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How to Pick a Puppy That Is Perfect for You and Your Lifestyle

The decision has been made to bring a puppy into your home and now you’re wondering how to pick a puppy that best suits your lifestyle.  This may sound easy, but when looking into the adorable faces of a litter of puppies, many people tend to pick based on things like color or looks.  This can lead to unforeseen training expenses down the road because the pup has developed unwanted behaviors.  Choosing a puppy based on temperament will give you a head start to having a great adult dog that you and your family will enjoy for years.

Very early on in life a litter of puppies will start developing their personality traits that will carry over into adulthood.  So how do you get beyond the cuteness factor and choose the right puppy? Here are some tips on how to pick a puppy that fits you and your lifestyle. The main trait I look for when choosing a puppy is confidence.

Although it is difficult, I resist the urge to choose the puppy that ran right up and started pawing at my legs.  This may be a sign of pushiness, neediness or even dominance down the road.  Next is the timid puppy hiding in the corner with sad eyes that tugs at your heartstrings, but could be very fearful and nervous as an adult.  Nor do I choose the puppy that is merely following the lead of the other more outgoing littermates.  I want the puppy that is interested in me, but confident and independent enough that after checking me out wants to continue exploring this amazing world of ours.  If I crinkle a water bottle or jingle my keys I want to see a puppy that shows interest and does not shy away from new sounds. Taking the time to choose a puppy with the right temperament can make the difference in whether you have a dog that develops behavioral problems like separation anxiety or aggression and a dog that enhances your life in the right way.

I try to visit the litter more than once before taking a puppy home.  Puppies will act differently if they have just eaten, woken up from a nap or are tired from already being active for the day.  I will then ask the breeder or foster to send videos at different times during the day of the pups interacting with each other as well as people and toys.  Is it possible to choose a puppy with a great temperament and still end up with behavior problems?  Sure.  Socializing your puppy is still key, but by taking your time when choosing you will have a head start in the right direction.

Scott Harris

Author Scott Harris

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