Choosing a Puppy

One of the most important decisions you will ever have to make is what breed of puppy bests suits you, your family and your lifestyle.  I have had emails and met so many people that have made a bad choice - they bought it because it was cute; in the Pet Shop and didn't want to leave it there; the other puppies were picking on it and so on ... then they find that the puppy is too active, is difficult to train, eats everything in sight and only responds to food, is aggressive, tries to 'round' the kids up, coarse hair, too big, too small, too hairy, makes me sneeze and wheeze ... !  Choosing a dog to fit into your lifestyle is essential - what suits your best friend, your neighbour, your work colleagues, makes no difference at all when the dog has to live with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Dr. Kersti Seksel, a well known vet, animal behaviourist and speaker in Australia, reports in her Puppy Socialisation and Training guide that the largest cause of death of puppies under 12 months is euthanasia due to behavioural problems.  The average age for a dog is 31/2 years way below their biological potential.  Surveys indicated that a dog was most likely to be surrendered to an animal shelter because: 1) dogs had not attended obedience training, 2) been sexually intact, 3) eliminating regularly inside and 4) not received any veterinary attention.  Another survey indicated that 25.6% of owners surrendered their dog because of behavioural problems ... these were boisterousness (10%), aggression towards people (7.7%) and aggression towards other dogs (9%).  The largest percentage being boisterousness ... every puppy is boisterous!  A puppy is a puppy for at least 2-21/2 years and a dog should live for about 10-12 years on average and that's a l-o-n-g time to put up with something that doesn't suit your lifestyle!  Please don't let yourself or your puppy become a statistic.

People buy puppies for all sorts of reasons, some of those are:

companionship for themselves or their children,

an exercise partner,





guarding, and/or


Please think very carefully BEFORE you buy someone a puppy as a present - please make sure that you are 100% sure that they want it.

Some people would like a dog and don't get one because:

they, or someone in their family have allergies,

can't afford the cost of buying a puppy, or simply because they

just don't know what sort of dog to choose.

Check out my FAQ page and see what I say about choosing a pup and some basics - or contact me, see below.

Please choose your breeder carefully.  Try to select a breeder that:

Has a clean, safe environment for the bitches and pups.

Plays with the puppies (even better if they have children that can play with the pups too).

Insists on worming the puppies (should be done every two weeks until 16 weeks of age!).

Vaccinates the puppies at 6 weeks.

Allows you to take your puppy around 8 weeks of age (in my opinion, ideal) - no earlier.

Has all papers and documentation.

You have had recommended to you by a friend, relative or work colleague.

Allows you to see both the Sire and the Dam (the parents) and pedigrees, if appropriate.

Since February 2000, when I started this site, I have written back personally to thousands of emails free of charge but I have now included (and added to) a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) Page where hopefully you can find an answer to your question and there is a lot of information that can be found around the site.  If you cannot find your answer, please include whatever you think is relevant in your email - the more you tell me, the clearer the picture I will have of your situation.  I do reply to every one but if you have not received a reply within 2 weeks, please email me again as I may not have received your email or been able to access your email address.

Please Note too that I do not receive emails that contain viruses, worms etc - my Server stops them before they get to my 'inbox' - if you receive a notice from WestNet, please email me again once your computer is virus free.  Thank you.


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