irst and foremost, it’s a great idea to researchthe various breeds you are interested in. Thegeneral look that interests you is a good place tostart. For example, if you prefer a breed withstand up, perky ears, then you should eliminatethe floppy eared and cropped ear breeds. Thenyou must decide for what purpose are you acquir-ing a dog. Will it be a house dog when mature,laying at the foot of your bed, or on your bed, orout on the doorstep being a guardian? Will youhave the extra time if the breed requires extrarecreational playtime? Are you willing to put thetime into grooming that some dogs require, espe-cially the ones with the long hair? Once you’venarrowed the choices down, your next job is tolocate a reliable breeder. One good breederresource is to contact a few kennel clubs in yourarea. Ask them for a breeder referral list for thebreed of your choice. Contact by telephone ismore courteous and can give you a valuable andnon threatened first impression than dropping inon the person or facility unexpected. Theseshould be good, reliable breeders but don’t beafraid to ask for names of previous buyers.Remember, any good breeder will check out theirpotential puppy purchasers before releasing apup into their hands. This is a very commonpractice. Next, set up an appointment to go tosee the litter and if possible both parents. Theywill give you a general idea of what you canexpect from the puppy as an adult as far as thelooks and size go. The breeders facility shouldbe clean but keep in mind if you are going to seea litter of 10 German Shepherd puppies, you maysee an unscheduled poop spot or pee puddle.First observe the puppies while standing backfrom the whelping box or kennel area. Watch tosee which ones are pushy with their litter matesand which ones are content to observe from thecorner. Which ones roughhouse play? Whomakes the others cry by biting too hard in play?This puppy could be the tough guy or gal of thelitter...or the ALPHApuppy.This would not be agreat choice for a family with small children orfirst time puppy owners as it could want to controlthe family household and members. Ask thebreeders if they could isolate the alpha puppy soyou could observe the rest in a more fair environ-ment. Now you are at the stage of deciding:Male or Female.
Picking The Right Puppy For You
p3DarrHoussen’s DogObedience School
Once you have your puppy home, you will start todevelop its personality the way you want. If you knowwhich sex you want, ask the breeder to put the othersex away to give you time to observe all the males orall the females. Don’t pick a particular puppy justbecause it is the cutest! There are easy tests you cando yourself to help you determine the best choice foryou. Watch them to see which puppy is watching you,making direct eye contact with you. Take a couplesteps backwards away from the puppies and lookclosely at who moves with you. Next, take a few moresteps from the group and clap your hands, snap yourfingers or verbally call to encourage the puppies to fol-low.Open your arms in a wide fashion and call to the pup-pies in a higher pitched voice. Again, observe the fol-lowers. These pups would be the ones interested inhuman beings, thus making good companion dogs.Narrow your choices down to 2 or 3 from those coupleof little tests. Next, take each puppy in your hands.Balance it’s weight by supporting it under the rear andon the chest. Observe the pup’s reactions at this point.Is the pup struggling to break free, growling or showingit’s teeth. These are negative signs in inexperiencedhands and definitely need to be corrected very early inthe pup’s life. If the pup is comfortable and relaxed,maybe even licking your face or hands, then those arepositive signs and those of a more submissive puppy.Another quick test is the “rollover test” where you gen-tly roll the pup over in your arms into a cradle position.Again the pup should be calm and relaxed. If not, try asimple growl correction to test the pups submissionlevel. If it quickly freezes in a still position, that meansthe pup will probably accept human discipline easily.However, if the struggle continues, be prepared forsome headstrong behaviors in the future. After social-izing with each puppy a few minutes, place it backdown on the floor and repeat the “walk away and followme test”. Observe the pups for the quickest reaction toyour leaving them. The quickest one to follow youcould be the strongest bonding potential puppy fromyour choices. Repeat the procedures as a doublechecking system. If you’re happy with the results andthe pup is attractive to you, then that’s the one for you.