Sunday, November 26, 2006

Buying a Puppy? – Use This Puppy Checklist

So you’ve decided to buy a puppy? Dogs can bring joy, laughter, love, loyalty, protection and companionship into your life. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you choose the puppy you wish to bring into your home. Use the following checklist to ensure you purchase the puppy that’s right for you.

The Breeder

 Is the breeder experienced with the breed of puppy you are choosing? Can she answer any questions you have? Will she stand behind the puppy if problems arise?

 Has the breeder explained all the pros and cons of the breed you have chosen? Every dog has good and bad characteristics and the breeder should make you aware of them.

 Has the breeder insisted the puppy be enrolled in obedience school? Today many reputable breeders insist on this.

 Has the breeder offered you a starter kit? Many breeders offer customers a package when they purchase a puppy. It should include instruction on the care of the dog, at least one dog care book for the specific breed you are purchasing, a sample of the puppy chow that the puppy has been being fed, a list of supplies you will need for your puppy and information on obedience schools, dog trainers with experience in behavioral problems and veterinarians in your area.

 Has the breeder discussed crate training with you? The breeder should inform you on how important it is to crate train your puppy, explain how useful crates can be and instruct you on how to use the crate. Crates can keep your puppy safe from harm.

 Does the dog breeder have your puppy’s papers in order? You and the breeder should have a contract that you both sign, as well as a pedigree. Reputable breeders sell puppies with a spay and neuter requirement. This means you don’t receive your puppy’s papers registration application until the puppy has been spayed or neutered. All stipulations should be specified in the contract and explained to you so that you fully understand what your responsibilities are. There should never be an extra fee for your puppy’s pedigree.

 Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau, or an equivalent to ensure the breeder that you are buying from is reputable.


 When a breeder takes you to see the puppies, take note if they appear healthy and clean. Puppies should have bright, sparkling eyes, a healthy looking coat, clean ears and no odor. They should be active, frisky and full of life.

 Ask the breeder if the puppies have been de-wormed and vaccinated. If they have, the veterinarian would have issued a report stating exactly what was done.

 Ask the breeder if the puppies have been checked for hereditary diseases and conditions. Ask if the pups have been certified in these areas.


 Are the puppies active, friendly and fascinated by people? Do they come running to meet you when approached? Puppies love being held, petted, played with and they should have outgoing personalities. If puppies shy away when you approach, buyer beware. You might want to consider choosing a different breeder.

 Is the mother dog attractive and friendly? Is she clean and does she look as if she is well cared for? By the time puppies are old enough to be weaned, the mother shouldn’t be overprotective of them or act in an aggressive way when you approach. If the puppy’s father is around, he should be friendly and greet you with ease. Never buy a puppy if either of his parents is aggressive. Dog aggression is often hereditary and you don’t want a dog that has a bad temperament.

 Are the puppies old enough to be sold? Puppies should not be separated from their litter until they are between 6 and 8 weeks old; 8 are best. On the other hand, puppies should have homes before they are 10 weeks old to prevent them from becoming dependent on their mother and siblings.

 Has the breeder begun to socialize the puppies? If the puppies have spent time with humans and have been given proper care, attention and training, it will be obvious in the puppy’s reaction to you. It’s imperative that puppies become socialized at a very early age.

Your Responsibilities

 Are you committed to the dog that you’re planning on purchasing for the rest of its life? Purchasing a puppy is not something to be taken lightly. You are committing to the care, training and health of the dog and to love it and tend to its every need. Dogs, depending on the breed and life’s circumstances, usually live 10 years or more. It is your responsibility to make sure it is in good health and happy as long as it lives. A dog is not a toy that you buy and then toss it in the corner when you’re tired of it. Dogs are living things that have to be nurtured. They have to be cared for and take as much, or more, care as a child. Owning a puppy is a very serious commitment and not to be taken lightly. If you are willing to spend the next dozen or more years caring for your dog, then by all means bring one into your life. You will have a firm bond to each other and spend many happy hours interacting together.

Copyright © 2005, Ian White

About The Author

Ian White is founder of This extensive online directory includes listings by private breeders, kennel clubs, and occasional hobby or family breeders. Those seeking dogs can locate and match with appropriate breeders. automates the matching of dogs for sale with puppy wanted entries, with daily email notifications to all parties.

For more information about matching dog lovers with breeders visit

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Adopting A Dog

There are lots of ways that people choose a new family dog. Some may search the newspaper for advertisements from breeders who are selling new puppies; others find breeders via listings on the internet, while still more may simply purchase a puppy from a local pet store. Perhaps the best method, however, in terms of being helpful to society in general is to adopt a dog from a local animal shelter.

Adopting a dog brings a new friend into your life. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted and homeless dogs in your area. Unless the shelter is a “no kill” facility (and these are sadly few and far between), it will also save a dog’s life. Animal lovers everywhere champion the adoption of dogs from shelters as opposed to any other method of bringing home a new pet for this reason alone, but there are other reasons to choose the adoption option.

Adopted pets have had their shots
Shelters often have information about a dog’s temperament
Adopting a pet frees space in the shelter for more dogs

When you adopt a dog you can be sure that the staff at the shelter has had the dog examined by a vet for diseases and parasites and that the dog has had its shots. This is not always true of dogs acquired by other means such as kids giving away “free puppies” from a box in front of the local grocery store or PetsMart.

The dogs at a shelter are not just strays and often are turned in to the shelter by former owners for various reasons. When this happens, the shelter collects as much information about the dog as possible, including whether its good with children, how much it barks, how playful or obedient it is, whether its housebroken, and other important details. While it’s true that this information is only as good as the honesty of the former owner, most of the time it is fairly accurate.

Animal shelters provide a valuable service to the community that they serve by keeping the streets as free of stray animals as possible. Because many of them do this with little or no public funding or governmental support, they are very limited in the number of dogs they can have in the shelter at any given time. The only way that they can bring in more stray animals is if they remove the ones they currently have. This is done through adoption or euthanasia. Obviously they would prefer to have the dogs adopted rather than killed. Adopting a dog could very well save its life and allows the shelter to bring in another dog in its place.

About the Author

This article courtesy of

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A Step-By-Step Guide To Puppy Picking

With hundreds of breeds to choose from, how do you decide which one is right? Narrow down the choices in a few simple steps.

Size Matters

First, consider your available space. If you live in an apartment, you can rule out large dogs. Look for dogs in the Toy group, such as Yorkshire Terriers, or some of the smaller dogs in the Terrier group, like the Miniature Schnauzer.

If you have children, you may want to rule out very small dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Maltese. They are delicate and can be accidentally injured by young children. On the other hand, very large dogs, such as Boxers or Saint Bernards, can be overly boisterous and can accidentally turn your child into a human bowling pin. Consider medium-sized breeds, such as Fox Terriers or Lhasa Apsos.

Exercise Essential

Next, consider how much exercise you can give your dog. If you have a home with a fenced yard, your dog will be able to get some exercise on his own.

However, dog breeds in the Sporting, Hound, and Herding groups are very high-energy animals, and they will need intensive daily exercise. Plan to take a lot of long walks with your dog or go for a daily romp in the park. After all, these dogs were bred to work hard, and they don't do well unless they have a job to do or a way to burn off excess energy.

To Groom Or Not

Also, don't forget to consider grooming needs. Some breeds need only half an hour or so of grooming a week, while others require an hour a day. If you are short on time, don't buy a Standard Poodle or a Maltese -- unless you plan to take your dog to a groom. Breeds like Boston Terriers or Whippets are good choices for people who don't have time for a lot of grooming.

Puppy Problems

Once you decide which breed you want, you will need to consider the age of the dog. Many people opt to buy a cuddly little puppy instead of an adult. While puppies have the advantage of not yet having developed any bad habits, it will be up to you to be sure your puppy is housebroken and obedience trained.

Do you want to buy a puppy? If so, you will need to find a reputable dog breeder who has a litter of the appropriate breed. Often, a good breeder will have a waiting list for puppies. If you aren't the patient sort, you may be tempted to buy a puppy from a pet store. A word of caution -- many pet store puppies come from puppy mills and have genetic health defects, bad temperaments, and other problems. It is usually safest to buy a puppy directly from the breeder.

Older dogs are usually housebroken and frequently have some obedience training. They are also less likely to be hyperactive and destructive. However, they can have behavioral problems or health problems that prompted the former owner to find them a new home.

If you are interested in an older dog, you may want to visit your local animal shelter or call a breed rescue. These groups evaluate the dogs' health and temperament before adopting them out. Once you've picked the breed and the dog, you have one more important decision to make -- what to name your new best friend!

About The Author

Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer. Visit to learn more about this subject.

Copyright 2005 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact.

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12 Golden rules for every Dog owner

Discipline and good behavior are not just for your Dog they apply to you, the pet-parent too. Buying a dog is not all “cochie coo” business -- it signals the beginning of a lifetime of commitment and responsibility.

1. Love your dog unquestioningly. Treat him like a friend. Never hurt, punish, beat or abandon him. Seek professional help if you are ever pushed against the wall – there are feasible solutions to everything.
2. Ensure good nutrition.
3. Take an informed decision about spaying/neutering.
4. Give him good veterinary care. Half yearly check ups, vaccinations, dental check ups, and more.
5. Ensure that all his papers are in order – get him an ID and license.
6. Training is a key to a long and fulfilled life.
7. Groom him everyday or as many times as necessary. Grooming is one way of bonding with your dog.
8. Socialize your dog from day one – this will help him be comfortable around other people and animals as well as in public places.
9. Devote at least 30 minutes everyday to play with your dog.
10. Ensure that you are a lawful dog owner-- obey all leash, vaccination, and noise pollution laws.
11. Always clean up after your dog – it prevents infections.
12. Exercise your dog for at least 30 minutes each day.

These golden rules will help you grant the boon of a good life to your dog and believe me a dog that leads a well balanced life hardly ever develops any behavioral problems.

Whether you are a first time dog owner or a seasoned veteran, your learning never stops as far as it comes to training your dog. Each and every dog presents different training challenges, and the more equipped you are to handle these training issues the more likely you are to prevent any permanent and long term future behavioral problems.

If you are serious about your dog, and want the very best for her/him, then you owe it to your best friend to get a copy of this FREE Dog Training Mini-Course.

About the Author

Ray Coleiro is the author of the popular book "Dog Training Mastery - An Owner's Manual!" To learn more about his proven Dog Training methods and life's work, you can visit this page.


So this is the start. Have fun reading and posting some comments.
Enjoy !