I got a phone call yesterday that made my day. Someone was interested in getting a puppy and called to talk about the differences in breeds. Before she ever got the puppy! This rarely happens, unfortunately. Most people get the pup, wait until there's trouble, then tries to learn all about the breed they've got.
I'm so happy when someone does their homework before bringing that puppy home. I spent as much time with her on the phone as she needed - a reward for doing it right!
We discussed the pros and cons of the breeds she was looking at, the training that would be involved, as well as other issues like family dynamics, schedules, and the needs of the puppy.
It was such a joy to talk to someone who was interested in getting as much knowledge as possible before the puppy arrives. They hadn't even decided upon a breeder yet -- they wanted to gather all that information before even choosing the breed! I love it!
For anyone out there who's thinking about getting a puppy, please do your homework first.
Find out as much as you can about the breed:
- What is is bred for?
- How big will it get?
- What are the exercise requirements (note: you will be involved in the exercise -- dogs don't exercise themselves no matter how big your yard is!)
- How much grooming is involved?
- How much shedding?
- Does the breed have known health issues?
Here's a great resource for anyone with (or interested in getting) a puppy: it's called Before You Get Your Puppy and you can get a free download of it here. The very same author has another book called After You Get Your Puppy -- both books are excellent and the price is terrific. You can get both books together from Amazon.com for only $13.57.