How to: Find a Puppy; Find A Dog; Choose a Dog
Where do you start? Have you and your family never owned a dog, but you have decided that you would love to have one? Or your children are pestering you for a dog and they absolutely adore a particular breed, but you are not sure if it is the right one for you? Or you think want to get a dog but aren’t sure about going through the ‘whole puppy thing’? Don’t worry, I can help you!
I have had dogs virtually my whole life. I grew up with dogs and as soon as I stopped working full time I took on a dog. So it’s hard for me to imagine a life without dogs. Let’s start with the pros and cons of owning a dog:
Positives to Dog Ownership
- Unconditional love
- Someone to make you laugh
- A reason to get up
- An excuse to exercise
- Meeting lots of lovely, like-minded friends
- Enjoying the countryside/nature
- Unconditional love (so important it’s worth mentioning twice)
Negatives to Dog Ownership
- Barking (just how many hours can a dog bark for?)
- Hair (one in every mouthful)
- Mud (on every surface)
- Wee & poo (plenty for you to tread in)
- Sick (don’t know why you’d worry about the hair!)
- Costs (all your money, one way or another)
- Damage (skirting boards are tasty!)
Right, so don’t get a dog if you like your house clean and tidy. Or if you are a bit precious about your possessions. Or if you have ‘better’ things to spend your money on. But did I mention the unconditional love? Or the laughter? Some people might think that the ‘worry of when they are ill’ is a negative, along with ‘sadness when they die’. Hey, those are also positive things. They show you care. That your dog matters and is part of your life. They are life-enriching experiences.
What are the steps to getting a dog?
I have talked about some of these in detail on my Puppy Buying Checklist. Other issues are covered elsewhere on this site. But in summary:
- Can you fit a dog into your life?
- What kind of dog would suit this lifestyle?
- What type of dog do you like?
- Do you want an older dog or a puppy?
- Do you want a pedigree or a crossbreed?
- Do you want to buy from a breeder or a rescue?
- How do you find a good breeder?
- Which puppy should you have from the litter?
- What should you do to prepare for your puppy?
- What do you need to do once your puppy has arrived?
How can I help?
It’s all a bit of a minefield, so having someone on board to provide advice and support can save you a lot of heartache and money! Of course, you might think that Google can provide all the answers. The Kennel Club have plenty of resources, providing information on many aspects of finding and owning a dog. But quite simply, I can help you with ALL the above steps.
Nothing beats talking to an actual person. Someone who will ask you questions and challenge your thinking. Please CONTACT ME.
Case Study 1: I really want a dog but my child is scared of them?
Initially, I thought an older dog, such as a retired greyhound might suit them. I visited the family and took my Pets As Therapy dog with me. I realised almost immediately that the reason the child was scared was because the father was pretty terrified of dogs. I discovered he had been bitten by a stray dog AND a rabid dog. He was doing well to manage himself, but the children had picked up on his unease (and dislike of) dogs. I recommended that they did not get a dog, unless dad’s fear could be transformed. He thought he would be able to cope, but seeing him with my dog, I knew he would really struggle.
Case Study 2: I want a rescue female collie to replace one I have just lost
I have suggested that if you have a male collie already, another male might be a better fit. Two males will usually get along really well. This has enabled her to widen her search. I have recommended some reputable rescue centres to her and been able to match her up with someone looking to re-home a lovely dog.
Case Study 3: I want a collie puppy because they are intelligent and I have a 5 year-old son with special needs, and an 8 year-old
I have recommended that she consider a more placid, robust breed, such as a Labrador. Collies can be highly strung and are usually demanding, so might just add to the workload!
As you can see from the summaries given here, it’s not about me trying to home my puppies. I am providing advice based on my life’s experience of being around dogs.
Why not get in touch and see how I can help you find the right dog for you? I will send you a form, to get you thinking about your circumstances and the kind of dog that might work for you. I am happy to talk to you over the phone or by email. I can come and see you (20 mile radius from my house) or you can come to me. I charge a one-off consultation fee of £100. This could save you thousands of pounds and a great deal of heartache. Please get in touch now!