Picking your puppy

Here is a quick puppy aptitude test. It may sound funny but these 3 tips can be really useful when picking your puppy. You should generally do these tests when the puppy is between 8 – 12 weeks old, as that is the time they start to show these characteristics. Each and every puppy will have a unique personality and from this young age you can determine a lot. If you are looking for a working dog, i.e. one that works on a farm or is a guard dog, then these tests will really help you in the long term.

If you have your pick of the litter then you should perform these steps on all the available puppies.

  • Dominant / Submissive Test : Place your puppy on his back, and see how he reacts. If he fights back at you, he will be more the dominant type. For working dogs you generally don’t want a puppy that is too dominant. Dominant doges are can be tough to train.
  • Interactivity Test : Throw a ball of paper or a small bouncy ball to your puppy. If he shows interest in getting the ball, or curiosity in what is happening it shows that he has a certain level of intelligence.
  • Independence Test : After playing with the dog for a bit, turn your back and start to walk away. If he follows you it will show that he is pack driven, and wants to follow a leader. When it comes to training young dogs you don’t want one that is too independent.

Picking a dog

By performing these three tests you should have a better idea as to the intelligence level of your puppy. It is also advisable to ask the breeder about the sire and the dam. Knowing if the parents were particularly good at something will also help you make a decision. Also, because the breeder will have spent longer with these puppies they may have noticed things about the puppies that you have missed. You should ask about how the puppies spend their day, do they play together or are they more isolated.

Picking a Breeder

It is also important to pick a good breeder, ones that you know have an interest in dogs, and are not in it for simply the money would be a good start. Good  breeders will also give health guarantees for their dogs, and some breeders in Ireland have started to give written contracts outlining the terms and conditions of the new puppy purchase.

Not all dogs are suitable for all living situations, and it’s important to make sure you do some research on dog breeds before choosing one. And even if you have picked a breed, it doesn’t mean that all puppies of this type are necessarily a good fit for your environment.

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