For all too many, the process of choosing a puppy or puppies is based purely on how cute the puppy is or how playful its personality seems at the pet store or kennel. Granted, playful and cute puppies can really tug at your heartstrings and urge you to make an impulsive and expensive decision regarding this very important addition to your family, but without proper thought and research into the type of breed you are purchasing, your family and your cute, adorable puppy could be in for a long road of pain and frustration ahead.
Purebred puppy breeds have inherent characteristics that are particular to their breed, and these characteristics usually get more pronounced with age. While different breed characteristics will be appropriate for different families, matching the wrong breed with the wrong family can have devastating consequences.
It has been estimated that the number one reason why competent pet owners relinquish ownership of their puppy or puppies to one of the many county humane services to be found all across the country is because they have become frustrated with certain characteristics of the dog. No matter whether the problem is big, such as aggression to children or other pets, or small, such as a tendency to chew everything in sight, as the puppy grows and its cuteness wears off, the frustration experienced from having a poorly matched puppy will increase. And the consequences can be heart-wrenching for both the family and the dog.
But by simply taking a little time to research the breed you are considering purchasing, you can guarantee that your new puppy will be a well-loved addition to your family unit. While I’m not saying that you should discount a breed entirely based on one troublesome characteristic, I’m saying that you should be prepared and able to deal with any problems, behavioral or health-related, that is associated with the breed.
In order to obtain accurate information when choosing the right breed of puppy for your family, stay away from sources that have an interest in selling the puppy. I learned this one the hard way. After my children and family fell in love with a puppy at a local, reputable pet store, I had many questions for the sales clerk about how easily the puppy could be housebroken. A puppy making messes all over the house is just not something that I can deal with a few times let alone for months of housebreaking.
I was assured by the clerk that the breed was very intelligent and able to be crate trained in a matter of three days. To make a long story short, $1,500 and 9 months later the puppy still requires constant supervision and cannot be a complete part of the family due to our inability to housebreak him. Research conducted after the purchase revealed that the breed was inherently stubborn and in some cases unable to be housebroken despite all attempts.
So, instead of relying on biased sources, turn to the library and people who own that particular breed of puppy or have owned one in the past. If you know someone who has relinquished a purebred puppy of the breed that you are considering for a fraction of the cost that they paid for it or for free, you need to ask them some serious and pointed questions before deciding to invest in that particular breed of puppy.
Here are the most important questions that you need answered before purchasing a puppy or puppies:
What is the temperament like?
What is the mature size and weight?
Are they good with children?
What are their indigenous health problems?
How long do they live?
How much do they shed?
How much do they eat?
How trainable are they?
Can they be easily housebroken?
Do they require a lot of grooming?
How noisy are they?
How protective are they?
Do they require any special care or management?
Are they good with other dogs and animals?
Now all you need to do is match the answers to these questions with your family’s needs. Choose wisely, and you will have chosen a best friend of a lifetime, a dog that will truly be a joy to have and a treasured member of the family.