A Step-by-Step Guide for Picking a Puppy

I love writing about puppies.  I started writing to help families have great relationships with their pets, and a new puppy is always the beginning of a fantastic relationship.  Picking a puppy, the right puppy, gives the relationship the best foundation possible.  This guide for picking a puppy walks through the steps to pick the best puppy for your family out of a litter.

Some families choose a rescue puppy, and gamble a bit more than families that choose a breeder puppy.  My advice differs depending on where you find your puppy, but should lead your family true.

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How to Keep a Newborn Puppy Alive

I’ve joined a few Facebook groups for pet owners, and every few days someone asks about the care of newborn pups.  Ideally, you should research this before you have a newborn puppy, and before you breed your female.  But some people come into it accidentally–either they adopted a dog from someone else who was pregnant, or they didn’t know their female was pregnant.

Many newborn puppies do die.  Even the most conscientious breeders lose newborns.  Newborn puppies die for a number of reasons: cold, heat, infection, failure to thrive, matricide, suffocation, disease.  Many, if not most, newborn deaths are preventable through simple supervision.

I wanted to talk about the basics of neonatal puppy care, not from a veterinarian’s perspective, but an overview of the very basic things you can do at home to keep your puppies alive and safe.

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Best Dog Breeds for Families with Kids

Today I want to talk about the very best dog breeds for families with kids.  It’s pretty easy to decide to get a dog–but a lot harder to pick the perfect breed for your family.

I took several factors into account on this list.  Each breed’s temperament will shine in a family setting.  Most of these breeds would be thrilled to join someone on a morning jog.

I also looked at trainability.  While not every breed on the list tops the charts, all five breeds work for food, praise, or play.  Most members of all these breeds easily graduate basic obedience courses.

I also list pros and cons for each breed.  While they all make great family pets, each breed’s unique characteristics require consideration.

Ready to see them?  Here we go!

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How to Find a Reputable Dog Breeder

When I first started wanting to show dogs, I had absolutely no idea where to start. I had the Internet, and the Internet said “find a reputable breeder and a mentor,” but that’s like a mechanic telling you to “just change the flux capacitator” as though you have a clue where to find it.

Lots of puppy-buying articles tell you the same thing: find a reputable breeder. What is a reputable breeder, and where do you find one? Let’s go over the basics, and after following these steps, it should be easy to identify a good breeder.

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Ultimate New Puppy Shopping List

I remember the very first day I brought Rusty home.  Rusty, my second Labrador, was the first dog I’d acquired as a puppy.  Bridget, my older, very naughty girl, was seven months old when I bought her with my life savings.  So Rusty was an incredibly different experience.  I was lucky–his breeder, my good friend, gave me a master list of things that I’d need on-hand when he came home.  This is my personal new puppy shopping list, with a few changes.

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Puppy Training: Teaching a Puppy to Come

You’ve got a new puppy, and you know that it’s super important that he comes to you when you call him, no matter what.  You’ve had dogs before, but none of them had a rock-solid recall, and you want this puppy to be different.  Puppy training is actually really easy! Here’s my top tips and tricks for getting that perfect recall.

The Recall - Teaching Your Dog to Come Every Single Time

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Why You Should Find a Reputable Dog Breeder

Lots of families decide to get a purebred puppy every day.  But with the new Adopt-Don’t-Shop movement, is buying a puppy really responsible?  Should you consider a rescue instead of finding a dog breeder?

I’m here to tell you that it is OK to find a dog breeder, IF you choose a breeder that breeds healthy, sound, and correct dogs.  These are called “reputable dog breeders” or “responsible dog breeders.”

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