Choosing a puppy

Size

Do you want a small, medium or large dog?
The size and location of your premises will help you decide, but bear in mind many small dogs have just as high an activity level as larger ones, they just don’t need as much space. Also remember that the larger the dog, the bigger the food bills.

Gender

Males are usually a little larger and stronger than females. Make sure the size and strength level of your dog matches that of your children.
If you are not planning to show or breed, spaying or neutering is recommended.
A bitch comes into season at least once, or twice a year and must be confined and kept away from males for some weeks. Many health risks for a bitch are minimised once it is desexed.

Coat

There are many different types of coats. All need grooming and almost all will drop hair. If you do not want to maintain an adult dog with a long coat that requires daily grooming, consider buying a short-haired breed. For those people with allergies there are also specific breeds that do not shed and are almost allergy free.

Temperament

The temperament of the puppy will depend on the breed you choose. As you learn about different breeds, remember the purpose for which the particular breeds were bred. For example, a Working dog or Gundog will be active in mind and body and will require regular occupation and a lot of exercise.