After finding the best dog breed (or breed mix) for you comes the difficult task of choosing a puppy. If you are buying from a good responsible breeder, the breeder should help you through this process, and make sure you and your new puppy are a good match. If you are forexample adobting a puppy from a shelter the situation is a bit different. It might be that the puppy did not have the best possible beginning to life with comfort from its mother and with enough socialication. In this case especially, it is important to choose a puppy with a good and curious temperament.
A healthy puppy is of healthy size and weight. There are always different sized puppies in a litter. A healthy puppy is not overweight and also not much smaller than others or physically much weaker than other puppies. A heatlhy puppy has a wet and cold nose and clear eyes (with no liquids running from them). Healthy puppy moves naturally without noticable aches. With some breeds and dog types a loud puppy is often a healthy one, so don’t confuse a bit of whining and baby barks for pain or band temperament.
Good temperament and nature
A breeder together with the mother dog of the puppies play a very important role in the first weeks of the puppy’s life. Mother dog guides the puppies into right behaviour, sets limits, and gives comfort and food (milk). The human caretaker or breeder has another role to play in this; they need to make sure the puppies are well socialized to humans, touching, different smells and surfaces, places and animals. The more things and situations the puppies get used to at an early age, the easier it will be with them later.
A puppy with a good temperament is:
not too bossy
not too weak (for example, will not be left without food)
Not aggressive (and does not growl at humans)
is not scared – this is very important as scare often turns into aggression later on!
Choosing the perfect puppy for you
Keep your personal preferences in mind when choosing a puppy! For example, don’t choose the loudest of the litter if you live in an appartment or don’t choose the liveliest one if you are not one for long walks and activities. If you on the other hand want to do a lot with the puppy and want to train the puppy and do exmple dog sports, you will want a puppy that has high energy levels and learns fast.