Selecting a puppy or kitten is a decision with long-term consequences. Most dogs live to be 10 to 15 years old and most cats live to be 15 to 20 years old. It is therefore important to select an animal that is likely to become a valued family member.
Our family has had dogs and cats as family pets for generations. The methods that we use to select puppies and kittens have never failed us. They could be classified as “old wives tales”, and indeed they are, but they are methods that have worked so well that we are happy to pass them on to others.
There are two aspect important aspects to consider when selecting a puppy or kitten: instinct and personality. While animals are very young, both of these are hereditary, but hereditary traits help forge a pet’s lifetime personality.
How to Select the Best Puppy
When selecting a puppy, the dog’s breed is an important factor. Some dog breeds are naturally more difficult to work with and train than are others. For example, a Dalmatian may be beautiful dog, but the breed has a reputation for being difficult animals to control and therefore may not make good family members. You would also not want to select a Pit Bull if you have small children. There are always exceptional animals that make great family pets, but as a general rule, you will have more problems with some breeds than with others.
When introduced to a group of puppies, almost all of them will be lively and friendly. If you are looking for a dog to help protect your family, any puppy that runs from you will likely be shy and may not make the best watch dog. The real secret to choosing the best puppy has to do with trust. From out experience, a puppy that trusts you will spend their lifetime trying to please you and protect your family.
But how do you determine which of the puppies trusts you? That’s the easy part. Pick up a puppy and cradle it in your arm. You might want to start in the crouched down position, just in case the puppy struggles and tries to escape. Gently turn the puppy on its back and continue to cradle it in your arms. If the puppy trusts you, it will not struggle. That puppy will likely become a great family friend. Any puppy that struggles or tries to escape is a bit skittish and will likely be difficult to work with. Choose a puppy that likes you trusts you.
How to Select the Best Kitten
There is nothing cuter than a litter of kittens. Cats are different than dogs and many have a natural, instinctual fear of humans when they are kittens. Once again, trust is a major factor with selecting the best kitten. The cat that will make the most lovable pet will be the one that trusts you the most.
The method that we use to determine this is simple. Very slowly approach the kittens and gently stroke each one. When cats are comfortable and enjoy attention from humans, they will purr. The kitten that purrs the loudest will likely make the best pet. Whenever we used this method, we found that we selected a kitten with the best personality and that critter became a very good family member.
Once again, choose a dog or cat carefully. When you have pets there is a responsibility attached to that partnership. Make sure that you select a pet that add joy to your life.