Your phone is up for renewal, you look through the various providers for the style you like, the tariff that suits, one you can afford, bolt on packages, how many minutes do you get, text bundles, the length of the contract. It’s a huge decision; after all you will own this life organising, internet providing, camera and communication for the next 18 months, you wouldn’t want to get it wrong.
Buying a puppy? The cheapest deal in the style you like, if it looks healthy then it must be, not a big thing you will only have this in your life for the next ten plus years.
Let us start over again
Buying a dog should be huge deal. Talked over with the family and thought through with great care. What will happen when you go to work? Now I own a dog walking business but having an 8 week old puppy visited a couple times of a day, 5 days of the week is not enough. Can you be there for the majority of the time until the puppy is at least 5 months of old.
Do you really have the time?
Toilet training alone requires a puppy to be taken outside 20 times a day (sometimes more) after all its about creating good habits. It doesn’t matter if the sun is splitting the sky or the rain is raging down at an angle at 2 am, the puppy has to pee, and unless you want the toilet training process to take a lifetime undoing bad habits then that is what it is.
Then there’s the actual training. You would want to get the best education possible for your children, so they learn things and get social skills. The same goes for a puppy. A good early education is invaluable! I am a dog trainer but I still take my puppies to class, it makes sense! My friends a teacher for primary school, perfectly capable of educating her own kids but her kids to school.
A simple thing like learning good dog social skills to the surrounding world can be time consuming for those essential first few months.
Health checks, no that doesn’t mean is puppy wormed and has been seen by a vet once before it turns 8 weeks old, this means has the parents had the relevant health checks for their breed? has the grandparents had these checks? Is there documented evidence of these checks? I would also take it a stage further and call a vet and ask for the most common issues that he or she sees in the breed you have chosen and then go back to the breeder and ask if these problems are evident in their line, reluctant to answer or cannot answer then go somewhere else.
Pre purchase care. Where have these puppies been reared? Is it outside in a kennel? Sounds like a plan but you are bringing this puppy into a house with all the sights and sounds that goes with the home. Vacuum cleaners, toasters, televisions, microwaves, radio, furniture, and general family noise.
Ideally a puppy should be raised in a home, exposed to all these sounds during the early period so that they are second nature, nothing to be freaked over.
In this first home they should be meeting children, men & women. Getting used to being handled, going on short car journeys, listening to loud sounds (Sound proof puppy training app is a great resource to do this). Basically everyday life should be getting introduced.
If this isn’t happening, again walk away.
And if you can’t see where the puppies are, breeder (or dog dealer as I call them) wants to meet in the local Argos car park because they happen to be in your area that day then YES walk away.
After purchase, is your breeder able and willing to help? What if something goes wrong? Are they able to take the pup or dog back? I may get stick for saying this but here is our key to reducing rescue numbers. Good breeders will already be doing this so this is not aimed at you.
A LOT of breeders however whether they be casual hobby breeders or simply what is referred to as back yard breeders are not doing this, why? Because they can’t, that’s the simple answer. My retort to that is if you can’t take back a dog do not breed, it’s irresponsible and tarnishing good breeders name. You don’t breed because your dog is “nice”, or you could do with the money, or you want your children to experience it, or you want to keep a puppy, or any of the other one thousand reasons that are given. You breed because you know what you are doing and genuinely care about a good sturdy, well looked after, and healthy dog population. No other reason. But if you are good then you need not worry as 99.99% your puppies won’t come back (unless due to extreme circumstances).
Financially, can you afford it? That’s not just the initial cost. You need insurance, food, vet care, vaccinations annually, collars, leads, sundries, toys, kennel costs, dog walkers. Trust me if you think kids are expensive hit the toy aisle in any pet store and you will be in shock.
So if you are indeed thinking of upgrading your family and adding a dog, please put a lot of thought into it.
Think about the health, well being and future of this beautiful animal that will enhance your life and give you much more than the latest iPhone.