Choosing the right puppy for you can be a challenge. And that’s putting it mildly!
The hunt for a new puppy basically requires you to swim in a never-ending sea of adorableness.
There are soft, wet noses and big lovey-dovey eyes. Short tails that shake quickly and long tails that sway leisurely. You marvel at chocolatey-brown flowing fur coats and chuckle at little white puff balls.
There are so many cute dogs to choose from!
How do you pick? What do you even look for?
When looking for a new puppy, there are several things you want to see. Some traits include a puppy who comes to you readily, follows you eagerly, and has a general sense of curiosity about the world. Red flags to look for include poor weight, bad posture, nervousness, and aggression.
In this article, I will describe the specifics of what to look for when picking a puppy. I will also explain how to identify a puppy with a good temperament and go through a list of red flags not to ignore when looking for a puppy.
Searching for the perfect pup but struggling to make that final selection? No worries, I’ve got you covered!
Join me as I help you identify exactly what to look for in the puppy to bring home and make your own.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed when hunting for a new puppy, that’s totally understandable! Not only are there many options, but they’re all so different and so wonderful.
You may find several dogs appealing but probably have a preference for the appearance and disposition you are most drawn to. You may favor small dogs over larger ones or have a specific breed in mind.
Or you may not really have anything in mind at all, but you know that you’ll know it when you see it!
Is there anything else to look for outside of preferences and gut instincts when selecting a pup?
The answer is yes!
There are actual tests that can be performed to determine a dog’s temperament. These temperament tests essentially serve up a slice of a puppy’s personality. They are useful to help gauge whether a puppy may be a good fit for you and your household.
These tests include:
Since the PAT is the most commonly used test, I will go into further detail about what this test recommends you seek in a possible pup.
The PAT test evaluates dogs in the following 10 areas:
This test is typically performed when a pup is about 7 ½ weeks old and can tell you a lot about their potential.
It’s important to remember that temperament tests can’t tell you everything about what a puppy will be like in your home. They also can’t predict the kind of dog they may grow up to be. Age, maturity, environment, and training also may play significant roles in a pup’s development.
Despite temperament tests not being foolproof, they are still great tools to gauge your potential pup’s characteristics.
According to the PAT, an ideal puppy for a first-time dog owner will exhibit a few specific signs:
Just as there are positive things you will want to see when buying a potential puppy, there are red flags to be on the lookout for too.
Some of these signs include:
There’s no denying it; puppies are simply delightful! These lively, happy and elegant little bundles of fur can be such meaningful additions to your family. They are capable of multiplying your joy daily in a way that not many things on earth can.
The hardest part is choosing which one to get!
Once you narrow down the breed and look that you like, there are other traits to look for to help you pick the best puppy for you. A dog with a lively, curious, and friendly demeanor will be your best bet. Tests like the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test (PAT) can help you evaluate more in-depth what kind of puppy to pick.
It may be best to avoid red flags like aggressive, withdrawn pups who evade eye contact as you search for your ideal puppy.
The good news is: there truly is no right or wrong choice. The guidelines in this article can help you hone in on what type of puppy to look for, but your heart and gut will confirm the perfect pup for you!