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Buying a Puppy


I would encourage anyone taking a new dog into their home to consider adopting one instead of buying.   There is a huge surplus of dogs in Ireland and thousands end up being put to sleep each year because there simply aren’t enough loving homes out there for all of them.  However, if you have your heart set on buying and new puppy or have a specific breed in mind to fit in with your requirements, home life and schedule, below are some tips. 

When deciding on the breed for you


  • Always do your research in terms of how big a fully gown dog of that particular breed will be.


  • It’s very important to know the exercise requirements of a particular breed.  Some breeds require literally hours of hard exercise a day so these guys aren’t going to be for you if you work full time or have a young family.  If a dog’s exercise requirements aren’t met, an array of behavioural issues can crop up as a result of all that unused energy.   


  • When reading up on various breeds look out for the following terms or some variation of them; ‘loyal to their family’, ‘protective’, ‘aloof’, ‘reserved with strangers’.  These are all euphemisms for ‘fearful of strangers’.  This is going to make life difficult for you when people call to your home and when you are out and about with your dog.  Some people get these dogs with the intention of using them as guard dogs but I suggest you get an alarm isntead!  I don’t believe in guard dogs.  Dogs don’t understand a person’s intentions.  A dog can’t tell if someone is a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy', he will only understand  'Known Persons'  ~vs~ 'Unknown Persons' and anyone unknown to the dog (perhaps a friend of yours or delivery person) calling to your door is at risk.   

  • They have become unpopular in recent years but keep in mind that mongrels are every bit as good as pedigree dogs!


Avoiding buying puppies from a puppy mill

Puppy farming is rife in Ireland and aside from the welfare issues relating to the parents / the breeding dogs, the puppies produced can have major health and behavioural issues associated with bad genetic pairings, early removal from the mother and lack of essential early socialisation.  To avoid funding this practice and to make sure you get a well bred dog, follow the tips below: 

  • If the price of the puppy seems too good to be true for that particular breed, you should be wary.  I know we all like a good deal but if you buy a badly bred dog from a puppy farm you could end up paying the price later in medical bills, intensive behavioural modification, and heartache. 


  • Don’t be taken in by a photo of the pups on a nice comfortable sofa.   Puppy mill owners are known to stage these.   Ask to visit the litter and meet the mother.  Avoid sellers who will not let you visit the litter with their mother.  They will come up with fantastic excuses about why you can't visit but stick to your guns on this point.

  • Similarly, avoid sellers who ask come to your home with the puppy or meet you somewhere publicly.

  • When you visit, pay close attention to the mother’s behaviour, having a fearful mother is a huge indicator that the pups will also grow up to be fearful. 



The very best of luck with your new best friend.

"..a dog can’t tell if someone is a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy', he will only understand  'Known Persons'   ~vs~  'Unknown Persons' ....anyone unknown to the dog who calls to your door is at risk"

Tips for choosing a puppy
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