Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

A dog is for life not just for Christmas.

This slogan is important to remember when choosing a dog to take into your home.

If you are buying a puppy, ask to see its mother so you can check whether she has a good temperament and characteristics.

An ideal age to purchase a puppy is when it’s between seven and eight weeks old.

Before you get a dog it’s wise to think long and hard about the breed and whether it will suit your personality and lifestyle.

Should you choose a male or female, puppy or adult, long haired or short haired, will it fit the house and car, all have to be considered.

Certain breeds are prone to hereditary problems, have the parents had their hips x-rayed, or eyes tested to see if they are transferring problems to their offspring e.g. retrievers?

The length of coat determines how much grooming they need e.g. rough collies, do they dribble like boxers etc.

There are many breeds of dog you can choose.

Beagles are smart and playful, these sturdy little dogs have boundless energy.

Labrador retrievers are protective sweet natured but alongside boast loads of intelligence and love learning new tricks.

Cocker spaniels are happy, active medium sized dogs, are easy to train with one main aim in life to please their owners. The Newfoundland has been dubbed “nature’s nanny” because it is patient docile and protective.

Neat freaks will not want one because its coat is a dirt magnet and they do tend to drool a lot.

Why not try an Irish setter who loves to explore the world but is liable to stray and not the easiest dog to train.

Why not think about getting a rescue dog?

At least you can take it back if you are not suited.

Depending on vaccination history you may need to phone your vet to arrange a primary course or a booster when a full nose to tail MOT will be performed free.

Your vet will also recommend puppy parties or training clubs to help socialise and train your pet including house training, sitting and staying.