Updated: May 5
No matter how you decide to add to your Fur Family (RESCUE ADOPTION OR PURCHASE) you should do your research and ensure that the breed you choose will be the best fit for your specific situation and the dog.
What’s in a breed?
Research and find out as much as you can about the breeds you prefer or are thinking of adopting. Whilst every dog is an individual and not a carbon copy, they were bred with specific attributes in mind eg size, temperament, intelligence, ability etc.
Be totally honest about how well their particular breed attributes will match your lifestyle work life and homelife. Be realistic about how much time and attention you can give the dog, some breeds do not cope well with being left alone or without enough exercise and mental stimulation.
What can I offer?
Consider the environment you can offer, are you in an apartments, house, rural block and will the size and security of your garden and fencing be suitable. What’s your work schedule, and how much time can you offer to socialisation and training for you dog. Do you have children or other pets to consider. Match this against the size, energy level and general attributes of the breed you are considering.
Am I really ready for this?
Be honest with yourself about how experienced you are in handling and training dogs - are you really ready for this big commitment - it’s for the life of the animal!
Also, consider the pros and cons of the various stages of a dogs life - what stage are your prepared to get involved with - and remember they don’t have the same life span as us - are you wiling to make the selfless, hard decision for your best friend when the time comes.
PUPPY UNDER 1 YR
ADOLESCENT UP TO 2 YRS
SENIOR DOG 7 YEARS AND OVER
After Cebar (our 9 year old Cocker Spaniel X) fell ill last year with pancreatitis and we feared loosing him, it made us want to add a new member to our fur family. Initially we tried to adopt a rescue dog, to give a dog in need a home, but as we already had a senior dog at home we found it difficult to find a rescue with the right size, temperament and energy level to fit in with a senior dog. We did almost adopt a little blind rescue and got as far as the interview process, but the trainers convinced us it wouldn’t be a suitable match for Cebar - so home in tears I went.
After almost a year of searching, we finally had to accept that the best chance of success was to purchase a new born putty to socialise the two correctly right from the start. We tried to get another cocker and wanted a female who showed less dominance in the litter. Covid has seen dogs become a premium asset and even cross- breeds were fetching almost $5000 price tags. We wanted to be as sure as we could that our puppy would be free from genetic issues so we opted for only dealing with registered Dogs West breeders.
We spoke with several breeders (Springers and Cavaliers) via phone and email and filled in application form after application form asking all about us and our experience with dogs, sent pictures of our yard, fences etc and were finally accepted onto all the lists we applied for. So we just had to play the waiting game. I came close to getting a couple of dogs but at each step I was next on the list and just missed out ( ie all the people before me took all the litter - no one dropped out).
Living in hope I started researching the latest methods in toilet training etc as it had been 20 years since I had a puppy. I wanted to be the best prepared pet parent possible. I set about obtaining the things I knew would be needed immediately for my new puppy when they did arrive.
Most registered breeders DNA test their breeding stock to ensure they are free from hereditary problems. Most pups come between 8-10 weeks old and usually have had their first vaccination, are microchipped, wormed and vet health checked. You also usually get some kind of Puppy Started Pack with pedigree and vaccination papers, sometimes bowls, leads, toys, some food and often a blanket with their mother’s sent on it to help the transient to their new homes.
Although I didn’t even have a puppy secured yet, I wanted to prepare and feel confident in my plan for introducing the puppy to my older dog, Cebar, as well as quickly toilet training. them because my dogs have always lived inside with full run of the house.
Whilst chasing up some further waiting lists I started to think of breeds other than spaniels, I came across a French Bulldog Breeder. I made enquiries about going onto her waiting list and to my surprise she had a current litter, only 16 days old, but only one of the puppies was available, a little black masked fawn male. I asked to go onto her waiting list, but overnight something in me prompted me to ask her to send me a photo of the little boy who was available (see below) - from the moment I saw him I knew this was it - this little milk drunk tart-bag was my little baby!
(pic courtesy of Caroline for Galerie French Bulldogs)
My only concern was having two males and how they would get on, but after speaking with the breeder we were confident it would go well. So on 12.1.2021 we purchase him for $4500 and she let the other people interested in him know that he was no longer available. They were calling him Winston, but we decided to change it to Whisky. We would have to wait until he was 4 weeks old before we could see him (but not touch him) in the flesh. He would get his first vaccination at 6 weeks and around 8 weeks would be available to come home which would be around 21 Feb 2021.
Realising that not only was this dog going to be smaller than we anticipated, we bought “Whisky” his own puppy carrier so we could still socialise him and walk Cebar whilst he was not yet fully vaccinated. Being a French Bulldog puppy I also ordered a small harness to train him to walk without pulling whilst protecting his delicate throat (brachiocephalic breeds have breathing issues). His own little puppy collar and dog tag were ordered. So some extra things were added to his welcome home essentials, specifically for him.
If you’d like to know what items I chose to purchase from my research check out my Vlog 2 - Preparing for the Partridge Pup - Whisky’s Welcome Home Stuff.