Thinking of Getting a Dog?


Rescue VS Puppy

It is never too late to train so don’t worry about that when considering a rescue over a puppy and the advantage of a rescue is a lot of training, especially house training, is often already done for you, plus if they will be vaccinated, neutered and micro chipped for you assuming they are of the right age so you get time and cost savings on top of the the enormous gift you will be giving the rescue a good home.

*I almost always recommend neutering and this can cost up to around £400.

Forget the idea that having a rescue mean’s behaviour problems and going to a ‘reputable’ breeder does not, its not the case and bear in mind the rescue centre will assess if your potential new dog may have any behaviour concerns and you can always discuss with me how easy this might be to manage.

The pros and con of a puppy is what is learnt in the 8-16 week sensitive period can have long lasting effects.So put the work in and get it right and you are on your way to a lovely life with your new dog but get it wrong and you could spend a lot of time and money correcting it. Then even if you do get it right what happens if something hasn’t gone right before you get your dog home? So what do you want to look out for at the breeder?

What to look out for at the Breeder?

If the litter size is larger than ten, the mother may find it hard to effectively raise the litter alone. If the puppy is not having to compete at all for milk it may not learn to deal with frustration leading to aggression later in life. So ensure the breeder is not bottle feeding or serving as a puppy farm with too many puppies to one bitch.

For food treats to work most effectively in training, choose a litter who has been fed a varied diet! It is quite rare these days but this can also help avoid getting a dog with food intolerances.

Competing too much over food too young can lead to resource guarding. So if you can choose a breeder who gives one third more bowls than there are puppies you might avoid this.

A mothers ability to groom will have an effect on how easy a dog is to restrain and handle later in life. Large litters are more likely to be deprived of restraint. See if you can see the puppies being groomed before you choose one. Note long haired breeds are easier for the mum to restrain and thus can be easier to handle when you get them home.

Play with the litter is where puppies begin to learn their language, learn what’s appropriate, what is not, learn to deal with stress which is why it’s so important puppies are not taken away too young.

A Mum teaches her pup not to mess the area they sleep in. So if you choose a breeder who has a separate type of flooring from where the pups sleep and mess you’ll find house training is almost done for you.

Puppies who hold back when others come forward maybe a sign of shy dog. Shy dogs need special work as they tend to have bad threat assessment which if not handled correctly can lead to reactivity later down the line.

For more info please book a training consultation.

TIP! A dog who loves treats can be a lot easier to train.

What Breed to Get?

You can book a consultation with me to discuss this in more detail but a few things to consider:

Working breeds particularly prior to four years need a lot of mental stimulation. They have been bred to work and if not worked can lead to behaviour problems.

Toy/ small breeds you may get away with less physical exercise but they need as much mental stimulation as their large counterparts so don’t think you can leave them to sit on the sofa bored all day.

Mixed breeds often have a lot less health problems.

If you are not home much watch our for getting a breeds prone to separation anxiety. Click here to find out more about this.

Getting your Dog Home

Would you leave a new born baby at home with the nanny or alone straight away? So please be prepared to be at home for a couple of weeks to get your Pup settled before thinking about being off at work full time. It will save problems later down the line.

A rescue who is happy alone may mean you can move back to your work routine quicker.

The first night can be very influential and I highly recommend you begin crate training from the moment you get home. Click here for a free guide to doing this.

  • For more info please book a training consultation.

  • Please also see my page on Puppies.

  • Please also see my list of equipment you may need, particularly food puzzles.

Here are Some London Rescue Centres to check out:

Blue Cross animal hospital, Hammersmith


Shelter London - Hackney

All Dogs Matter Charity Shop


Dogs Trust

Wood Green, The Animals Charity - Rehoming Centre - Cats

Dogs Trust Muswell Hill

Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Wild at heart.

Cinnamon Trust.