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- Research/gain knowledge of your choice of breed. Every breed has different characteristics and traits, try not to choose a dog on looks alone, their character and traits may not be suitable for your particular lifestyle. Some dogs demand and require constant attention, lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Others are more laid back.
- Age to take home – Puppies are normally ready to leave their mothers somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks of age. It is vital that pups are not separated from their mothers and litter-mates too early as they learn vital skills from them. A puppy that is separated early may have problems later in life.
- Get to see the puppy’s mother and if possible the father, you can gage the temperament and physical attributes to that of the puppy’s.
- What you can expect from your puppy, whining, howling, barking.
A whining, howling or barking puppy causes distress to everyone. Just as in the case of a human baby the puppy will only make these noises for a reason. Your job is to find out exactly what is causing the problem:
hungry, thirsty, frightened, sick, wants his/her toy, too hot/cold, needs to relieve itself, soiled its crate or bed.
A puppy can whine, howl or bark just to get its own way. If you have ensured you have met all the puppy’s needs then do not submit to this form of unacceptable behaviour.
- Avoid puppy farms; the puppies from these farms generally have major problems throughout their lives. These are mainly caused through poor breeding, bad sanitation, cheap food etc., and the puppies are generally taken from their mother and siblings far too early causing socialisation problems with people and other dogs.
- Prepare your home and garden; make sure your garden is safe and secure. Purchase a collar, lead, bowls, and identification tags (with name, address and telephone), bed, toys, treats, grooming equipment and food – a good breeder will supply you with some food and give you a feeding chart.
There are many hazards in the home and garden:
Wires (chewing)- electrical cords,
Plants (poisonous) – poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander, English Ivy and many more
Chemicals – household products, engine lubricants, antifreeze, etc.
Food – chocolate, grapes & raisins, avocado, onions, macadamia nuts, cooked chicken bones.