Welcome to Lesson 12

Choosing Your Dog – The final piece of the puzzle!

Now we get to the exciting part where you actually think about choosing your dog or puppy!  Remember some breeders might have their own adult dogs for rehoming (ex-breeding or ex-show dogs), and might also have rescued dogs, as well as puppies.

If you’ve done all your homework right, you’ll be confident that you’ve chosen the right breed or characteristics your ideal dog should have, and the right place to get it from. You’ve:

  • assessed if you’re ready for a dog
  • done your budgeting to work out what you can afford
  • checked out your lifestyle properly
  • worked out what suits you and got a short list
  • found yourself some good breeders and decided which breeder has what you want,
  • or decided which rescue centre to go to
  • if you have an allergy – done some allergy testing, and
  • here you are, ready to choose your dog!

But it can go right or wrong just at this point, so here are some quick tips to make things go more smoothly:

  1. Have decided whether you need a puppy or an adult. It’s important that everyone is agreed on this.
  2. Do some basic readiness – this means being prepared with bowls, basket, food, collar and lead and poo bags as a minimum for when you get your dog home.
  3. Check the whole litter – If you’re going for a puppy, check whether the whole litter looks nice, friendly and healthy.  A litter that shies away from you and/or barks is not a good sign.
  4. Check over the puppies one by one – looking for signs of any ill health or problem areas.  Puppies should be happy, plump and glossy. Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder or rescue centre questions if you’re unhappy with anything you see, hear or feel
  5. Or if you are adopting an adult – check the dog over carefully for any signs of ill-health.  Introduce it to your whole family and see how it reacts. Take it for a short walk. See what it does around people, other dogs, cars and other animals (if possible).
  6. Be open to the breeder or rehomer’s advice on which puppy or dog will suit you best and why.  They’ve probably been at this far longer than you have.
  7. Take your time! Don’t be rushed or pressured.  Ask lots of questions about whether this dog or puppy will work for you. If you are unsure, do not take the dog.  Do not part with any money until you are completely sure.
  8. Ensure you can return it – make sure that the breeder or rescue centre guarantees to accept the dog back if it doesn’t work for you.

On that last point, PLEASE do commit to giving the dog a fair chance.  Dogs need time to settle in with you, and you with them!  Remember what I said about training?  Sending a dog or puppy back after 24 hours because it had an accident on the carpet will guarantee you never get another dog from that person or organisation again. They will also warn everyone else they know about you and most probably post you up on Facebook as a bad owner. Work with the breeder or rescue organisation (and a dog trainer) first and give things time before you give up.

If you’re looking at adopting a low allergy adult dog, ideally choose specialist breed rescues rather than all-breed centres for the reasons already explained.

What you want to come away with is a reasonably well-adjusted healthy puppy or adult and that means attention to detail.  It also means taking your time, and not being rushed into making a decision.

Do not be pressured.  If you feel you are being pressured for a quick decision, politely decline.  If you’re hassled for money or a deposit, walk away. Choosing the right dog can go wrong at the very end as well as the beginning.

I’ve fitted a ton more about this in my forthcoming book and you can find out more about this at the end of the course.

Lesson 12 coursework

Do some basic readiness for choosing your dog. Decide your plan of action!

Bev x


P.S. Before you go….you can wait until tomorrow for final thoughts, or click here to skip straight over



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