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Canine University 71 Clinton St. Malden, MA


On Puppies

So you want to get a Puppy

Puppies come in all shapes, sizes and temperments. Regardless of breed or mixes of breed each dog has his own unique set of tendencies which are apparent at a very young age. When choosing this important new member of your family it is important to realize that not all puppies are alike. The temperment of a young pup can be detected as early as 49 days or 7 weeks old. Unless you are a professional dog trainer looking for a challenge, you'll want to steer clear of the most dominant or the most submissive puppy in the litter. Most dogs that would make good family pets test somewhere in the middle.

Here are some key things to look for:

  1. Pup is not overly shy or the opposite extreme comes over immediately and jumps in your lap.
  2. When you hold the pup on it's back , it does not struggle fiercely or try to bite your hand.
  3. When you call the pup it comes to you but does not dive on you or bite at you.
  4. When you walk away the puppy follows you at a little distance but does not jump on you or nip at your heels.
  5. When you pet the puppy he does not bite at your hands or walk away.

These are not all conclusive but are some easy ways to tell if a particular pup would make a good, easy going companion. Puppy temperment testing is not absolute, but it does tell us the tendencies of a young pup which we can mold or change to our advantage.

Here is a list of things to avoid when choosing a puppy:

  1. Making your choice based on coat color or sex of puppy.
  2. Bringing your children with you when choosing a puppy, (children will love any puppy that you bring home, kids usually choose dominant puppies simply because they are the most noticeable in a group).
  3. Choosing a dog for an emotional reason, because you feel sorry for it, or because it looks sad, etc.
  4. Choosing a puppy who resembles another dog you've owned.

Stick to the 5 key observations listed previously and let the breeder help you make your choice. Remember you may be seeing the puppies after they have eaten or woken up from a nap which may mean they are more docile than usual. The breeder can tell you how the pups are at different times of day. The best you can do is be specific about what you want in your dogs personality and don't worry about coat color, size, or sex. The right personality will make your dog easy to train, and avoid many sleepless nights and challenges...take your time this is a 10-15 year commitment !!!