Last month we welcomed a special little guy into our family, he’s cute, cuddly and extremely excitable. His name is Teddy… for obvious reasons. We love him already, however, I can’t say our other dogs (labrador & pug) are quite there yet, they have definitely had a rude awakening. So far, we have been crate training Teddy, which has proven very successful, he has an extra large crate, as he will grow quite big. He is a very clumsy puppy, often tripping over his big fluffy paws, running into objects and jumping in his water bowl!
We chose a gold retriever as we have had one before for many years, his name was Toffee, and unfortunately passed away a few years ago at the age of 15. We were heartbroken, and although this puppy looks very similar to Toffee, he will never replace him.
Before thinking about what breed you’d be best suited to, you also need to think about your own environment and commitments; do I have time to look after/train a puppy? Will I give the puppy the right amount of attention they need? Is my house/apartment big enough for a full grown dog? Am I ready to get up in the night for the first few months to potty train the puppy? Do I mind a puppy having accidents in my home? Do I have a garden (preferably with grass) big enough to let a dog run around? Am I financially stable enough to afford dog food, crate, bed, treats, toys, vet bills/pet insurance? If I go on holiday will I have someone I trust to take care of my dog? Will my other pet/s be ok with a new puppy entering their house?
These questions, although daunting, are vital to ask yourself in order to know whether you are ready to take on such a massive commitment. If you are not absolutely sure you can give the puppy everything he/she needs, you may want to take a step back and wait until you are ready or have changed your circumstances.
If after contemplating all these issues, you still think you’re ready, you can start to think about which breed would be best suited for your lifestyle. Don’t just go for a breed because they are ‘cute’ or ‘cute as a puppy’, because puppy’s don’t stay puppy’s for long. Look at all the different aspects of the breed; how big do they grow? what temperament do they typically have? if you’ve got kids, is the breed normally child-friendly? does the breed need an excessive amount of exercise? what health problems does the breed normally display?
If you were swaying towards the retriever breed, I’d definitely recommend them, they are loyal, loving and extremely friendly. Please be advised that throughout the teething stage they are more likely to nip and bite, although this does usually pass, it can be painful for the puppy and you! (Plenty of chew toys will ease the toe nipping). I strongly advise that if you are going to buy, choose a reputable breeder. There are many puppy farms out there so don’t be afraid to visit the breeder before buying! If you need more information or advice, please read the RSPCA buying a puppy page.