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The Puppy Handbook/ The Ideal Puppy
How to choose & educate the right puppy for you

  Choosing a puppy

Raising a puppy is fun and can be one of life's most rewarding experiences. Time and care taken during the first year to educate and mould your puppy into an ideal adult will be well rewarded.

This book will give you the tips and instructions that are often sadly lacking when a puppy is acquired. The information given is based on tried and tested techniques and uses positive methods throughout, rather than punishment, to ensure your puppy grows up to be friendly rather than fearful.

Before beginning the education of a young puppy, a careful choice of the raw material is essential. Choosing a puppy with the right genetic make-up is not difficult but it will help to avoid disappointment as your puppy grows into an adult. Not only will it make the job of raising your puppy easier but it will also increase the likelihood that you end up with a dog that is right for you and your family.

Carefully selecting not only the breed but also the strain or line from which your puppy comes will help to ensure success.

Breed characteristics

Throughout this book, there are references to the breeds of dog that are the most popular. The characteristics of dogs of these breeds are explored and some indication is given as to which breeds would be right for different types of owner.

However, this is only meant to be a guide and is based on my experience of the overall characteristics of the different breeds and the people who usually own them successfully. There will always be exceptions to every rule and this is particularly true for anything related to animals.

BELOW: It is easy to fall in love with a puppy so think carefully about which breed of dog would suit you BEFORE you begin to visit breeders.


Mongrels & crossbreeds

When considering which puppy to choose, it is important not to forget the mongrel (usually the first cross from two pure-bred dogs). These dogs have an intrinsic value of their own with characteristics too numerous to mention here.

Their individuality makes each of them unique and they are renowned for having a more healthy constitution than pedigree dogs due to a lack of inherited problems, which are displayed by many pure-bred dogs, coming from a smaller gene pool.

ABOVE: A dog is for life, not just
for the present so always take
time over choosing your puppy.


Temperament & lifestyle

When attempting to choose the right type of dog for you, you should consider the temperament of the people in your family and also the kind of lifestyle you will want your dog to lead.

Firstly, finding a dog that will be just right for you will depend on your own personality type and that of other family members. Are you very gentle with animals or the sort of person who will take a 'no-nonsense' approach?

Do you always give in to demands or do you like to get you r own way? Matching your character to that of your dog can save a lot of problems later. Are you fun-loving or quite sedate? Do you want a very close bond with your dog or would you prefer to be more independent? Are you loud & boisterous, or quiet and gentle?

LEFT: Are you quite energetic or a couch-potato? Matching your own exercise requirement to that of an adult dog is an essential task before choosing a puppy.

RIGHT: Are you fun-loving or are you quite sedate? Springer Spaniels usually fit in well with happy, fun-loving families.

Thinking about your own personality will help you to choose a puppy that will grow into an adult that suits you. Throughout this book, examples are given of successful owner/puppy combinations. To get further information on breed characteristics, look in breed books or ask people who already own a dog of the breed of your choice.

In addition to considering what type of puppy personality you need, you should also consider your dog's likely lifestyle as an adult. Are you, for example, a sociable family which needs a dog that will be good with visitors, or do you live in an area where you prefer your dog to be suspicious of strangers?

Do you like to go on long, energetic walks or runs, or are you one of a family of couch-potatoes? Will your dog be taken everywhere with you, or is it likely to be left at home for long periods?

Taking your own temperament and lifestyle into account when choosing the type of puppy you require will make it much more likely that you will end up with an adult dog that you will enjoy and that will be right for you.

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