What Due Diligence Measures Should I Follow When Buying/Adopting A Dog?

If He Or She Is From A Breeder:

A good breeder should give you full access to his breeding environment before you adopt the puppy. You should also be able to see the mother (unless specific cases where you adopt an older puppy and the mother is no longer around) and should be able to “test” the mother: can you approach her (not a straight ahead approach especially if she’s with the litter, the breeder should show you how to proceed), can you pet her, etc. Often times you’ll get much less information about the father but the breeder should at least able to tell you his story, and if you can see him as well that’s even better.

If you adopt a full bred puppy/ pedigree dog (usually for an expensive price), you should thoroughly check the documents of the mother and the father. This depends from country to country.

The vet will probably have seen the puppies once or twice at least. Again depending on the country you should receive a wellness certificate. A few days after adopting the puppy you should go see your vet, show him the report from the other vet and make sure that everyone agrees with the well being of the pup.

If He Or She Is A Young Puppy:

Young puppies won’t be completely house trained and will not bark in any case. House training is not rocket science and starts with the mother. After 3 weeks the mother doesn’t trigger elimination by licking the belly/genital area, so the pup will go in the litter.

He will be “pushed” by his mother and he will learn not to soil his sleeping area. That’s a very good start for you as well, you will complete the house training by using a crate or very small area of the house at the beginning.

With a lot of prevention you’ll avoid accidents and you will also praise him a lot for going outside.Consistency and a whole lot of patience is imperative Where this is concerned.

Depending on the breed you’ll focus the veterinary information on possible genetic diseases, hip displasya is a major problem with some larger breeds.

Food:

Obtaining a clear and scientific vision of what dogs should eat is the starting point of many heated debates. Concerning a puppy you should focus on a few points:

  • When you adopt the puppy, at 8 weeks of age, he should be eating (almost) exclusively solid food. If the breeder tells you otherwise, first check with your vet.
  • You have time to decide what your puppy will eat as an adult. Usual commercial kibble might not be your final choice, but there is no reason to panic: many dogs live perfectly well and in good health on that food.
  • Diets that you should consider for your adult dog are: an entirely raw meat diet, a home cooked diet (with varying percentages of meat), dry kibble and wet kibble. You can mix them all: my dog has dry kibble in the morning, mixes of boiled chicken, eggs, and rice in the evening and dried meat turned into jerky sometimes as well.
  • If you change from the breeder’s food to your own brand, do it progressively. Dogs, and especially puppies’ digestive tracks are sensitive.

General Training:

You will have to choose a training method. It is now established scientifically, by various and independent groups of people, that any training can be done most effectively by using positive reinforcement.

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