Getting a new puppy!
Planning or even actually getting a new puppy or even an older dog from a rescue centre can be an exciting time - for us!
There are some important considerations in getting a puppy or dog and hopefully, if you are reading this, you will already have considered many of them but, for those of you who are in the research stage currently, well done but research all the necessary facts.
- Have you considered the most suitable breed for you and your family?
- Are you looking for a pedigree or a mixed-breed? Check out the Kennel Club's Find a Breed facility (click here)
- Have you considered the ongoing cost of owning a dog - regular grooming where necessary, suitable diet, training, vet costs?
- Are you planning a family within the next 12-15 years because if so, your choice of dog may need to reflect this future development!
- Do you have time for a dog, let alone your chosen breed of dog - some breeds need in excess of 60-minutes exercise daily, regardless of the weather or your time availability!
- Is your current home suitable for a puppy or dog - a Husky in a 5th floor flat is not really ideal!
- Have you identified a breeder? Puppy farmers aren't always easily identified. Choosing a breeder is safer if you go via the Kennel Club Assured Breeders list (click here.)
- Avoid emotional purchases, it is too easily to get "sucked in" by a sorry looking puppy - if you are not happy with the welfare of the puppy, Report It to the RSPCA and let them take care of the puppy. If need be they will seize it and provide any necessary veterinary care.
- If a pedigree dog is not important or you want to re-home an older dog, there are many good rescue and rehoming centres around the country from Blue x and Dogs Trust to smaller local organisations - simply type what you want into your internet search engine.
Training is essential.
However, you may have been put off by a previous poor experience. Dog Training is evolving all the time and you shouldn't tar us all with the same brush. Whilst there is some poor training provided by people claiming to be dog trainers, there are good providers like WildDogz who are professionally trained and vetted and members of a recognised training organisation such as the Guild of Dog Trainers. If in any doubt, ask if you can pop along to see a class in action. See our training page for more information. Ask for testimonials, a good trainer will always have positive feedback from previous clients.
For a long-coated dog, find a suitably qualified groomer early. City & Guilds level 3 is the norm for professional groomers and often they can have a 2-3 month waiting list. It is also a good idea for the puppy to visit long before a full groom is required in order to de-sensitise the puppy to this strange environment. Ask how your groomer will groom your dog, the more hands on the better!
If you can't afford a suitable diet, you can't really afford a dog!
Whilst the most expensive is not always the best either, careful consideration of diet can help the development and future welfare of your puppy.
Raw diets are good as many modern raw diets are supplied complete, you simply take out of the freezer, defrost and feed. However, vegetarians and people with small children may balk at this and prefer a complete dry diet in the form of kibble. The better Kibble diets should be holistic and hypo-allergenic and free of artificial colouring, preservatives and additives - good diets tend to be bland as they lack the enhancers poor diets need to get you to buy it!
A good dog trainer will advise you what equipment you may need but in most cases, a standard collar and fixed-length lead (1.2m/4ft, retractable leads are not recommended) will be more than sufficient. Remember, you are going to teach your dog to walk correctly in the first place of course.
Some stimulation based toys such as a Kong are good idea's but be mindful of soft/stuffed toys - the stuffing and sewn on extra's (plastic eyes) can be a choke hazard.
A suitable brush and comb for your chosen breed - a good groomer will help with this.
Plan your breed, find an appropriate source to minimise the risk of puppy farmed dogs, always collect your puppy from the supplier and never meet in a car-park etc, get your pup checked by your vet as part of the vaccination process, get booked on to a puppy course or book some One-to-One sessions, identify a future groomer and then...
ENJOY your relationship with your new best friend!
WildDogz ~ Taming the Wolf inside your Dog!