I know, you are getting a puppy. Soon…
Here are some things to consider.
First, are you getting the right dog for you? In other words, let’s say this is the right time for you to get a puppy. Super! But are you going to get the right dog for your lifestyle? In simple terms, you should get a dog that will fit your lifestyle. Active? Get an active dog, so long as the dog can be part of your active lifestyle. Home dog? Is your home ready for a puppy? Retired? What kind of community do you live in, and what kind of dog will best fit in? Got kids? What kind of dog will best fit in? This is especially important if the kids are very young. Some dogs are better once the kids are older, some are better for younger kids. You have to think about these things. Make a list of what you want and need, check it twice. Yes, it is going to be an emotional decision, but before you’ve even seen the puppy, it is best to set some ideas as to what you think will best work for your situation. Looking for a therapy dog? Well, that will take even more planning. You need the right kind of dog.
Next, where are you getting the puppy? You have two good choices. First is a reputable breeder. I’d recommend avoiding a pet store, or the puppies being sold on the roadside. You know why. Or second, get a rescued puppy. There are a number of reputable rescue organizations in town which can match you with the perfect puppy. Make sure you check them out, breeder or rescue. Get a social, healthy puppy. Either way, get your veterinarian and dog trainer lined up in advance. I’ve been hired many times to help get everything ready before the puppy arrives, and then to continue the training going forward. It is also worth considering adopting an adult, social, healthy rescue dog, so you are already past the early puppy stage. This is especially a good idea if you have small children. Be careful of getting an older dog from a breeder, many are unsocialized and won’t work out for your home.
Pick the date. It is best to pick a time when the puppy will have lots of personal time with you and your family. Let’s say you have a couple of weeks coming up you can dedicate to your new pup. Super, get the puppy then. That personal time will pay off big dividends in terms of bonding. Also, you can get the potty training off to a good start. I’ve had a Christmas puppy, it is truly a wonderful time to get a new family member!
Finally, you are going to need to puppy proof your home, get all the supplies, have a plan for introducing the puppy to the family (and other pets), get the yard ready and so forth. With a little planning, it will all go perfectly.
You’re now ready to go forward. Let me know if you’d like some professional advice. Like I said, I’ve helped many people start out correctly with their new puppies.