How to shop for a new puppy


You and your spouse have decided to adopt a puppy for your Christmas present to each other. That means the question of what to get for each other is solved. Or is it?

Clumsy Puppy

What kind of puppy? what breed? large or small? long hair-or short hair? rescue or buy from breeder? outside dog or inside cuddley? what color, depending upon the breed?

Let’s get started on how to shop for a new puppy. First of all, take your time. The newest member of your family will be with you for a long time.

The average dog that is well-kept, sees the veterinarian for check-ups and shots, is loved by the family, will live around 12 to 15 years. Small dogs may live a little longer than large dogs, but life span depends upon a combination of proper food, lots of activity, and loving care.

For those who have allergies to pet fur should consider the Maltese, the Maltipoo, or the Bichon Frise. These small breeds shed little or have hypoallergenic coats.

If you are looking for an energetic, lively animal, a Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Fox Terrier, Dachshund, or Australian Shepherd will give you lots of exercise.

The Golden Retriever is still the most popular family dog in America. They are good with children.


They are good with families that like to travel or camp-out. They are easy to train. All in all, they are a very companionable dog.

Consider the Pomeranian if you are looking for a tiny dog that has a calm demeanor and will live from 12 to 15 years.

For those who like to hunt and may want a dog with hunting instincts, two breeds rise to the top: the Beagle or the Dachshund. These two breeds have endless energy and love to be active and can also be very loving family pets.


Dachshunds do have a potential problem with their backs and should not be regularly climbing stairs. There are still more that have winning ways. It just depends on personal tastes. Now that you and your spouse have discussed all the pros and cons of getting a new family member, its time to go shopping for that new puppy.

Where to go for a pet

A pet is easy enough to find anytime. Spring is the logical time to look for a pet, especially if a person wants a puppy to grow up along with the children in the family. For those who would just as soon skip the puppy years, there are plenty of full-grown rescues that would make excellent pets.

Look for the local chapter of the Humane Society of the United States, or the ASPCA or any number of local rescue centers. They are usually overrun with pets who are desperate for a forever home. Most of these creatures are mixed breeds.

People who work with animals all the time can usually tell what breed, or mixed breeds the rescued pups are. A veterinarian can usually tell how old an animal is, within a year or two.

Sometimes it is hard to tell how large a puppy will grow. There is an old saying that puppies grow into their feet. A puppy that has large feet will usually grow into a larger adult dog. Little puppies with little feet will most likely be small dogs at adulthood.

Brown Puppy

Spend some time with a puppy before deciding upon adopting. Consider that this as a lifetime commitment. If permitted, take the puppy home for a trial period before the final decision. Some rescuers will want to see where the dog or puppy will live before going ahead with the adoption. They know the conditions from which these dogs have been rescued and want to be sure that their new home will be good for them.

Preparing for a new family member

No matter how many times the breeder or associate tells you the puppy, or young dog, you have picked out is healthy and has been checked out, I strongly urge you to take your new best friend to a reliable vet for a look over. Your vet doesn’t have a vested interest in moving a pet from his office to your home. He just may find something that causes concern. It may not make you change your mind, but you have a right to know.

Your new dog should have all his/her shots. Except possibly rabies. You will need to take your dog to the Vet for the shot and registration in the municipality where you live. Every municipality is different.

Take the time to set up a place in your home for your new puppy. Put the doggie bed there along with the Pet dishes and the water bowl. Pets need to know where to go to look for food, water and a resting place.( Just in case you have decided on a cat or kitten–find a quiet, solitary place for a litter box, and the food and the water bowls. Do not put your kitty’s food and water bowls next to the litter box).

Do not bring your new pet home if you have a busy weekend ahead. Wait until you have a nice relaxed weekend to introduce your puppy to his new environs.

Now that you have found the four-legged friend; take a look at your calendar and decide what day or weekend will be the best time to bring your new family member home. Give yourselves plenty of time to spend learning about each other. Show your new puppy the whole house; the new out -of-doors, the car everybody will ride in, and all the NO places in the yard and house.

The daily lifestyle

Hopefully, you can start your daily routine the day after you bring home your new puppy. He can then learn right away the routine of each day. Perhaps for the first week, one of you can be home a part of the day, so puppy can learn how things work.

Be sure to teach him his name as quickly as possible. Make sure that your puppy will come to you when you call. That is essential. Your dog must respond to you in case of an emergency. Some pet stores offer training for puppy and owner.

Take the time to train your puppy. Dogs love to work. They want something to do. Be sure he will come when you call. Give him a treat when he does what he should.

Dogs misbehave when they haven’t been trained to act properly around the house and around your friends. Dogs truly want to know how to act and what to do. Someday your dog may save your life because of his training.


You and your spouse now have the newest member of your household to care for, play with, take walks with, vacation with, spend a relaxing evening with, grow old with.  Don’t forget that dogs, just like people, need to see their doctor at least once a year. Find a good vet and make arrangements with him/her to see your dog at least once a year and more often as your dog gets older. Your pet’s veterinarian is as important to your animals as your pediatrician is to your children.


I’m Barbara Nelson and I hope you find this article helpful. If you are not in the market for a pet now, pass this along to someone who is thinking about getting a pet. I would love to hear from you. Leave any comments below.


4 thoughts on “How to shop for a new puppy”

  1. Do you have any tips for housebreaking a new puppy? And do you recommend crate training? I am considering bringing a new addition into our family but I’m a little nervous about the whole training phase. I really enjoyed reading your article as it brought up a lot of things to consider beforehand. I will definitely have to bookmark this for the future. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hello Lee, Thanks for your comments.  It seems I  need to add a second part to my article on getting a new puppy. I was thinking more about adopting a rescue dog, in which case they would probably already be housebroken.  Most puppies ( this goes for cats, too) if left with the mother for at least 8 weeks,, should be somewhat trained to do their business outside. The mother will train her puppies on bathroom etiquette if they are left with her long enough.

      Otherwise, You’ll have to teach the puppy. After each meal, take puppy outside until she does her business. She’ll soon catch on. Patience and lots of praise. Above all, don’t get angry. That will only confuse the issue.

      I personally don’t like to crate dogs. But trainers seem to like it and people seem to like it. Just remember, you can’t leave a dog in a crate forever. I never put my Britanny in a crate. I was able to come home for lunch and I let her out then. My husband was home by four in the afternoon. So she was never in the house for more than four or five hours and we never had any accidents.

  2. We have just rescued a dog, a little Maltipoo, who has now become a firm addition to our family. He was abandoned and very poorly when we first got him and scared and untrusting. Now after almost 4 months he is jumping and barking and having the time of his life, and so are we.

    But the one thing I would love to know is how do we “toilet train” him. He finds a rug and does his business there. Maybe a throwback to his past life. I really do not know. He will go outside, but not for “that” Is there anything you can suggest?


    1. It’s possible that your puppy was taken from his mother too soon. If a puppy stays with the mother long enough, she usually teaches her pups bathroom etiquette. Sounds like you are going to have to teach him. First, get rid of all your rugs if possible. I’m talking about throw rugs, not carpet. Take him out right after he eats. Hopefully, with a little exercise after eats, he will go. The trick is to get him out as often as possible. You are trying to catch him with the urge while he is outside. If you are lucky and he does go outside–Praise the heck out of him. If you can sacrifice a rug, Take a soiled one outside and see if he gets the message to go on the outside rug only. Eventually, hopefully, he will get the message and use the grass instead of the rug. Then you can throw the rug away.
      I don’t like crates, but it may work for him. Most animals don’t like to soil where they, if he is in the crate, he may hold until you let him out. Be sure he knows his name. As soon as you open the crate, call him to go out immediately. Don’t let him stop until he is outside. If he is pressured, as soon as you get him outside, he’ll go. Start with just an hour or so in the crate. Puppies and small dogs don’t have a long holding capacity.

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