Adopting a dog into your family is a very important decision, and also involves a fairly large amount of responsibility. Often times, many people choose to adopt dogs that are still puppies, since they wish to raise a dog entirely in their own home. Making the choice of which puppy to adopt can be extremely difficult, especially since all puppies are naturally adorable! However, there are a few important tips that you can follow which will greatly help you in choosing the puppy that is right for you.
A good tactic to use when choosing a puppy is to first check their eyes. Ask the breeder if you can pick up the puppy, and then cradle the puppy in your arms (so that you can clearly see their eyes). A healthy puppy will appear alert, attentive and have a clear gaze. If a puppy’s eyes appear to be cloudy, this could potentially signify a genetic condition involving the eyes, or an eye infection. Also note any discharge from your puppy’s eyes, as this could also be a sign of a medical condition.
A healthy puppy should have an abundance of energy, except when napping. Watch your puppy during playtime, noticing their general behavior. A puppy should not be constantly lethargic, or sitting out when other puppies are playing. However, it is generally not advised to choose a puppy that is hyperactive, as this can create behavioral problems later on.
When choosing a puppy, it’s important to be honest about how much time you have for the initial training of your puppy. Some breeders will begin a training program for their puppies before they are adopted, and may even potty train their puppies. This can be a very valuable aspect if you don’t have the time to potty train your puppy immediately after adoption.
Another important thing to keep in mind when choosing your puppy is temperament. Puppies that immediately run up to you and look for attention are likely to be very excitable when they mature into adult dogs. A puppy that is interested in you, but does not immediately come to investigate is likely to be a fairly low-maintenance dog emotionally, but may not be able to bond with you as much as some other puppies. These temperament statistics are not always correct, as each puppy is different. If in doubt, use your best judgment when choosing a puppy. Try to imagine their temperament characteristics on an adult dog before deciding to adopt them.
Even in the same litter, it is possible that some puppies will differ greatly in size. This is usually indicative of how big they will be as adult dogs, so try to keep this in mind. If you choose the ‘runt’ of the litter, you may end up with an adult dog that is slightly smaller than other dogs of the same breed. If you choose the largest puppy, you may eventually have a grown-up dog that is much larger than you had first expected. Use common sense, and you should be able to choose the right puppy to bring into your home.