Choosing your Puppy:
Different breeds will have certain characteristics for which they were bred. Ask
breeders at dog shows and look them up in breed books for further information. You must
consider several things before deciding on a dog:
How much time can you spend with it? Dogs are social
creatures. They will not be happy left out in the back yard alone. You must be committed
to spending several hours a day with it.
What space can you provide for it? If you live in a small
apartment, you must take this into consideration: many dogs will not do well unless you
spend a good deal of effort in meeting their needs. Don't be fooled by size into thinking
a dog will be OK in a small apartment -- A terrier for example requires a lot
of exercise. Conversely, many Mastiffs are content tojust lie on the floor and do nothing
at all while you are
How much money can you set aside for it? Even if you get a
dog from the shelter or otherwise inexpensively, you will have to buy food, pay for
veterinary checkups, vaccinations and routine medical care over the lifetime of the dog.
Not to mention replacing anything the dog may damage or destroy, or money for
medical emergencies. Do you have the financial resources for this?
How much exercise can you give it? If your time is limited,
you should look for smaller or less active dogs that can obtain enough exercise in your
home or from short walks. Note that not all small dogs are less active, or larger dogs
How much training can you do? Regardless of the dog you get,
training will make your dog much more compatible with you and what you want to do. A
trained dog can go to more places with you without disruption, and can be more easily a
part of your life.
How much grooming can you do? How much hair are you prepared
to have in your home? You should give serious consideration to these factors: some dogs
shed little and require no grooming (clipping, stripping, etc); others shed little but
require more grooming; others shed but do not require grooming; and still others both shed
and require grooming. Do note that just about all dogs will require some nail clipping
regardless of conditions. If you get a dog that requires regular grooming, are you
prepared to pay for its grooming or learn to do it yourself and to do either regularly?
Which sex do you want, male or female? There are pros and
cons to either sex, all of which are generalities and may or may not apply to a specific
dog. By all means, if you have a preference, get the sex you want. If you are not sure, it
really doesn't matter.
What characteristics do you want in a dog? Different breeds
have been bred with specific purposes in mind. Dogs bred for scent, for racing, for
retrieving, etc, will exhibit these traits. Consider which characteristics you would like
and which will annoy you. Reading up on dogs in breed books (some are listed below) and
talking to breeders will give you some idea of these kinds of characteristics. This also
may be a reason to choose a purebred: characteristics in purebreds appear more reliably
because of their consistent breeding. Do recognize, however, that dogs show individual
personalities, and variety exists within each breed. Breeds are only a general indicator
of what to expect.
Some questions to ask yourself:
What sort of exercise do I want to do with the dog? Walking? Jogging?
Do I want a dog that is bouncy and ready to go, or more relaxed?
Am I prepared for a dog with some protective tendencies? How about a dog with possible
dog-aggression (because of its background or breed)?
Do I want an indiscriminantly friendly dog or one that is more reserved?
Do I want a dog that must be near me whenever possible or do I prefer a more independent
Will I want a dog that readily accepts other animals (e.g., cats, rabbits, etc.)?
Am I interested in: obedience, agility, hunting, herding, coursing, showing, etc. with
Mixed Breed or Pedigree? While you can enjoy showing a dog
with a good pedigree, in the show circuit, mixed breeds make equally lovable companions
and are infact said to have more resistance to infections and they are freely available
for adoption. But if you have decided on a breed, take the advice of people knowledgeble
about the breed, choose a breeder whom you think is responsible and for heaven's sake
don't buy the puppy just because it is available nearby or it is cheap!
Whatever the dog or puppy you choose to buy, please try not to buy them from
"Puppy-Mills". In India, the sudden spurt in demand for puppies has led to a
major problem - PUPPY THEFT. We at dogsindia have had personal experiences, and see the
harrowing experience some others have gone through. One lady was even threatened by
certain people. She tried to report the matter to higher authorities. So please try to get
your puppy either from good homes, reliable owners and breeders, or adoption centres.
Points to remember:
Try to bring a puppy home only after it is eight weeks old. By then it must have
had its Primary Vaccination against Parvo and other diseases. Insist on the immunisation
record given by the Vet to the breeder. If it is a dog with a Pedigree insist on the
certificate and its transfer to your name.Remember to ask questions about the feeding
Readymade dry food of high quality is available in India and if you can afford it, that is
the food of choice. Not only does it contain the right proportions of protein, fat and
carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, but it is also very convenient - no cooking is
required. On the other hand you may require commercial preparations of baby food, as
advised by the breeder. Remember to give the right supplements of Calcium and
Vitamins if you are not giving dry food.
When you being a new puppy home, most often it will not already be housebroken. As with
children, the only thing you need to house break your puppy is patience, and a lot of it.
As soon as the puppy has been fed, he should be taken out - puppies often relieve
themselves right after they eat, and so taking them our right after eating reinforces the
idea that they should only relieve themselves outside.
An alternative method you might want to try is placing old sheets of newspaper on the
floor. Understand though, that this method takes plenty of time and patience, so don't
give up. Every time the puppy relieves itself in the house, cover the mess with newspaper,
and allow the puppy to investigate
it (for investigate it they will, if there is even an iota of puppy-ish-ness in them).
Also, leave newspaper lying on the floor so that once the puppy recognizes the smell, it
will use only the newspaper. To help it get the idea, place the puppy on the newspaper
after it has eaten (and remember the magic word - patience, because puppies like to run
about after they eat).
Children and puppies should always be supervized. Never leave them alone with each other.
Children can be unknowingly cruel to dogs (pulling whiskers, tail, etc.) and puppies can
unwittingly retaliate by biting, which you certainly don't want.
Whatever behaviour you eventually want from your puppy, you must enforce from the start.
If you dont want the grown up dog to be allowed in the bedroom, or sit on your living room
couches, don't let them do so as puppies. On thier first few nights in your house, puppies
will be upset, and miss their littermates etc. Make sure they have a nice warm and safe
place to sleep in. If you want, you can sleep near that area for the first night. If you
don't want them to beg from the dining room table - don't feed them
while you eat at the table.
Above all, care for your puppy's health. Contact a local vet, and by all means, establish
a good relationship. Your dog does not need to be ill to see the vet. The vet should see
the dog while he is in good health, so he has something to compare the not well dog
against, when you bring him in at
other times. Make sure you are up to date on the puppy's shots. They can be expensive, but
then, you decided to pay for them the day you decided to get the puppy. And as any dog
lover will tell you - puppies are worth every penny you sepnd on them, and then some more.
Click here for Immunisation Schedule
Click here to
download an E-book on Puppy care and training from: www.chazhound.com