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How to Pick your Puppy and Avoid Puppy Farms

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Shopping for a puppy is a fun and super exciting experience for the whole family! I mean, you are out looking for a new member of your household. As much as it should be purely about finding the puppy that matches your family's needs the most, you need to also make sure you are buying from a responsible breeder.

So in this article, I'm going to talk to you about some top tips for picking the best puppy for your family. And also what to look out for to make sure you make your purchase from a reputable breeder and not from a puppy farm.

First off: What is a puppy farm?

'Puppy Farms' are places that churn out large numbers of pups without regard for the welfare of the mother or the puppies themselves. The main goal of a puppy farm is profit. The comfort and standard of life for the dogs themselves are undermined in order to keep profits high.

Sadly things that happen on puppy farms include: breeding the mother too often, not giving her a chance to recover from one litter before having another, taking the pups off the mom too early and having unclean conditions. The goal of profit means that the conditions for the dogs truly suffer as described in this blog post.

What to look out for

Now that you are aware that not every breeder is using humane conditions, it is important to make sure that you support reputable breeders who put the welfare of the animals first. The key things to look out for include the advertising, location and condition of the pups.

Here are some signs to help you identify a puppy farm:

  • Multiple ads from the same seller

  • Generic wording on the ad and lack of detail

  • They want to meet somewhere rather than having you come to them

  • The mom is nowhere to be seen

  • You can hear a lot of barking or whining from other rooms

  • The photo from the ad does not match the pups

  • The pups look unclean or unhealthy

Any reputable breeder will have the mom with the pups and encourage you to meet her. It's always important to meet the mom. The condition of the pups will also tell a lot about them. If they look clean and confident and healthy or if they look unkept, shy and in bad condition.

How to Pick a Puppy

Once you are happy with your chosen breeder and the good condition of the pups, next comes the fun part which is selecting a pup from the litter! With lost of puppies zooming around, it can be hard to know how to pick one. And, choosing simply based on which one is the cutest isn't the best way to ensure you are getting the best puppy to work with your family.

A few tips to help you select the puppy best suited to your needs:

  • Observe the pups for a few minutes before interacting with them. This allows you to watch their behaviour with each other - if they are dominant or being dominated by others. That will show you if the pup is dominant or submissive.

  • You can also roll the pup gently on its back, and observe if they look you in the eye or look away. A pup who continues to look you in the eye is dominant.

  • Also observe if the pups bark at you and how they interact with the other people in the room, it can highlight if they are fearful.

  • Watch the individual pups to observe how they are behaving overall. You can figure out who is shy, who is dominant, who is fearful and who is content. And ask yourself which traits you are looking for.

  • Check the pups are in good physical health with clean eyes and ears.

  • Make a sound and see that the pup turns to look in the direction of the sound. That tests hearing. You can test vision by moving an arm and serving if the pup watches the movement.

If your pup is for enjoyment only, looking for one that is content, not fearful and not dominant may be your best choice. If you are looking for a working dog, dominant traits can be a big benefit. So make sure you consider your options carefully.

Final Thoughts

Once you pick that perfect puppy for your family, there is only one last thing to do - go shopping for puppy accessories. You will need a dog collar, leash, bed, crate, bowl, food, and a few toys to start off with.

When you bring your puppy home, it is important to start out the way you mean to go on with them. If you will be leaving for work every day, make sure you leave the puppy in the first few days as well. Also, start training right away and don't allow them to do naughty things just because they are cute. As they get bigger, those behaviours will stop being cute.

Best of luck with your new furry friend! Let me know if you have any tips to add in the comments.

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