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I just started looking for my first dog.
I'm thinking, what do I have to pay special attention to when buying a puppy? what are the most common "problems" with puppies in the beginning, what is your experience and what issues and questions did you have when buying your first dog (buying and training wise)? :)

Hope that you would take time to answer some of my questions, I really want to prepare as good as possible :)

Mia
 

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Welcome to Dog Forum! It's great that you're doing research before buying a puppy.

There are a number of stickies with good information in the new additions section; you might look at them for an overview. Mostly, you want to research breeds to find one(s) that are likely to be a good match and breeders to find one(s) who are being responsible and ethical. Meeting dogs bred by a particular breeder can help determine if that particular breeder's dogs are a good fit for you.

I spent several months researching breeds and several more months researching breeders to find a good match. If you share here what characteristics you're looking for, folks can suggest breeds. Other good places to look for breed information are national breed club and breed-specific rescue web sites. For breeders, national breed clubs generally have a breeder referral contact who can recommend breeders.

Another option, of course, is finding a dog from a rescue or shelter. Folks here can offer more information about that if you're interested.

As far as what to expect from puppies....Puppy Blues / Puppy Depression. Puppies need to be supervised constantly and still they will have accidents, chew your shoes, and make a mess of your house. That's why they're cute.

Dog Star Daily has two free downloads: Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy that have very good information about puppy training. The tone is a bit urgent, but if you can overcome that they're well worth reading.
 

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I think it's important to keep in mind how quickly "cute puppy" wears off. They are so cute because otherwise their parents, human or canine, would likely murder them. We got our puppy at 8 weeks she is now 12, and rather than time flying by, it feels like we've had a puppy forever and that peaceful evenings are a foggy memory. You can't wait for them to grow up! Take lots of pictures though otherwise you'll regret it! Yeah the puppy blues thread here is really good, and I think its normal to feel overwhelmed and fed up with a puppy cause they are really frustrating sometimes....like right now when I'm trying to type as quickly as I can so I can distract puppy from trying to pull my sock off. Its impossible to live your normal, routine life with a puppy! They are lots of work.

As for buying....make sure they have screened the parents and pups for whatever health issues are common in the breed, and get it in writing, and that they havn't raised them in a barn or kennel or something. They have to be raised in the home surrounded by normal household noises.
 

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Finding an ethical registered breeder who puts the well being of their dogs first and tests for heredity diseases is super important! You want a healthy dog with a sound temperament. When I found a breeder I liked, we spent a couple weeks exchanging emails and getting to know each other - I've got her on facebook too and ask her for advice all the time. Plus I love getting updates on how my pups parents are doing.
As for picking a puppy, the breeder told me about the personalities of the individual pups which is super important - a dog with a similar personality to your own will make your life soooo much easier. Since this was my first dog (and being a sort of lazy person), the breeder recommended one of the more laid back puppies.
I remember the first month or two being really overwhelming and stressful. I thought about sending my puppy back to the breeder but just stuck it out and kept up the training. He's 8 months now and I'm so glad I never gave up on him, all the training we've done has really paid off and he's such an amazing boy.
So that's my experience with buying a puppy. Good luck with yours!!
 

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I got my first puppy from a breeder whose kennel was just a few miles from my home. Joe was in a crate with four of his brothers and sisters. He was the only one who seemed eager to get out and go home with someone. He came over immediately, hoping I would pick him up. Of course I did pick him up and my choice was made. In other words, I didn't pick him; he picked me. Joe turned out to be a loving companion for thirteen years.
 

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The best places to get puppies are rescues/shelters and good breeders who will do thorough medical screenings on their animals and also breed them "for" something. This means they breed them for sports, work (police dogs, therapy dogs, etc.), and/or conformation (fancy dog shows), not just as pets. Steer clear of anyone who is a "hobby" breeder or appears like they are just in it for the money. If it seems like the breeding dogs or kennel aren't healthy and clean and happy, then leave. Of course if the people refuse to let you see any of the breeding dogs or kennel that's a bad sign too. And of course, steer clear of puppy stores and online breeders/ads (like they'll send you the dog), like the plague. They're almost always puppy mills and just terrible.

Common "problems" with puppies involve nipping, chewing, housetraining issues, and barking among other things. It's kind of like bringing a human toddler into your home. You have to make sure they learn manners and teach them as much as you can as early as you can. Training and socialization (getting the puppy used to meeting new people, animals and places) is extremely important to having a well balanced dog. There are many good books you can buy on new puppies once you get one. We can also help you and give plenty of advice once you bring your new friend home.

It's also important and some others said about getting a dog with a breed and personality that suits your lifestyle. Many people are made miserable by, and many dogs are made homeless by "mismatches". Tell us a bit more about your life and what you want in a dog and we can help you choose a breed or tell you if some you have in mind would be a good fit for you.
 
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