Choosing a dog
Dogs are not designer accessories - choose your new dog to suit you, your lifestyle and your family, not on what is fashionable.
What size and age of dog should I get?
- Decide which breed and type of dog will suit you and your lifestyle.
- Consider the size of your house and garden. How many people and pets share this space already?
- An older dog rather than a young puppy may be more suitable for less active people.
Where can I get a dog from?
- A licensed breeder
- A rescue centre
- Ask your veterinary surgeon/dog warden for advice.
- Information about different breed characteristics e.g. size, exercise requirements and temperament can be found in books or from breeders or breed advisors.
- Visit a dog show and speak to owners of different breeds before buying.
- Once you have decided which breed of dog you would like, there are two important questions to ask the breed advisor:
- Are there any particular health problems associated with the breed?
- Do breeders screen their stock for potential problems and how do you, as a potential buyer, check that they do this?
- Find out why the dog had to be re-homed - the rescue centre may have details of the dog's previous history.
- Has the rescue centre assessed the dog's behaviour?
- How does the dog react to children and other dogs or cats?
- Does it prefer male or female handlers?
- Is it house-trained or is it an outside kennel dog? Is it destructive?
- If it is a puppy, do they know to what size it will grow?
- Return policy - will they take the dog or puppy back if it is unsuitable?