Smart ways on how to buy a puppy!

Before you buy a puppy you are advised to carefully go through the following three steps:-

(i) Go to a reputable, specialist breeder.

Contact your regional and the national breed clubs, to get the names and addresses of reputable breeders in your area. They may even be able to tell you where puppies are available.

(ii) Buy only from BVA/KC or ECVO certified stock.

When you locate a breeder with puppies of the sex and colour you require, you should ensure that both parents of the puppies have been examined under the appropriate schemes for hip and eye diseases. They should both have a low hip score and a clear eye certificate dated within the last 12 months. (The breed average hip score, when the left and right hip scores are added together, is a total of 16, ideally each parent should have a score that is not substantially above this figure. The lower the score the better, zero indicating a perfect joint with no abnormalities).

If the above information is satisfactory and the selling price is acceptable to you, arrange to see the puppies, asking to see the mother and other related adults. This will give you an insight as to the overall type, temperament and quality of the family line. Check also that the litter has been reared in good condition and that the puppies are happy, healthy and outgoing.

(iii) Caring for your Puppy

Before you take your puppy home, ask the breeder for a diet sheet, so that you can get the correct food in advance of your puppy’s arrival at home.   Check what, if any, vaccinations it has had and when it was wormed. This information should then be talked through with your own vet so that a programme of treatment can be planned. Plan the area in which the puppy will sleep and get suitable bedding. A warm, quiet corner is best, where the odd ‘accident’ will not be a problem and where there are no electrical wires or other chewable things within the puppy’s reach. An indoor puppy kennel could be a very good investment.

The best policy with a young puppy is to remember plenty of good food, plenty of sleep, friendly play and cuddle sessions and very little stressful exercise. Until your puppy is one year old, its bone structure and joints are not properly formed and consequently, any exercise at an early age is going to cause stress on the joints. It is therefore best to let the puppy only play in the garden at first; you can get it used to a collar and lead there as well. Take it for occasional visits to a local shopping area (by car), in order that it can see what the world is like, but do not walk around for more than a few minutes. At 6 months of age, you can begin to take it for short walks on a lead and gradually build up the controlled walking. When your puppy is one year old it can, and should, have regular free running exercise (in a safe park or field, etc.).

Keep in touch with the breeder, telling him/her of the puppy’s progress and discuss any problems. Have the required vaccinations done regularly. Teach the young dog good manners and acceptable social behavior. You then should have a loving companion, which will give you and your family pleasure for many years.

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