Top Tips When Getting a Puppy

This guest blog features Liv chatting about her best tips when getting a new puppy based on her experiences raising Huxley and her new pup Ottylie

Top Tips When Getting a Puppy

If you are an upcoming puppy parent or have had one for a short period of time, this blog post is for you!


When it comes to buying your first puppy, it can be very hard to navigate the internet to find your perfect dog. There are many websites that are very misleading and many can hold what is known as puppy farmers, there are a few common websites that promote puppy farms, backyard breeding and non-reputable breeders.


two fox red labradors standing together one puppy labrador twiggy tags

But How Would You Find A Well-Bred Puppy?

When it comes to finding the perfect pup for you and your lifestyle, I highly recommend finding reputable breeders through events like Crufts and talking to breeders in the Discover Dogs section or going onto trusted websites like ‘The Kennel Club Puppy Finder’ or ‘Champ Dogs’. You should also go to see multiple litters before picking the one for you. Also be open and honest about seeing multiple litters towards each breeder to ensure that they understand that you could pull out or making sure everything is the right fit for your lifestyle. Be honest and open to the breeder as well about what the purpose of the dog is for (i.e assistance dog work, sport dog, gundog or just your average loved pet). Don’t be scared to say no to the breeder either, especially if alarm bells ring for you.


When viewing puppies, it is very important to ask as many questions as possible to the breeder and to make sure the mum is present at time of viewing and to see how the puppies and the mum interact with one another. It is also a good thing that breeders ask you questions too! The questions asked towards the breeder could be things that cover what health tests need to be done? and what tests have been done?, what their mum and dads hip and elbow scores are?, whether they are kennel club registered or not (it isn’t essential for puppies to be kennel club registered but if you were wanting to compete in competitions like agility, you’d need to be registered on the activity register if not kennel club registered). Also, if you have a crossbreed, you won’t be registered on the kennel club, but ensure you ask questions to make sure the breeder has paired the best two dogs together. Some breeders may even choose the puppy for you and your lifestyle instead of allowing you to choose the pup, this is perfectly acceptable as breeders know the puppies best.


Researching Into The Breed & The Food You Want To Feed

dog eating kibble from dog bowl twiggy tags

Also before picking your breed of dog it is important to do your research into the breed and make sure you understand everything about them and what health problems they could potentially get based on their breed. I also recommend researching into the food you would like to feed your pup, some choose to feed raw brands like The Dogs Butcher, Paleo Ridge, Natures Menu, Natural Instinct, etc. Some choose to feed kibble like Essentials Pet Foods UK, Eden Pet Food, Arden Grange, Millie’s Wolfheart, Burns, etc. Whatever works for you, is what you should do, no matter what anyone else says. It is also recommended to research into foods that are both safe and unsafe for your puppies and dogs to eat, as we all know puppies are mischievous little ones.

Preparing Your Home

Speaking of being mischievous, it is very important to pre-prepare your home. This means making sure your garden is secure to stop them from squeezing out/under anything. Making sure if you have stairs to put the baby gates up to stop them from running up and down potentially injuring themselves. Hiding all those cables and electronics to stop your puppy from wanting to nibble them. Finally making sure to set a schedule of when you are going to toilet your puppy, this will help them to understand that using the toilet outside is the best thing in the world. Another highly recommended thing is crates. Crate training is very good for all puppies as it enables them to have their own space to relax and take themselves to when they are sleepy. Crate training also stops any unwanted chewing behaviours on the doors and skirting boards especially when you may be out running errands. Many believe this is a cruel thing but actually puppies and older dogs love their crates and treat it as their little man cave.


Now Who Doesn’t Love A Cute Harness And Collar


Training Your Pup…

Training can be started from day dot, teaching a sit, a down, a wait, a heel command, leave and recall are the first 6 essential commands/tricks you will want your puppy to know. This will help with inside the home and will help them on their first walk to ensure a nice loose lead when they can begin to walk after all their vaccinations. When it comes to what tools you will use, some will opt for the force free/R+ approach and some will opt for the balanced approach. It is very important to remember that no dog is the same and what works for one dog, may not work for another so don’t judge based on what people choose to do. It is also very essential to remember to not to over-expose or under-expose your puppy to the world, this can sometimes lead to reactivity or behavioural issues that are most likely unwanted.

Vets & Insurance

Making sure to have a vet in mind before bringing your puppy home is a responsible thing to do. This means that you are then able to register and book needed appointments the day of/after they come home. In their first appointment they will make sure your puppy is okay, weigh them and test their microchip to make sure it registers when scanned. The vets will also make sure their vet trip is a positive experience for them. They will also talk you through any needed vaccinations to help pup stay safe in the big wide world. It is also important to insure your puppy in case of any injuries or accidents that may occur over their lifetime. Their insurance would allow you to claim back money depending on the circumstances.


All breeds of dog need coat maintenance but some breeds may need to visit the groomer in order to keep their coat nice and healthy and matt free. Having an at home grooming kit (appropriate brushes and combs needed) will help the pup get used to the feeling and keep them in good welfare before their next appointment. It is recommended that when pups can go out for the first time, that they should visit the groomers for a puppy session to get used to the environment and be confident with their surroundings, especially if they are a breed prone to needing to visit a groomer.


Guest post written by Liv Tordillo (& Huxley)

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