Choosing the right dog for your family

First and foremost, it never pays to buy a dog from a pet shop. If you buy from a pet shop you will have no idea what temperament your dog is likely to have, because you will have no idea what temperament their parents have. It’s always best to buy from a reputable breeder, that way you can see the puppy’s parents and ask the breeder as many questions as you like before making your decision. A reputable breeder will be able to tell you everything there is to know about the puppy’s parents, the puppies, and the breed in general, a pet shop will not.

Before making any decision as to which puppy you would like to buy, ask the breeder if it’s ok for you to stay for a while and just observe the puppies before making any decision, half an hour or so should be enough. Watch all the puppy’s, not just the one that you think looks the cutest. After a while you will be able to work out which puppy would best suit you, your family, your lifestyle, and your living environment, based on each of the puppy’s behaviors, personalities, and energy levels.

Coat length

Coat length is also worth taking into consideration. Long rough coated dogs will require regular grooming; otherwise their coats can become a tangled mess. Long rough coasts will also carry more dirt into your home and are harder to wash than short coated dogs. Short coated dogs require minimal maintenance. Short coated dogs will still moult be not quite as bad as long haired dogs. Also they will keep cooler in summer than long haired dogs.

Blue eyed dogs are beautiful

Blue eyed dogs are beautiful, but to my knowledge are more prone to potential eye problems than regular dogs with brown eyes. This may or may not lead to more vet bills in the long run. This is especially true for Border Collies who can develop CEA ( Collie Eye Anomaly ).

Dominance and aggression within the litter

In my opinion you may have slightly more issues initially with the dominant puppy in a litter. This is because they are more use to calling the shots and being in control. There like a miniature pack leader, so when they move into a family environment they still may want to call the shots. There mindset has to change from being pack leader to being subordinate. This for some puppies is not a problem, but for others it may be.

The barking puppy

Watch for which puppy barks the most. Depending on where you live, a dog that likes to bark allot could cause you real problems in the future.

The active puppy

The chances are, the more active the puppy, the more exercise they will need throughout their lives. So that equates to allot of walking, playing in the park/garden, games involving intelligence etc...

Puppy size

Although you cannot always tell what size of dog a puppy will become, it’s still worth bearing in mind. A large puppy will most likely turn into a large dog, that’s not to say that the same could not happen to the runt of the litter, sometimes the runt of the little will have a growth spurt. Larger dogs will be much more  powerful and therefore need someone with strength to handle them well.

 Bonding

During your observation period, see which pup or puppy’s bond with you best. It’s no good going for the cute one if they’re not at all interested in you. A good bond will make for a good relationship between you and your dog.

Working breeds

Working breeds like Border Collie's, German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels etc... generally require allot more exercise and mental stimulation than others breeds. This equates to allot more work for you & your family. Dogs that do not get enough exercise can develop behavioral problems & become very difficult to live with. Herding breeds like the Border Collie are also not really suitable for households that contain small children. If the dogs herding instinct is strong they are likely to start herding up your children. This may sound like allot a fun until you realize that Border Collies will also nip at the children's ankles in order to get them moving.