There is more to it than meets the eye
Firstly, sorry for all the dog posts. I think I have just absorbed so much over the last few months, I am like a soggy sponge that needs to get rid of all this extra knowledge.
So having chosen the breed, now onto the process of actually choosing the puppy.
We wanted to get the puppy no earlier than July for several reasons, including personal commitments and we believed it was a good time for the puppy. In the summer there are plenty of people about so socialising should be easier and hopefully all the basic training will have been achieved prior to the wet and cold winters. Thus making it a bit easier for us.
There are many places you can source a puppy, you will find adverts in the local paper, gumtree, the corner shop, online, through friends and family.
We looked mainly online and out of all the various sites from Freeads, to the specialist animal websites we used www.pets4homes.co.uk as our main tool. It is a great easy to use site with clear easy to filter adverts. I was impressed and can say I would recommend it.
From here we refined our search to a particular distance etc.
A point to note is that many breeders, probably because they don’t have the time seem to put the adverts on as and when the puppy’s were ready or nearly ready.
I wanted to select from a new litter to ensure that we had pick of the bunch and that we had plenty of time to prepare once we had decided.
Whilst we had decided on a Labrador we hadn’t yet decided for sure on the colour be it brown, golden/yellow or black but we were edging towards golden.
We were adamant that the lab we chose had to be kennel club registered. You pay a bit more for this but you know a bit more about the dogs history and the likelihood of issue.
We made sure we picked a breeder who had hop and eye scores for the mother and father for that added peace of mind.
One of the biggest considerations then for me was the quality of the advert. Some were really poorly written with terrible photos. Now you can’t always judge a book by its cover but I think you get an impression. Thus we selected an advert that wasn’t necessarily the most descriptive or had lots of photos but it had gone live only a few hours before we saw it. The puppies were 4 weeks away from being ready and the style of the advert felt honest.
A couple of emails later with positive well worded responses and we were confident that the breeder wasn’t someone who just accidently had a litter.
We went to visit what happened to be a working farm in the heart of the Cotswolds and we were warmed by this homely animal oriented location. Perfect for a puppy and we knew that this wasn’t some accidental litter of puppies.
We were warmly welcomed and got to look at the litter. We spent about 45 minutes there so had time to assess the puppies and the environment. We met the mother who was superb in temperament. She walked in had a quick sniff and sat right next to me. Things such as that generally ensure that the puppies will have similar temperaments.
Quite importantly here the breeder asked the right question of us. Asking about what we do, have we had dogs before which is a sign that they care about the welfare of the animal and it isn’t about the money or moving them on.
We left not having made a decision. Now we could have looked at more and maybe we should have but we had a warm feeling. The home they came from was good. They had the hip & eye score and were kennel club registered.
After a night to think about it we made the decision and committed to a male golden lab, the biggest of the bunch.