Puppy Advice

How to get a dog

You’ve decided to get a dog – but how do you go about it and where should you go to get one? It all depends on whether you are planning to adopt a dog or get a puppy.

Relaxed golden retriever dog being petted in new home

Reasons to adopt a dog

There are always plenty of dogs looking for new homes. Many are no longer wanted by or able to be cared for by their owners. Others may have been rescued from environments where they were not being cared for.

It can feel very rewarding to adopt a dog and give them a second chance in a loving new home. If you are leaning towards getting a puppy, don’t forget to check out adoption centres or breed rescue societies.

Find dog rescue centres

There are many dog rehoming centres to choose from. This includes the larger charities such as Blue CrossDogs TrustRSPCASSPCA and the USPCA – as well as local rescue organisations. Do your homework first and read reviews from other adopters to find a good rescue organisation. A good starting place is Rescue Review – a website where people can leave reviews about their adoption experience.

Reasons to buy a puppy

Many people love the idea of getting a puppy, and who wouldn’t when they are so adorable. But be prepared for a lot of work! If you decide to get a puppy you may get more choice over the breed or type. Beware of puppy scams – sadly lots of people are more interested in making money than breeding happy, healthy puppies.

Find a puppy for sale in your area

Do your homework to find a reputable breeder. Sadly there are dodgy dog breeders who are more interested in your money than finding loving homes for their puppies. A great starting point is to search for a breeder using the Puppy Culture program. Once you find a breeder you feel comfortable with, you may still have to wait a while for your puppy. A good breeder won’t necessarily have puppies available for you to take home straight away. If they do, this could be a warning sign. Here’s five things to look for when buying a puppy:

  • They have been bred and raised in a family home.
  • You can see the puppy with its mother in the place where it was born.
  • The puppy is used to being handled and brushed, is happy having their ears and paws touched, and has been introduced to different people other than the breeder.
  • They are confident and inquisitive and interested in you and their surroundings.
  • The puppy will be microchipped and wormed before going to their new home.

Play it safe and use the Puppy Contract. A good dog breeder will be happy to provide information about your puppy and use the contract. If they won’t do this, it’s best to walk away.

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What Clients say
about Puppy School

  • “It was a good experience for both us and Reuben. I think puppy training is valuable for all dogs and owners!”
    —   David
  • “Charlie was absolutely wonderful in all aspects. Friendly, kind and knowledgeable. Always available to answer any questions or concerns. Charlie is very experienced and myself and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed the classes and wish that we had more weeks together with our puppy family! Highly recommended and really enjoyable! Thank you for helping us understood our puppy and teaching us ways to grow together - invaluable”
    —   Sam
  • “Caroline was lovely, clearly knowledgeable, very approachable and patient.”
    —   Sarah
  • “We are very grateful to Pen for helping us through a testing period with Zef, our boisterous 5-month-old labradoodle puppy, who was mouthy and jumpy and had difficulty settling.”
    —   Wendy
  • “Great experience. I’ve been to dog training classes in the past and the instructors can be very “it’s your fault”, “you’re doing it wrong” to the owners, however, Eleanor was very patient, kind, and explained things in a helpful way rather than making you feel like you were at fault. Loved these classes. Rum loved them too!”
    —   Ryan