A Question About Bringing A New Puppy Home

I recently wrote an article about assessing character before bringing a new puppy home.  I’ve just had a really great question from ‘SS’ in New York State about this point.  They asked:

 How do you determine the puppy’s character if you wouldn’t get a chance to bring it home before you actually get the dog?

This is a great question because we all know that most breeders and organisations require a commitment, and a fee, before you can take a puppy home.  So I’ve tried to break the first important step down into some key points.

Here is my reply in full:

Hi and thanks for the question!

First, you will almost NEVER get the chance to bring home a puppy on trial before paying the breeder’s fee, or rescue centre donation. So you will need to start this way:

The main point I was making here is – if you are thinking of getting a pure breed of dog, do A LOT of research into how that breed came about, and what it was bred for.

Find out as much as you can about the older dog breeds that went into its make-up when the breed was created. What kind of character do they have?

Then find out as much as you can about the breed now it is established. What was it bred for? Was it originally a hunting dog? A guard dog? A companion dog? What kind of general temperament does this breed have? Is it easy to train? Does it bark a lot? Does it hate strangers? Does it usually like or dislike other dogs? Will it jump fences or dig up your garden? Does it need a lot of exercise? Will it be able to live with your kids/cats/visitors/guinea pig?

Look at every bit of information you can find and then decide what kind of character and exercise needs this dog breed will usually have. Then decide if it that overall package is going to suit you and your lifestyle.

You can do the same for cross breeds. If the rescue centre tells you it is most probably a collie and terrier mix, look up the general temperament of collies and terriers and how much exercise they need. If you can live with something that has brains, agility, stamina, loves long walks and the outdoors, could be difficult to train, and might be quite dominant and pushy, this could be the dog for you!

The main cause of ‘problem dogs’ is not the dog. It’s the fact that owners choose a dog because it looks handsome or cute without any knowledge of how that dog is likely to behave.

Trying to assess a puppy’s character on site without knowing anything about the breed or type of dog is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. You’re doing things the wrong way round. Millions of people make this mistake every year, which is why rescue centres are always overflowing.

So what you must do first of all is make absolutely sure that this dog type will suit you, before going to see any puppies. And you do that mainly by having a good look at breed profiles and asking ethical breeders questions (by e-mail and over the phone) about character. Then go and see some adult dogs. Only when you’ve satisfied yourself that you and that dog are a good match should you get near any puppies.

If you want to know how to cover those basics properly and find an ethical breeder, then claim the free guides available on this site. They will tell you more than 90% of people who choose a dog ever know.

Are You Thinking Of Bringing  A New Puppy Home?

Then it’s important that you and your puppy get the best start possible.  Want some help?  How about a Quick Start Guide, a guide to Non-Shedding Dogs and an Ethical Dog Breeder Checklist to begin with?

Claim your 3 FREE GUIDES worth $37 by just clicking here


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