Choosing a puppy!

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Choosing a puppy! Empty Choosing a puppy!

Post by Rachel33 on Tue Jul 29 2014, 22:00

When viewing a litter, you can easily and understandably, become overwhelmed by excitement. This thread has been created as a guideline to sensibly choosing the right puppy for you, for health and temperament reasons. Many people are adamant that their puppy chose them, when in fact they have inadvertently chosen the most confident and forthright pup in the litter; the one that approached you before all of the rest! This may be suitable for some, but for others this may not be the best pup for their home.

Here is a simply checklist, taken from Bruce Fogle's wonderful book "Dog" to guide you in choosing a healthy, happy pup.

- Ensure that eyes are symmetrical and looking straight ahead, with no tear staining below them and no inflammation or discharge.
- The eyelids should be neither rolled in (entropion) nor hanging loose (ectropion) and should have no extra eyelashes. The third eyelid may be visible but neither inflamed or swollen.
- Ears should have no crust on tips or tenderness when touched, and good hair cover outside. Inside they should have clean, sweet smelling ear canals with no wax visible. There should be no head shaking.
- The teeth should have a scissor bite, with the upper incisors fitting neatly over the lower incisors; if they are too far forward the bite it overshot.
- Gums should be pink and healthy, although pigment spots are normal.
- Nose should be cool and moist, with decent nostril openings for easy breathing and no mucus when the nostrils are squeezed.
-Top of head should have no soft spot (fontanelle) present.
- Belly should be clean and smooth, without any bulge (umbilical hernia) at the navel.
- Anus should be clean, with no redness or hair loss.
- Coat should be bright and shiny, with a normal puppy smell. There should be no scale, dandruff, flaking skin, itchiness or obvious parasites, or moth-eaten appearance.
- Genitals should be clean. A female's vuvla should have no inflammation, discharge, or "pasting" of hair, signs of discharge or vaginitis. A male's scrotum should have both testicles present and the foreskin (prepuce) should slide back and forth easily, with no adhesions.
- Legs and joints should be straight and well-formed. Have your vet check that the kneecaps (patellas) don't slip off, and that the joints are well constructed and not loose.
- Feet must bear weight equally and not be splayed or flat-footed.
- Movement should be free and smooth, with no faltering or limping.

Before leaving the breeder get the pup's pedigree and registration papers, it's worming history (including product name), and it's vaccination certificate showing when it's next inoculation is due. Pick up a diet sheet. Check any guarantees before paying, and ensure that you have it in writing that your purchase is based upon the pup's good health and conformation, and that this will be determined independently by your own vet, who will examine the pup within 36 hours.

The following exercise can be used to assess a puppy from about 6 weeks old. Try the following actions and score from 1 to 5 in their response seen.

Pick up the puppy. Is the puppy;
1 - Shivering
2 - Hesitant
3 - Relaxed
4 - Resistant
5 - Aggressive

Place the puppy on the ground in a new, quiet area. Is the puppy;
1 - Shivering
2 - Hesitant
3 - Relaxed
4 - Inquisitive
5 - Exuberantly curious

Roll the puppy on his back for a minute. Is the puppy;
1 - Shivering
2 - Hesitant
3 - Relaxed
4 - Wriggly
5 - Aggressive

Place the puppy 2 metres (6.5 feet) in front of you, facing you, kneel down and call the puppy to you. Does the puppy;
1 - Doesn't move
2 - Hesitant
3 - Slow walk
2 - Run
1 - Mow you down!

Puppy's that amass a high score have strong, potentially dominant personalities, whereas those that score low are more likely to be of a nervous or submissive disposition. Both carry their own potential problems. The relaxed, positive, but sensibly cautious pups with mid-range scores are most likely to make good house pets.
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