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Should you buy a puppy in the first place?

Should you buy a puppy in the first place, questions to ask yourself!

Why do you want a puppy and have you found out about the good and bad sides of the breed you have in mind?

Has the decision to buy a puppy been thought out properly and discussed with all members of the family and do they know and agree to, what they are letting themselves in for? A dog is for life, not just for the period he is a cute little puppy!

Is there someone at home all day and is that person prepared to become the chief trainer for the most important first few months?

A puppy should NEVER be purchased as a present for somebody without their full knowledge and agreement throughout, including all visits to its breeder.

If you already have a pet of any description, are you sure that the two will get on both as a puppy and in later life?

Do you appreciate that the addition of a dog to your household could drastically change your lifestyle?

Where will the puppy eat, sleep and drink?

Where will it be expected to do its business, both outside and inside the house?

Can you organise yourself around the puppy's meal times, sleep times, playtimes and left alone periods?

When to expect it to do its business and how to recognise the need?

How will you prevent it from running up and down the stairs or jumping on and off the furniture?

Where will it travel in the car?

How will the rest of the family especially the children, treat the pup? Are the children old enough and mature enough to treat the pup with respect?

Do you have an agreed strategy for discouraging unwanted behavior such as the demolition of furniture, doors, carpets, plants and personal items left around which look very chewable?

What is your attitude to pups begging at the table, treats and titbits, howling when left alone, aggressive behavior or timidity?

Where you intend to exercise the pup both on and off the lead and can you afford it enough of your time?

Do you have time to arrange socialising with other people and animals, visits to the vet etc?

Do you understand that tricks played by the puppy at 9 weeks old can be very funny, but that at 9 months can be unbearable?

Have you an area in your house where the pup can call its own territory for the SHORT periods it has to be left on its own? Is it an area where it can do no damage to itself or to any of your valuables?

Too many dogs are loved as pups, then off loaded onto Rescue Societies or the RSPCA or put down simply because the new owners have not thought about their responsibilities in enough depth, or have failed to introduce enough of the right training from an early age. It is not the dogs who should be put down in these cases, but the uncaring owners!

If you can honestly say you have taken all of the above into account you may then carry on further and look for the puppy of your choice.