Puppy Advice

How to pick the right puppy from a litter

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to see a puppy in the place where it was born. This will help to avoid puppy farm scams and choose a puppy that has been well-bred and is suitable for a family home. Here is some advice on how pick the right puppy from a litter.

Young rottweiler puppies running on grass towards the camera

Once you have selected the right breed of puppy for your lifestyle it's important seeing the puppy with its mother in the place where it was born. This will help you to get a feel for your puppy’s character and personality. Choosing the right personality to match your lifestyle is also important, for example are they more confident so could fit in a busier household or come to work with you, or are they more shy and maybe suited to a quieter home and lifestyle? 

Always choose a puppy that has been bred in a family home, as opposed to a barn or outbuilding. This is because puppies that have been bred in a family home will be used to a busy household environment. Puppies that have not been bred in a family home are much more likely to be anxious and develop behaviour problems.

Look for a puppy that is confident and seems happy to approach you. Watch these videos on what to look for in a puppy.

The first video shows a litter of puppies that has been bred in a family home. They are confident and interested in what’s going on around them and will make good family pets.

The second video shows a litter of puppies that has been bred in a barn. In contrast to the first litter, these puppies appear anxious and afraid. As these puppies have not been used to people, they are likely to grow into nervous dogs and will not make good family pets.

It can be hard to walk away from a litter of puppies, particularly if you feel sorry for them. However, if you are looking for a family dog, then walking away if you’re not 100% sure is the best thing you can do.

Gwen Bailey is a dog behaviourist and founder of UK dog training network, Puppy School. She has written several books, including The Perfect Puppy and How To Train A Superpup.

How to tell if a puppy is healthy

Make sure the puppies have clear, bright eyes and clean ears that don’t smell. Look for clean teeth and pink gums, shiny, soft fur, a clean bottom and no sign of fleas.

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