Bringing home a new puppy is a big decision. Bringing home the right puppy is an even bigger one. It’s difficult to predict how a dog will fit into your family based on one or two brief meetings, but it is possible to get a good idea if you know what to look for.
Think about what qualities you’re looking for in a dog.
Before you head to a shelter or go to look at any litters, take some time to research which breeds are the best fit for the type of canine companion you have in mind. Are you looking for a pup who will grow into a playful, high-energy dog? Or one who’s a little more laidback and down for snuggling? Do you intend to train your dog to be your running buddy, hunting partner, or emotional support animal?
Ultimately, every puppy will have their own personality. However, breed can be a large factor in the type of behavior a dog is likely to exhibit. That’s why you should use your answers to the above questions to help you narrow down your ideal breeds.
Consider what you can handle in terms of care.
A dog is a big responsibility. Puppies and dogs of different breeds, personalities, and health will have different requirements when it comes to care. Before you choose a puppy, you have to be sure you’ll be able to meet their needs long-term. A few factors to consider include:
- Size (how much space do you have?)
- Grooming needs
- Predisposed health conditions (can you provide preventative care and treatment, if necessary?)
- Lifestyle (do you have children? Other pets? Elderly household members to accommodate?)
- Climate (how responsible is it to raise a Husky, for example, in the year-round Texas heat?)
Observe a puppy’s personality before you make any decisions.
Although a puppy’s personality will be largely affected by the environment in which they’re raised, you can still get a good idea of their natural disposition and temperament before you bring them home. When you visit a litter and spot a puppy you think you’re interested in, spend a little time observing their habits and behavior.
Watch how a puppy plays with their litter mates and interacts with human handlers—are they aggressive? Curious? Comfortable? Timid? After you observe, handle the puppy yourself and see how they respond to you. Do they relax when you roll them on their back, or show signs of increasing aggression? You can also learn valuable information about specific puppies in a litter by talking to their breeder or foster guardian.
If you’re looking for a dog to be the ideal family companion, easily trained, and skilled on the hunting field, a Labrador puppy might be your perfect fit!
At Lankas Labs, we begin socializing and training our litters early so that every pup can grow into a friendly, loving, well-rounded dog. For more information on available puppies and upcoming litters, contact us about adopting today!