Last update was on: March 19, 2014
Things to look for when you are looking for puppies

Are you asking yourself what kind of puppy is right for me? Picking the right puppy for your family is a very important task. It is not something that should be left up to the children, either. Adults should thoroughly research each dog breed that is being considered to narrow down the choices of suitable puppies. Things that should be taken into account include the breed's temperament, maintenance and grooming needs, and the family's environment and lifestyle. This will help you adopt the right dog breed for the entire family from the get go rather than discovering you have the wrong breed after you have already brought the dog home.

When you arrive at the home or business where puppies are being sold, or offered for adoption, you should take note of the kennel's cleanliness. If the kennel is unkempt, smelly and dirty, you can safely assume that the mother dog may not be in the best health. Have a general knowledge of dog health before you start looking for dogs so that you can easily notice any health problems.
Thoroughly look over the mother dog. However, keep in mind that most mother dogs may appear thin. This is common, especially during the weaning process. If the mother dog is malnourished, you will know it. If she is, you should not purchase a puppy from her litter. If the mother dog is overly aggressive toward you, you may also want to reconsider a puppy from her litter. Try to spot aggressive dog behavior early in a puppy's life.
When looking at the puppies, you should observe them before you pick them up. How to pick a puppy out of a litter is a difficult task. How the puppies play and act will tell you a lot about them. You should easily be able to pick out the dominate puppies in the litter, as well as ones that may be too rough or who are very shy. This is important information for you.
Are you going to take your dog camping every weekend or will he be an indoor, apartment dog? If you want a dog that is going to be a guard dog, the shy dog cowering in the corner may not be the best choice. However, if you want a dog that is good with children, you should not choose the alpha male, or the shy dog. Alpha males may not take kindly to their territory being invaded. Shy dogs may startle around very small, excited children and snip at them. You should look for a middle of the line puppy.

If you are interested in a dog that is barking at you, try to figure out why he or she is barking. Is it because he or she is scared, or is the pup trying to be friendly? Fearful dogs will bark and could possibly grow up to be aggressive. You should be able to tell if the dog is saying "Hello" or "Stay away from me, I don't like you."
Take each puppy you are interested in away from their litter mates. How does he or she react? Is he or she cowering, jumpy, or nervous? Perhaps he or she is happy, confident and ready to investigate your shoe strings? When you walk away from the puppy and call him or her, what kind of reaction do you get? If the puppy is interested in you, he or she will come to you. If the puppy is not interested in you, or is very independent, he or she will ignore you. All of these reactions are a clue and an inside peek into the dog's personality.
Next, hold each puppy you are interested in like an infant. If the dog resists laying on his or her back, it may be very stubborn. If the puppy is afraid and wide-eyed, he or she may need extra coaxing and love. The puppy that tries to right itself, but then relaxes and continues this pattern is considered a middle-of-the-road pup. He or she is probably going to be very easy to work with.
If you follow these tips, you should easily be able to pick out a puppy that will work for your family. Remember, when choosing a puppy do not let the children pick out the new puppy. Many times their choice is based purely on how "cute" the puppy looks.