Where to Get the Perfect Primitive Puppy
Puppy fever is a serious condition. Symptoms include staring at puppy pictures, squealing at puppies, and pursuing puppy listings on rescues and breeder pages. The struggle is real. But purchasing or rescuing a puppy without a plan will lead to frustration and heartache. However, I know how hard it is to come up with a plan when you’re struggling with a full blown case of puppy fever so I made a plan for you. If you follow these steps you are very likely to acquire a happy, healthy puppy that will grow into a wonderful companion for years to come.
1. Look Beyond “The Cute” Factor
Review breed information from reliable sources. This means going beyond social media and talking to people who are DOING THINGS with the breeds you’re interested in. Get 3-5 opinions. Read about physiological and behavioral health concerns and take them seriously. Can you live with the worst possible physical or behavioral problems that can crop up?
2. Meet Adults
Puppies grow into adults and stay that way ;) so you want to make sure you can live with the dog that the puppy grows up to be. Go out and meet adult members of the breed. See what their energy levels are and how much attention they require.
3. Research Rescues
If you want to get your puppy from a rescue there are a few things to consider. First, rescues don’t usually have many puppies so you will likely have a long wait. So that’s no problem if you’re patient but if puppy fever is burning you up, you probably won’t find one along this route. Also don’t automatically take the first puppy available through a rescue. Be as careful as you would be adopting any dog. Look for signs of characteristics you might not be willing to live with like being overly vocal or fearful. While behaviors may change from puppy to adult, they also may not.
Also try to get your puppy under the age of 16 weeks. This is really hard going through rescue because usually it takes a while before puppies are available. But the socialization window for dogs closes at 16 weeks! After this any fears or behavior issues are harder to change. Don't be fooled by people who tell you that dogs can be “socialized” after 16 weeks just be taking them out. This is false and will make things worse. Instead start with the puppy that fits your life and household, and still has plenty of time to develop with you guiding them.
Before adopting read all contracts. Make sure that if something is seriously wrong with your puppy the rescue will help you sort it out or take the puppy back. Also make sure to see a health certificate the shows the puppy has seen a vet and has received at least their first set of vaccinations and been dewormed.
4. Research Breeders
If you’re looking for a rarer breed is can be nearly impossible to find a puppy through rescue. The best way to find breeders is usually through official breed clubs or through referrals of owners. Working with a breeders of very rare primitive breeds can be very good experience. Many are ethical and supportive of new puppy buyers. But you’ll still have to do your fair share of interviewing. Check that a breeder you’re interested in health tests their dogs, houses them in the home, temperament tests their puppies, and does developmental enrichment with their puppies such as the “Puppy Culture” program. These steps are all very important in helping make sure your puppy has the best chance of being happy and well adjusted to family life.
5. Meet the Puppy
This is the hardest step because basically regardless of what you think of the puppy the hormone oxytocin is going to make you want to bring them home. Try to be calm and consider all the characteristics you’re looking for in your new companion. If this puppy is overly fearful, vocal, anxious or hyper, consider that these qualities may not go away as the puppy gets older. If you’re ready to take on these challenges, by all means, choose that puppy. But if any are a deal breaker, wait for the next one. Remember, there will always be more puppies but whichever one you choose, they are your responsibility.
6. Jump Start Your New Life Together
Within a day or two of your puppy arriving home, head to the vet and make sure everything is okay with your puppy. Bring a urine and fecal sample to test for any infections that will delay house training or indicate your puppy has parasites. Next sign up for a local positive reinforcement based puppy training class and start building your bond. It’s never too early to start. Finally if you have any concerns reach out to the rescue/breeder where you acquired your puppy as well as your vet and your trainer. Ideally everyone should work as a team to make your puppy’s first year a happy, healthy, and prosperous one.
Are you looking for a new puppy or have you just added one to your family? We have a growing library of puppy related articles you should check out!