It seems that puppy season has begun early this year. Being that I am very involved with dogs there is never a shortage of puppies around. Many people I talk to either know of someone who just got a puppy, they are getting a puppy or just got a puppy or they are having or have a litter. And my puppy pains are stirring. How wonderful is it to get a new puppy, a new little life to mold and guide, fresh and ready to take on the world?
Finding a puppy and choosing a puppy can be a daunting task. Admittedly I find it very difficult; the more you know about what to look for the harder it is. Acquiring a puppy should not be done on a whim; open the paper, go see the puppies and bring one home. If you have thought and thought and consider if you really want a puppy, done your homework to figure out what type of puppy you want then you go. If you find one right away then you are lucky.
No matter if you are getting a mix or not you want to know what type of temperament your puppy is starting off with. You may be getting a dog from a shelter, a resue group or a breeder but you still want to know the temperament. I have done alot of testing over the years and there have only been a few puppies who have raised red flags with me. Many of them have issues, some issues need an experienced dog person to deal with and some are just basis issues most can work through.
A litter of puppies can be vastly different, you can have everything from a very fearful pup, middle of the road guys all the way to very dominant and even aggressive. What if you go in, look at the pups and pick the one with the adorable white feet? What if that puppy is very touch sensitive, reacts to touch in a negative fasion and is extremely aggressive in resource guarding. Are you ready to tackle these behaviors? If you have small children then this would totally be the wrong dog for you.
Although many people think that temperament testing is useless and consider environment to play a larger role in how a dog turns out, I believe it is very important. By understanding how a puppy reacts to different things in life that will be thrown at them you can better decide on what puppy should go to what type of home. There are litters that are all great and anyone could take anyone of the puppies home. But most have big differences and you cannot see these differences if the puppies are never pulled out alone and tested. They will react entirely different within the pack than out.
Environment, socializing, training and basic life lessons play a huge part in how a dog develops. Each and every dog I have ever had came with some sort of issue, mostly easy but sometimes there were issues that were alot of work. You should know what issues may arise and decide if you are willing and capable of dealing with those. There will be issues that arise throughout your dogs life that cannot have been foreseen but at least you can have a general idea of who your puppy is if they are tested.
It is the inside of the puppy that you want to look at, not the outside.