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The Ultimate Checklist to Help You Choose the Right Dog

The Dog Lover’s Guide to Choosing the Right Dog

cute white puppy dog being held up by dad and son
We’ll Take This One!

Meeting the Dog in Person Checklist

  1. Age: is the dog at least 8 – 12 weeks old? Any younger is too young to be away from its mother.
  2. Does the entire litter look healthy and happy?
  3. Are the puppies curious and active?
  4. Size: is the dog the “middle size” of the litter? Neither the runt or the largest? The average puppy is probably the healthiest and easiest to train.
  5. Check out the puppy
    1. Eyes clear and focused?
    2. Nose free of debris?
    3. Ears clean with no wax or buildup?
    4. Mouth and teeth – do the teeth align? are the gums a healthy pink color?
    5. Body should be slightly plump and tummy slightly rounded. The bum should be clean and free of fecal matter.
    6. Legs should be straight and without obvious defects.
  6. Friendly: is the dog friendly toward you and others?
  7. Is the dog curious, or fearful, or threatening when you approach? You want one who is curious.
  8. Is the dog afraid of sudden noise?
  9. How does the dog react to being touched? The pup should love it.
  10. Does the dog lick or playfully bite? Biting can be controlled if properly trained.
  11. Does the dog want to play and chase a toy?
  12. How does the dog interact with kids?
  13. How does the dog act toward other dogs?
  14. Food: is the dog possessive or relaxed around food?
  15. Training questions: Is the dog house trained?
    • Leash trained?
    • Crate trained?
  16. Does the dog bark or whine?
    • What causes it?
      • Excitement?
      • Intruder?
      • Territorial?
      • Separation?
      • Attention?
      • Fear?
  17. Does the pup have the personality you are looking for?
  18. Did you and the dog connect?

Do you have everything you need to bring the puppy home?

  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Poop bags
  • Crate
  • Bed
  • Dog food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Dog toys
  • Treats for dogs
  • Chewies for dogs


Congratulations on finding your perfect dog companion!

We wish you both long healthy and happy lives together!