Good dogs don't just happen - they require positive input from their owners.
Are you sure you want a puppy?
Before you run out and decide to get a puppy, make sure you really want one, can afford one and have time to train it. Make sure you want a puppy and not an adult. Also make sure no other household members have allergies to dogs.
Puppies don't come fully trained. A good adult dog rarely happens without some basic training and house rules. If you decide on a puppy, remember it is like having a young child around. They need to be told what is right and wrong. Do not assume they will automatically know what you want. If you have recently lost an older dog, remember you should not compare your new puppy to your older dog. When you old dog was a puppy, they too had to learn and may have been just as rambunctious.
A Lonely Dog
I wish someone would tell me what is that I've done wrong.
Why do I have to stay chained up and be left alone so long?
They seemed so glad to have me when I came here as a pup.
There were so many things we'd do while I was growing up.
The Master said he'd train me as a companion and a friend.
The Mistress said she'd never fear to be left alone again.
The children said they'd feed me and brush me every day.
They'd play with me and walk me if I would only stay.
But now the Master "hasn't time", the Mistress says I shed.
She doesn't want me in the house, not even to be fed.
The Children never walk me; they always say, "Not now"
I wish that I could please them. Won't someone tell me how?
All I had, you see, was love. I wish they would explain
Why they said they wanted mine, And then left it on a chain.
Lend Me A Pup
I will lend to you for awhile, a pup, God said,
For you to love him while he lives and mourn him when he's dead.
Maybe twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three.
But will you, 'till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd life's land I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love. Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my sweet Pup back again?
I fancied that I heard them say "Dear Lord Thy Will be Done,"
For all the joys this Pup will bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay
But should you call him back much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If, by our love, we've managed, your wishes to achieve
In memory of him we loved, to help us while we grieve,
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We'll have yet another Pup and love him all his life.
Adopt Pets After the Holidays
Choose Your Dog
Choosing Your New Dog
Dogs to Match Your Lifestyle
Gear Up for Puppy Ownership, Part 1
Gear Up for Puppy Ownership, Part 2
How Could You
Important Pointers for New Puppy Owners
Instead of Giving a Cat or Dog, Give the Gift of Preparation - If you were planning to give a cat or dog for Christmas, don't. Instead, give your children or your loved one a gift certificate.
Owning a dog calls for common sense and adaptability - Defining common sense dog ownership
What a Puppy is Not
Raising a Puppy is a LOT Like Raising a Baby
Choosing the Right Dog for You - Understanding Dog Breed Categories
What Do I Need To Know About Getting A Puppy?
Where to get a puppy?
Once you are sure you want a puppy you need to figure out where to find one. Below are a few suggestions of where to find your puppy.
BREEDER The first place to consider getting your Dalmatian is from a responsible breeder. With responsible breeders, improvement is their main objective. Every litter is a carefully planned in hopes of producing a better dog. The bottom dollar is not their main concern. They spend countless hours studying the breed. They take time to learn about health, genetic and temperament issues. In addition they must address dog behavior, training and health care concerns. They provide clearances for health issues (OFA, CERF, BAER, etc.) that are associated with their breed.
Good breeders obtain this expertise in a variety of different ways. They may be members of national, regional, or all-breed kennel clubs. They may be members of associations or clubs who specialize in different activities (agility, obedience, therapy, tracking, etc.). They may also exhibit at obedience trials, performance events or conformation dog shows - where dogs are judged against their breed's standard. They read books, attend seminars,attend club meetings, are members of show/performance email lists.
Breeding involves total commitment. Good breeding should not be confused with who has the most champions or most titles on their dog. Someone who spends too much time bragging about how many champions or wins they have rarely concentrates on breeding the healthiest and most mentally sound dog. Some show exhibitors spend too much time worrying about their next big winner to concern themselves with health issues.
Breeders will sometimes have older puppies or adult dogs available. Don't be afraid to inquire about an older puppy or an adult if you do not want to deal with some of the house training issues. Breeders have something that might fit your needs.
SHELTER Another place to obtain a dog is through a shelter. Some dogs are turned into shelters because of a divorce, death in the family, health issues in the family, moving, etc. Some are merely turned in because that cute puppy someone got is no longer so cute and may have turned into a demanding young adult dog. Many of these dogs are turned into a shelter because of behavior or training issues that their owners did not deal with properly. Make sure to be patient as the dog may need extra training, love and understanding.
RESCUE ORGANIZATION Some dogs are turned into rescue organizations for the same reasons listed above. They too, may need someone who will provide patience, extra training, love and understanding.
Are you dealing with a reputable breeder?
Buying a new dog, be responsible - Very good article
Choosing a reputable breeder
Finding a responsible breeder
Sample puppy questionaire
Tips for selecting a quality breeder
Where NOT to get a puppy?
PET SHOP Buying from a pet shop does not give you a better guarantee on your puppy. You will usually spend more for a puppy from a Pet Shop and get little else back. You will not know the history of your puppies parents, the papers that come with your puppy may not be accurate, you have no one to call and ask simple questions (what should I feed for my breed, where is the best place to train, do you have a tips on housebreaking, etc.). Many pet shops buy their puppies from Brokers and/or Puppy Mills. When you buy from a pet shop you are may be helping one puppy out. However, you also perpetuate the puppy mill breeding by encouraging the pet shop to purchase more puppies. A new sales pitch has been to tell buyers that their puppies come from reputable breeders and not puppy mills. It is like a company putting a label on their food that says new and improved without changing a thing. Remember no responsible/reputable breeder will give their puppies to a pet shop to sell. A responsible/reputable breeder wants to know where that puppy ends up. They want to screen that home to make sure they can properly care for the wonderful puppy they produced.
Some pet shops will tell you what you want to hear just to make the sale. They are not going to be available later, to ask questions and guide you in the right direction. Remember the person you are asking advice from is a sales person. They are not an expert in every breed and their particular needs.
10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy from a Pet Store
Pet Store Puppies - What to do when you see a puppy in a pet store
What about a pet store puppy? - The real cost of that doggie in the window
PUPPY MILL Generally an organization or person with many different types of breeds who always seem to have puppy available. Dogs are not not the priority, making money is. As a result, dogs may spend their lives on small hutches or crates in their own filth.
Also see Puppy Mills
BACKYARD BREEDERS Not to be confused with the breeder who really is trying to do right by their breed. BYB are breeding for the money, they thought their kids needed to see puppies born or because Fifi needed a litter. They do not obtain health clearances, they do not select for the proper traits - they generally find the closest, intact male of their breed. Some may even be lucky enough to have been to a pedigree with some champions on it. They do not screen homes properly - if you have the money or merely called, you are a good enough home. They generally do not want to hear back from you after you get the puppy. They are not available to answer you questions about the breed. They may not even know. Some cannot even spell the name of their own breed correctly.
Am I Famous Now
Bringing Your Puppy Home
The first day your bring your new puppy home, do not over stress them. They need time to adjust to their new surrounding and to you. Remember they have left the comfort of their litter mates, their mother and the only home they have known. Do not drag them around to all kinds of places. Keep company to a minimum. You will have plenty of time to stay off your new furry friend in coming days.
Bringing Bowser home - Is there anything I need to do to get ready?
Caring For Your Puppy
Preparing for a Puppy
Puppy Care Instructions
Puppy's First Week
The New Puppy - Some Pointers about Your New Friend
The New Puppy - Covers coming home, health, training, etc.
When I got My New Dog
I asked for strength that I might rear him perfectly; I was given weakness that I might feed him more treats. I asked for good health that I might rest easy; I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing. I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud; I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble. I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful; I was given a clown that I might laugh. I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely; I was given a best friend that I would feel loved. I got nothing I asked for, But everything that I needed.
Be prepared for your puppy's arrival. Having these supplies on hand will make for a smooth transition for you puppy:
- Dog crate
- Pooper scooper
- Dog food - Check with breeder to find out what the puppy is eating
- Baby gates
- Nail clippers or grinder
- Kwik stop
- Two dishes - One for food & one for water
- Bedding - A thick acrylic blanket or old blanket without the satin piping will work great
- Shop towels or other thick paper towel
- Puppy treats
- Safe toys
- Carpet stain/odor remover
- First aid kit
- Pet tabs or puppy vitamin
- ID tags
- Books or videos on training, Dalmatians & first aid
- Brush - short coated breeds do not need metal brushes. A curry or rubber brush are recommended.
- Puppy safe shampoo
- Grooming table (optional but, handy)
Also have a camera, video camera and plenty of film and tape handy. Your puppy will grow quickly and it will be nice to have pictures of their development.
Puppies & Kids
Puppies and kids seem to go together as good as apple pie and ice cream. They can be a great combination if the parents teach both the puppy and children how at act properly.
"Bowser Meets Baby" Or How To Introduce Your New Baby To The Family Dog
Puppies and Kids - Fun & Games For All
Responsible Pet Owner - What you need to know about being responsible for a pet before you get one
Puppies come in a variety of different personalities. The best puppy for you may not be the one that has the prettiest spots or the cute ear patch. You should pick a puppy that will match the households dynamics. It makes no sense to pick a puppy with a cute spotting pattern if the dog is at constant odds with the family members. In the long term, the one with the best fit with be a happy and more enjoyable dog to have around. If you have a quite, calm household and you like it that way, the most active puppy may end up being too much for you when it is an adult. If you have an active household, a puppy who prefers quiet and calm may become too stressed out and develop behavior and health problems as a result.
While it is good to know about the best way to pick out a puppy, it is best to rely on the breeder to help you out. If you come in and try to administer puppy temperament or other evaluation test, you may be doing more harm than good. You may also not be able to interpret the results accurately. Also, puppies may react differently at different times of the day or if one has had more sleep, food etc. It is a great idea to read up on these tests and topics but do not rely on them. Too many are subjective and tell you nothing about how that dog is going to be as an adult. Alot more of it has to do with the underlying temperament and the way the dog is raised and the training they receive.
A good breeder is willing to tell you the personalities of the dogs and if they will fit your lifestyle or not. They do not want to place a puppy in a home where it will not have a chance to be successful in and will be returned.
Choosing the right dog for you - Tips from the Kennel Club in the UK
Picking Out Your Puppy
Puppy Aptitude Test
Understanding Your Puppy's Personality
What to look for in puppies - Tips from the Kennel Club in the UK
Young puppies (usually under 5-6 months of age) need to eat 3-4 times a day. Their little bodies cannot eat enough during 1-2 meals to support growth. Eventually food intake can be tailored to 1-2 meals a day. Each puppy may grow at a different rate and meals may need to be adjusted to accommodate growth spurts. A good breeder should give instructions on how many meals and what brand of food/or foods (is using a raw diet like BARF) are acceptable.
We do not recommend keeping a Dalmatian puppy on a high protein puppy food. If using a puppy food we recommend switching at an adult food after 6 months of age. Otherwise, we suggest using an adult food and supplementing with a multi-vitamin tablet such as Pet Tabs.
Also see Diet
Naming Your Puppy
Make sure you keep the name simple. Dogs tend to respond well to names that end in "a" or "o". Remember the dog will have this name for years to come so make sure you really like the name you choose.
Baby Name Ideas - For humans, a good resource for dog names as well
Bow Wow Meow - Thousands of Pet Names
Dogomania.com - Over 24,263 dog names in our database
Hawaiian Pet Name
Unique names for a baby - For humans.
Names 4 Pets
Need A Pet Name? - Artisitc, mythogical , funny, classis, religious, etc.
2,000 Dog Names - Naming Your Puppy
A Zillion Puppy Dog Names
The Name Game
The temperament test is a series of approximately six or more exercises to test a puppies basic reflex reactions in a stressful situation. Most puppies will respond in one of the following ways: Flight, Freeze or Fight. During one exercise that involves a can, puppies may react in a running away (flight reflex), stopping in their tracks (freeze reflex) or attacking the can (fight reflex). Reactions are graded using numbers and added up at the end of the exercises. A puppy's basic reflexes will fall into one of the three reactions listed above. Each personality will fare better in different home environments. An experienced breeder can then recommend the right puppy for a particular household.
A word of caution about using temperament tests to choose your puppy. The test is only as good as the person giving the test and interpreting the results. Many books are written on various types of tests that can be given when viewing a litter. While the premise is good, only experienced persons should be administering these tests.
Testing done by an inexperienced person may be done improperly. If done at an inappropriate time of development (i.e. fear periods), these tests may cause more harm than good. Some breeds or litters need to be tested at different times in order to obtain accurate results. It is unrealistic to expect good breeder to allow you to take puppies off the premises and administer unknown tests.
We used to have ALL our puppies temperament tested. After staring a series of early developmental exercises, we have found that we are able to read each puppies basic temperament more accurately and at an earlier age. So we no longer rely on the temperament test as a complete indication of temperament.
A good breeder should be able to tell the prospective owner each puppies basic temperament. They will be concerned with each puppy fitting into a home that is properly suited for them. Hopefully turning down homes not suited for the puppies personality and underlying temperament.
Puppy Aptitude Test
Puppy Classes/Socialization/Developmental Stages
All puppies need to be well socialized in order to become a well-adjusted adult. Puppy socialization and puppy kindergartner classes are great ways to bond with your puppy, as well as to lay a good foundation for obedience classes. Most training classes have specific requirements that must be met before a puppy can join their class. Some may want the puppy have all immunizations, other classes may allow a puppy to start after it has received two shots. Some might ask for the puppy to be a certain age. The earlier you start training the better off you and your puppy will be.
Remember if your puppy can be trained as soon as you bring them home. You do not need to wait for a class to teach them basic manners: sit, stay, down, etc. A 7 week old puppy is quite capable of learning these commands. Keep in mind their attention span may be short and they may not sit for long periods of time. Do not over do training with a puppy. Too much and too harsh can have adverse affects. Make all training fun. The younger the puppy the shorter the attention span will be.
Circle of Friends: The Whys and Hows of Puppy Social Life
Civilize Your Dog
Critical periods in a puppies development
Obedience Training: Off to School - The importance of obedience training
Puppy adolescence: trials and tribulations - Tales of teenage terror
Bite Inhibition - Teaching puppies not to bite.
More on Bite Inhibition
The "Proper" Use of Choke Collars
Puppy Bite Inhibition
Puppy Chewing - Puppy days can be frustrating or fun -- you choose which!
Puppies really can learn! - Even when they're younger than six months
Puppy social skills - Puppies need social skills to become friendly guardians
Puppy Socialization - Tips from the Kennel Club in the UK
The first six months - You're never too young to learn
Training Tips for the New Puppy - Pointers, housetraining, whinning, pulling on leash, jumping up, etc.
Training Your Dog
What To Do About a Mouthy Puppy
The Life and Death of an
I woke up one morning with my litter mates. I saw Mom lying there, so I went over to get some breakfast. Mom was warm and she licked me all over. She loved us so much...
Things were good back then. Then I went to live in a home with two kids and their mom and dad. I used to be able to come in the house and play. They even let me sleep in the house. The children would run and I would chase them around. When I was little they would let me jump on them and even playfully bite them. The family would laugh and encourage me to play like that. They gave me lots of toys such as socks, shoes and stuffed animals. I had so much fun... Those were the days. As I got bigger, I would accidentally knock the children down. I would try to bite them on the cuff of their pants as they ran. I found toys like the ones my master gave me when I was younger, and I would chew them up. They started getting mad at me all the time. When I jumped up they would knee me down. One minute they were laughing at me for play biting and chewing and the next minute they would spank me for doing the very same thing... I was so confused. Now I spend my days, hour after hour, chained in the back yard. No one comes out to play with me. I am so happy to see them when they come out that I jump and bark with joy. I spend my days digging up the yard around me which makes my masters mad at me. The fleas crawl all over me... Which drives me crazy. The more I sit out here the madder I get. I cannot understand why they brought me home just to chain me in the yard. If my masters are unhappy with my behavior... Why not train me? Why did they encourage me to jump and bite? Things have not gotten any better for me. Now I sit in jail. People come by my cage looking at me. I bark at them but no one wants me. Oh, no! Here comes a lady with a leash. Where is she taking me? She walks me into a room. Oh, she likes me. It's so good to be hugged again. What's this? She is sticking my leg. Oh, I am so sleepy. What has happened to me? I am asleep now... NO ONE CAN HURT ME ANYMORE
Not sure what type of a puppy you want yet? Take a look at the following:
Choosing Your New Puppy
SelectSmart.com (TM) - Pet Selector
A Housetraining Checklist - Help with housetraining
A guide to "happy housetraining" - Preventing "accidents" instead of waiting for accidents to happen.
Housetraining Your Young Puppy
House Training Schedules
Is House Training That Difficult?
We highly recommend that all dogs be crate trained. Crate training is a great tool to be used in housebreaking.
Crates and Housetraining
Dog Crates - The crate: a modern dog den
Midwest Homes For Pets - Crates
National Pet Cages
Canine Common Courtesy - Common courtesy and doggie etiquette protects owners and their neighbors
Exercising Your Dog
Making the Holiday Season a Good One for You And Your Pet
"No bite!" - Angel days and devil days: teaching bite inhibition to puppies
Prevent Your Puppy's Destructive Chewing
Puppy adolescence: trials and tribulations
Puppy Mouthing & Hand Biting
Running While You Jog
Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Pet
Deceiving appearances - What looks like disobedience might be a health problem
Also see Books , Catalogs and Traveling
Assorted Pet Related 800 Numbers
Tattooing vs Microchipping
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