Learning how to choose a puppy is the easy part.Taking care of a puppy is not! Puppies need to be taught everything from scratch, so for some great free puppy training ideas and loads about new puppy care read on.

Ok so you have your heart set on a puppy, well I can’t blame you. There is something so heart achingly sweet about a new born puppy that makes even the hardest of hearts melt.

A great tip to help you find the right puppy for you is to start looking at puppies several weeks before you are ready to take one home. It is very easy to turn up at a dog rescue centre or certified breeder and be overwhelmed by the first little hint of lip quivering cuteness that clutches your heart strings, and it is unlikely that the first puppy you see will be the most suitable for you.

The first question really then is how to find a dog? Classified advertisements, word of mouth, the local dog pound or puppy/dog adoption shelters, pet shops and breeders are all avenues that you will probably be aware of.

How To Choose A Puppy

First things first, make sure you are happy with the breeder /seller if you are buying a pure bred puppy and make sure you read our guidelines on how to find a reputable breeder.

It is always a good start to make sure your prospective new little family member is healthy and has been properly socialized to fit right in with you at home. Some clues to look for are:

You may want to think twice about choosing any obvious litter runt, though your heart strings may be seriously twanged at the sight of its pathetic helplessness, a sickly puppy may turn into a sickly adult and you might be storing up heartbreak for the future, not to mention expensive vet bills.

When it comes to your puppy’s personality, it can be a great way of helping you choose, as the one that comes charging out of the pack to you is likely to be dominant and may require an experienced owner to get the best out of them, likewise that quiet withdrawn pup at the back may just be tired, but they may also have a naturally timid or nervous disposition. Either way, these two personality types have the potential to make subsequent socialisation and training more of a challenge.

A simple test to gauge personality is to watch the puppies at play, if a pup is interested in you, see if they’ll come up onto your lap for a little cuddle, try picking the little fella up and cradling them in your arms belly side up (this is a submission gesture) so a struggling puppy may indicate dominance, try tickling their tummy,if puppy is still happy and wants more then.... Congratulations! you may just have met your new little furry pal.

.......Ok you’ve chosen a puppy, now what?

Firstly, whatever you do remember your new puppy is going to be overwhelmed, stressed and frightened, they’ve only been alive for 8-10 weeks. If they are a rescue then their early memories of coming to the puppy rescue centre may be traumatic, they have only ever known their mom and siblings and being here in a strange place with strange smells and strange people can be very distressing.

Put your self in their paws, how would you feel?

Your first nights are likely to be memorable to say the least, puppy is likely to howl and bark and will have irregular toiletry needs. Be comforting and caring, never shout at them or show impatience as this will only compound all ready high stress levels making things worse. Your first priority is to create a bond of trust and love between your puppy and their new family; this is something that will develop over time and comes with with patience and positive reinforcement.



Where you get your puppy and who you get your puppy from are possibly the most important decisions you will make. There are many unscrupulous breeders or sellers who will think nothing of breeding with sick or unsuitable animals, in order to sell their puppies on for a profit with no thought or care for the animals well being.

The financial and emotional costs to you, your family and your sick dog as a result of such unsavoury morals is something you want to avoid at all costs. If you are buying a puppy you should take the time to research and find a dog breeder that is responsible for the type of breed you are looking for.

.......Ok you’ve chosen  a puppy, now what?

When every moment is a picture postcard; with their teeny little perfectly formed paws, and soft dewy little trusting eyes, you just want to cuddle them till they fall asleep in your arms gently snoring. Ahhhh.

The other side of new  puppy care is not quite so scrumptious. Be prepared as taking care of a puppy is seriously hard work, puppies require the greatest amount of attention especially in the first 6 months.

They are little furry blank canvasses, puppies really need to be taught just about everything: Everything that is except of course pooping weeing and chewing. These skills come naturally to them and they love to surprise you with the inventive new places with which leave their little offerings.

To understand how much work a puppy involves, have a look at our puppy training guide.

You should have already thought long and hard about your lifestyle and how any particular dog or breed fits into that. If you haven’t yet, then be sure to check out our in depth section showing you how to choose the right dog as it will give you loads of important tips on what you need to consider.

Raising a puppy is labour intensive, do you have a full time job or very young children? Now is the time to consider whether adopting an adult dog may be more sensible.

Assuming you have done your research and thought about your own personal circumstances, you should have a fair idea when choosing a puppy what sort of breed you think best suits your lifestyle, If you are still undecided then  why not have a look at the broader dog types to give you a greater understanding of the various canine categories and how they differ in terms of temperament and activity levels.

………Still Want To  A Puppy?

Ok, because you are a sensible and responsible person you will need to prepare for the big day as much as possible, think like you were preparing for the imminent arrival of a baby.

Check the availability of local training classes your Vet will be a good starting point.


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