How to pick a puppy from a litter


Before we get into how to pick a puppy from a litter, let’s first look at where you are getting your puppy from. Unfortunately, some people may breed puppies for a profit and are what may be called “unresponsible breeders.” Fortunately there are many rules now in place in order to protect buyers from getting involved with such a situation. A responsible breeder cares deeply about their dogs and will not just sell them to anyone, so be prepared for lots of questions. Responsible breeders also serve as knowledgeable mentors and will be ready to answer all of your questions about caring for your new puppy and what you can expect as the dog starts to grow.

Before deciding what breed of dog you would like to have you need to ask yourself several questions such as:

  • Do I want a small dog or a big dog?
  • Do I want a short-haired dog or a long-haired dog?
  • Do I want a Hypoallergenic dog?
  • Do I want a dog that needs a lot of exercise or one that is happy just going for a walk?

There are many factors to consider when trying to decide what dog breed to buy, for example:

  • How big is your house?
  • Will, the dog be left alone at home while you are at work?
  • How much time will you have to play and take the dog for walks?
  • Are you prepared for the vaccinations and vet bill costs associated with owning a dog?


So you have now selected what you think is the breed right for you and your lifestyle, so now is the time to choose a responsible breeder. Unlike the past, there is plenty of online information, including various dog breed websites and owners clubs where you can ask questions.


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You can make sure you are getting a healthy puppy by asking the breeder questions about the type of food they feed their dogs and are the puppies being dewormed every two weeks? Have any of the puppies vomited or had diarrhea?

  • Observe the litter and how the puppies interact with each other.
  • Is there a pup that seems more active than the others?
  • Survey the puppy’s overall appearance. All puppies should have healthy, shiny coats with no bald spots or sores.
  • Watch how they walk! All puppies look clumsy, but they should bear the weight evenly on all four legs.

If you see a puppy that appeals to you, separates them from the litter for a closer look.

  • The eyes should be clear with no drainage or redness
  • The ears should not have an odor or discharge.
  • A pup’s nose might have a slight clear discharge, but the important thing is that it can breathe effortlessly without noise.
  • The puppy’s mouth should be a healthy pink color and moist.
  • Check the puppy for a protrusion as this could be a sign of an umbilical hernia.

When you take the puppy home, usually around 8 or 12 weeks when it has had all its first vaccinations make an appointment to have the puppy checked by a veterinarian. They will be able to tell you if the puppy is in good health. All reputable breeders will give your money back if the puppy has health issues.


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