Disclaimer: We, at Love-A-Bull SA, DO NOT support breeding and sale of puppies, not while so many unwanted dogs are condemned to a life sentence of abuse, neglect or life in a sanctuary/resucue.
However, we have been at this long enough to know that people will always want and buy puppies, so here are some tips on purchasing a puppy, if you must.
NEVER EVER TAKE A PUPPY YOUNGER THAN 10 WEEKS OLD
The most critical time of your puppy’s development and socialisation happens between the ages of 6 & 12 weeks, it is essential that they remain with their mother and in a litter during this period for proper social development.
Here are the development phases of a puppy:
- The Neonatal Stage (birth – 2 weeks) – The puppies eat, sleep, pee and poop. There is no other social interaction at this stage.
- The Transitional Stage (2-3 weeks) – The puppies move from just eating and sleeping to become more aware of their surroundings as their eyes and ears open.
- The Socialisation Stage (3-13 weeks) – The puppies move from just eating and physical survival to interacting with the members of their society and learning the social rules of their society. *Overlap – The Critical Period (6-13 weeks) This is not a separate stage of development but a component of the Socialization Stage. But this period of development is so crucial to the development of social skills and to the dog’s understanding of key socialisation elements that it merits its own mention. It is within this developmental stage that a dog’s potential as a companion animal is either fostered and nurtured or impeded and even destroyed. It is also within this stage that at least 50% (nurture vs. nature) of the dog’s eventual temperament is developed.
- Adolescence (13 weeks – 6 months) – The puppies are now autonomous but are still learning about the social complexities of their society. At this stage varying amounts of latitude are given for socially immature dogs displaying inappropriate social behaviours. Behaviour is corrected by the members of the society.
- Adulthood (begins at approximately 6 to 8 months old) – These are fully autonomous dogs that are required to know the rules of the society and operate within the parameters of these rules. Dogs that challenge the rules or don’t conform to the rules may be physically forced out of the group.
ALWAYS INSIST ON A VACCINATION CERTIFICATE
Whether your breeder claims the puppies have been vaccinated or not, if they cannot provide you with a properly certified vet book, then chances are your puppy has not been vaccinated. Take them immediately to a vet and get their vaccinations done and acquire your own vet vaccination booklet.
DE-WORMING YOUR PUP IS ESSENTIAL
Get your puppy de-wormed by your vet and continue to do so regularly until they are 1 years old. Keep a record of their de-worming schedule in your vet booklet.
DOES YOUR PUPPY LOOK HEALTHY
There are obvious and easy ways to spot a healthy puppy, check their eyes, ears and bottom. If the puppy looks unwell, either leave it with it’s mother for a few more days to get well, or take them to a vet for treatment immediately.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reputable breeders will always provide you with a few days supply of food to continue with the puppy until you can gradually introduce a new brand of food. You cannot simply change a puppies diet, they have extremely sensitive stomachs.
TRAINING & SOCIALISATION
It is essential that you enrol your puppy in puppy school where their socialisation can continue as well as some basic obedience training.
RESEARCH YOUR BREED
Pitt Bulls especially are jumpers, if your walls are too low, they will jump the walls and this will lead to a lot of heartache and devastation. Ensure that you are the ideal home for your cute Pitt Bull puppy because cute Pitt Bull puppies grow up to be large, jumping Pitt Bulls.
Get them micro chipped and sterilised as soon as possible.
This is a life long commitment! Your cute little puppy will grow up, are you committed to walk a life long path with them?
Owning a puppy is a huge commitment, there are so many deserving and loving dogs sitting in kennels, rescues and foster homes around the country. Consider this carefully before making the decision, perhaps you could offer a loving forever home to a committed soul who, while not as cute as a tiny puppy, will love you unconditionally till death you do part.