Choosing a Puppy

Category Adopting
If you make the decision to adopt a puppy, you are about start a fun adventure. There is a lot to keep in mind when choosing a new puppy. This is a page about choosing a puppy.


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I have read so many times on here where people can't understand why their 3, 4, 5, or even 6 month old puppy isn't totally house trained yet. Do some research. Would you be surprised to find your 12-24 month old child still needs diapers? No, you wouldn't. If you'll do some research you'll find that a puppy is not totally trained either until it's around 2 years old. It takes a lot of time, patience, persistence, and, most importantly, understanding on your part.

People need to do a lot of research into the breed they want before they get one. Not all breeds are right for all people. Some breeds are definitely not right except for a specific type of person. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, to name a few, are all wonderful dogs. But they need a specific type of person to be able to handle them successfully. A lot of small dogs are the same way. Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, most terriers for that matter, and other breeds need the right type of person.


So do a lot of research before buying a puppy. Are you willing to put at least 2 years into housebreaking and other training? And to continue the training throughout their lives?

Don't buy a dog because he's a cute puppy. "Cute puppyhood" only lasts a few months. And don't buy him because he looks like a good watch dog or because someone else has one and he looks like a good dog. Each person is different and so is each dog.

Research the different breeds a lot before deciding which one would be good for you and your family. Research online, but also talk to respectable breeders, too, and not just breeders who are in the business to make money. If a breeder will sell you a puppy without learning about you and your family as people, then they aren't the ones to ask. A good breeder cares about who gets their dogs and will ask a lot of questions before allowing you to buy one. Those are the ones to talk to when researching.


Once you've done all this, and had a good talk with yourself about the type of person you are, then you'll be able to make an informed decision on the type of dog that is best for you and your family. There are plenty of breeds (and mixes) out there, so there is one for everybody. Once you've decided and have gotten one, please realize that the training (housebreaking and obedience) doesn't happen overnight. Training must be kept up throughout his life. You will have a friend for life, and there is no better relationship than that between a person and his pet.

By Cricket from NC

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March 14, 2006

For those of you who just acquired a puppy or are planning to get one soon, please be sure to research the breed that you are interested in. You may not realize it, but not every breed is suitable for every person, family and lifestyle. Say you fell in love with a beautiful red Viszla puppy, but you live in an apartment downtown and work ten to fifteen hours a day.


Consider that this breed of dog needs a great deal of exercise and it would be detrimental to the dog to keep it locked in your apartment all day only to be walked for a potty break once in the late evening. Unless you can walk this dog for at least 45 minutes in the morning, come home at lunch and walk it again, then in the evening go for a run for an hour, perhaps this dog isn't for you. You might consider getting an aquarium and fill it with exotic fish.

Consider the needs of the breed and your lifestyle. Consider the breed if you have small children or elderly parents that live with you or if you are elderly. Some breeds are natural pullers such as Siberian Huskies and Malamutes. These dogs can pull a child or elderly person right to the ground and possibly drag them down the pavement. These dogs are very strong and were bred to pull sleds. They do make great companions, but remember, the pulling instinct is very strong and extra attention must be paid to this.

The two most important and vital issues that I cannot mention enough are: training and exercise. The number one reason for death in dogs is bad behavior. Dogs that don't get the obedience training they desperately need wind up with behavioral problems and the owner gets frustrated with the dog and the dog ends up in a shelter or rescue and invariably, put to death.

Dogs behave like dogs, not like humans. Jumping, barking, digging, and chewing are natural activities in dogs. When humans don't know how to train the dog "not" to do these things, the dog loses its home. Also, dogs need exercise and some breeds need lots of it. A tired dog is a happy dog and more likely to learn. If you don't have the time or patience to train and exercise a dog, please consider getting a different type of animal such as a cat. Remember, training is a lifelong process for a dog. They don't just learn it in seven weeks and that's it. They must be reminded constantly for your sanity and the life of the dog.

By Sandra from Orlando, FL

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November 27, 2012

If someone gives you a puppy, check him out first. Generally puppies are healthy, but recently a puppy was given to my grandson. It was a cute pup, but not very active and slept all through the first night.

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November 16, 2004

We discovered that the cost of a puppy at our pound is $35. It is more expensive at the SPCA ($85), but includes the cost of neutering or spaying. I was shown a way to quickly discover if the pup has been abused.

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Do your homework!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 16, 2008

I don't have a puppy yet. I can have a 1 week old Labrador puppy.



By (Guest Post)
December 16, 20080 found this helpful

If the puppy is an orphan, then you need to know you will be taking on an enormously serious commitment. Without a doubt there will be a great deal of care & time involved. If the puppy is NOT an orphan then it needs to stay with the mother until it's around 6-8 weeks old. Years ago my husband & I took in a 4 week old puppy & I spent the bulk of my days & nights tending it.

Caring for a puppy only a week or so old entails keeping the pup at the proper temp. around the clock along with keeping it hydrated & fed purely by your hand. You'll need to do around 6 feedings a day with an eye dropper or special puppy bottle, spaced out evenly through the day. NO skipping a feeding because you have something better to do or you're tired. This is a little life that is totally dependent on you to survive & that isn't a responsibility to take lightly. Then you will need to wean the pup at around 6 weeks & start it on soft foods & finally puppy food in a dish. It's up to you to make sure when it's time for weaning that the pup can properly chew & digest it's food plus lap water to stay hydrated. Raising a young pup can be done but just wanted you to understand the seriousness of the commitment. Good luck!

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By Tammie (Guest Post)
December 16, 20080 found this helpful

I cared for a puppy that the mom had pushed out of the litter. I created a sling from a towel, kind of like a hammock with ends that tied around my neck and waist. I "wore" the pup this way day and night to keep it warm enough with my body heat. I fed it with an eye dropper and formula that you get at a pet store. The puppy has to be fed like a new born baby. Every two-three hours in the day and at least twice nightly. Remember also, they do need to be put down once in a while to learn to crawl around and walk.

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By doglvr (Guest Post)
December 18, 20080 found this helpful

Puppies need to be at least 8-9 weeks old before taken from the mother. Please don't take it before then.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
December 18, 20080 found this helpful

A 1 week old puppy should still be with its mama. If mama can't/won't care for it a grown up should do it. A puppy should be with its mama until it is at least 8 weeks old.

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December 18, 20080 found this helpful

One weeeek? I am screaming! It belongs with its mother if at all possible! You probably know that it is too young to come home, so there must be some problem forcing it away from its mom. Be thinking how you will get some help with this big job, keeping this one alive. God bless you.

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By Dink (Guest Post)
December 24, 20080 found this helpful

Feeding and keeping warm are only part of caring for a puppy this young, you'll also have to help he/she eliminate several times a day. The mom will spend most of her time while the puppies are nursing licking on them and cleaning them. You'll have to replace this action with a warm washcloth with each feeding. You'll also need to clean the puppy from head to toe (including the eye and mouth area) with a CLEAN washcloth. This a tremendous amount of work, totally do'able if the need be, but not recommended if the mom is around and willing to care for her young.

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