Choosing the perfect puppy for our family
July 23, 2019
If you’re thinking about getting your first puppy, but stuck on how to go about it, you may find Natalie’s story helpful. Find out how she went about choosing the perfect puppy, Hugo, for her family.
We always knew we would get a dog one day, but we had to make sure the time was right for the whole family to share in the responsibility.
I have three children and, with the youngest son, at secondary school we felt ready. Everyone was on board – that is apart from my youngest son. We decided to surprise him. I can clearly remember the moment he came into the house after a day in London with friends and spotted Hugo in my arms. He was instantly smitten.
Let me introduce you to Hugo. He’s our gorgeous one-year-old Poochon pup – a cross between a Poodle and a Bichon Frise.
“Once we decided that a Poochon ticked all the boxes, we began the search that would eventually lead us to our perfect puppy – Hugo.”
We did tons of research before we settled on a Poochon. Although our children are older, we have young nephews so a family-friendly dog was a must. We also wanted an intelligent dog – one that we could train easily – and something small, but not too small – that didn’t moult.
Once we decided that a Poochon ticked all the boxes, we began the search that would eventually lead us to our perfect puppy – Hugo. I knew that you should see the puppy’s mum and dad, but so many of the litters we went to see didn’t have mum, let alone the dad. It was hard to walk away at times as some of the puppies looked so tiny and vulnerable but we knew we were doing the right thing.
Choosing the perfect puppy – Hugo
In the end, it wasn’t a case of us choosing a puppy. Hugo chose us. We’d already met him – and his litter mates – via Facetime – and spoken at length to his breeder. She lived some distance away so it was really helpful to speak first and meet the puppies – and their mum and dad – virtually before we headed there in person.
Hugo was one of a number of puppies in the litter – all boys – and he was the first one to come and greet us, choosing us to be his new family.
“One evening a week, for six weeks, five people and a little dog headed off to puppy school.”
Back home, it was all hands on deck. I’d done my research and knew that it was going to be hard work. The only way we could do it was if all the family took a turn with being on Hugo duty. We soon got into a routine with toilet training and, when the time came for Hugo to go to puppy school, the whole family went along too. One evening a week, for six weeks, five people and a little dog headed off to puppy school.
This really helped Hugo as it meant we were all consistent with his training. We all use the same signal words to encourage him to go to the toilet or go to his bed and there has been no room for problems to develop.
Hugo is so much more than a dog. He’s one of us. We’re a close family anyway but Hugo has brought us even closer together. We’ve had to make some adjustments, such as not taking a family holiday as it would have meant leaving Hugo when he was little, something we weren’t prepared to do.
Hugo has been a great source of comfort to me personally. I’ve been dealing with some health issues which were really getting me down before Hugo came alone. The health issues are still there but Hugo helps to take my mind off them. He couldn’t have come along at a better time for us.
My advice to anyone thinking of getting a dog is to make sure that the time is right for you and your circumstances. If you are out at work all day or like to have lots of holidays abroad, maybe it’s not the time to get a dog.
If you decide it is, do lots of research to identify the right breed or type of dog for you, and then spend time choosing the perfect puppy – don’t just fall for ‘cute’.