppy from a breeder then you may be thinking:
What questions should I ask the breeder?
The puppy’s parent’s
Can I see the Mum – if not why can I not? It’s really important to come back and see the mum at another time if you can’t see her. You should be checking that she looks healthy and doesn’t have diarrhoea and a runny nose – and the same for puppies.
How many litters has the dam (the Mum had?)
Can I speak to people who have purchased a puppy from you?
What experiences has the puppy had already – who have they met, what have they heard, how much have they been handled? It’s important that socialisation has happened before you get your puppy.
Where has the Mum lived through pregnancy and during birth? Is the area clean, does the dog have access to a bed and water?
Has the puppy had all of their vaccinations?
Does this breed have any pre-disposed health conditions I should know about?
How much guidance has your vet given throughout the pregnancy and can I speak to the vet to check on the health of the dog.
You can also ask to see vaccination information, health test or screening scheme certificates from the breeder.
What questions should a breeder be asking me?
A good breeder will be asking you lots of questions too!
They will want to know:
Your work schedule – do you have the time for a puppy?
If you have a home that is suitable for the dog.
They will ask you to visit a number of times too.