Choosing your Puppy

We understand that choosing a new puppy is exciting and also a big decision therefore it is important to
understand the breed, its needs and pet ownership requirements. To assist with this we have elaborated
Breeds and Breed needs in our Breed Profiles.
Please take time to browse through our website and feel free to contact us,
as we are more than happy to Accommodate your family's needs.
If you require any assistance, please feel free to email us at
or Phone us during business hours on (03) 58735348
Murray River Puppies Pty Ltd.
The Good Guide for Buying a Puppy
Finding a Good breeder Tips:
Be sure the breeder is legally allowed to breed and that they are registered with their State Government, Local Council and with an association such as the AAPDB inc. (Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders), Pets Australia or the PIAA (Pet Industry of Australia Association) or ANKC.
Be sure the breeder is prepared to discuss your needs and your puppies needs and be able to answer your questions.
Is the breeder acting within the laws required in their state?  Do they offer health guarantees?  Do they provide Vaccination, micro-chipping and more?
Is the breeder willing to have you visit their premises? Allowing you to meet the parents and see the environment that your puppy has been raised in.
Is the breeder breeding for the right reasons- to provide a happy, healthy, socialized family pet?
Is the breeder happy to provide support after the puppy has been purchased and happy to have the puppy/dog returned if required at any time throughout its life time for any reason?
Is the breeder encouraging you to have the dog de-sexed, or is the puppy de-sexed prior to purchase?
Are the parents DNA tested prior to breeding?
Will you receive guidelines / instructions/ notes to assist you with your puppy’s transitions?
All these guidelines combined -contribute to a good ethical breeder and ensure you are on your way to purchasing a good healthy puppy.
Your new pet will require tender loving care. Below is a list of things you need to know and do, so that you can develop a great relationship with your new friend.
What you will need:
Feeding bowl, water bowl, collar, leash, ID tag, bed, kennel and bedding, toys for stimulation, quality dog food-(use breeders recommendation at first), parasite treatments (see below), chews/ bones, water, training treats. 
Ongoing Costs:
Buying the puppy/dog is often the least cost part of owning a dog – you should also allow up to $1,500 per year for food, registration, veterinary costs, and other costs in your budget for the 1st year.  The purchase price of the puppy is additonal.   
Puppies bred correctly have to be weaned when you buy them and will require 3-4 meals per day, reducing to 1-2 meals per day as an adult. Feed a balanced diet – buy a “complete food” and you can blend with raw mince, leftovers, and occasional treats. Don’t feed cooked bones, fatty foods or corn cobs to your dog. Give puppies the widest variety of quality foods as they grow (without changing the whole diet too suddenly) to avoid fussiness later. DO NOT let your pet become “fat” – it is hard to “remove” and can damage your pet’s health.
Managing common diseases:
Your puppy should be vaccinated as follows:
• 6 to 8 weeks of age (C-3: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Para influenza & Boretella)
• 12 to 14 weeks of age (C-5: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo,  Corona Virus, Para influenza & Bordetella)
• 16 to 18 weeks of age (C-5: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Corona Virus,Para influenza & Bordetella)
Then annually or according to the advice of your veterinarian. C-4 is also used by some veterinarians.
De-sexing makes for a better family pet. If you are not a registered breeder, we suggest you de-sex both dogs and bitches. Talk to your vet about early de-sexing.
Toilet Training:
Puppies are not reliably toilet trained until after 4 months of age. This involves consistency and being persistent! 
Housing: Your dog will need a strong, safe shelter to keep out wind and rain, keep him warm in winter and sheltered in summer. Place the kennel facing north (to keep the southerlies out) and out of the sun if possible, in a sheltered place (perhaps against a wall). In the beginning the laundry is a good safe “kennel”.  Give your dog good bedding to “call their own”. 
Protect your dog from danger (and you the cost and heartache of searching) with a strong fence and self closing gates, and a collar ID tag as well as the microchip. Some plants are toxic, and puppies get into everything – inspect your house and garden and remove any dangers.   
Normal behaviour:
Puppies and Dogs are active and playful animals. They will “play fight”, run, jump, dig, bite and chew. Normal food competition means dogs usually don’t like being disturbed while eating. There are strict rules in dog packs about who is the boss. Your dog must learn all these “dog laws” by socialising widely with other dogs from an early age and being trained by you as to what is acceptable behaviour. There are plenty of guides to help– trainers, puppy pre-schools and behaviour books. Don’t be afraid to use your voice to praise (“good dog!”) and reprimand (“NO!”). Your dog is sensitive to your mood, “body language” and tone of voice - you can use these to train your dog.  Your dog is part of your “pack” and wants to be “good” - praise good behaviour as often as possible.
Social Contact:
Your puppy/dog is a social animal who will not do as well locked in a backyard alone as he will do with regular contact with people and other dogs. Get out and enjoy life with your dog!
Exercise/ Enrichments:
Your puppy/dog should be exercised at least daily and the amount of exercise will depend on the breed, age and the individual.  Go for a walk together, attend obedience classes, play ball, run on a beach, play with other dogs – all these will keep both you and your pet naturally healthy.  Prevent boredom and minimise destructive behaviour with bones, toys, sand pits and “treasure hunts”.
Managing parasites:
Intestinal Worms:
Use a recommended intestinal worming treatment
-       Every 2 weeks from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age, then
-       Every month from 3-6 months old, then
-       Every 3 months for the rest of the dog’s life.
Weigh your dog so you use the right dose. Dogs that have access to offal from farm animals or kangaroos may also require hydatid tapeworm treatment. Talk to your vet about this when you visit for vaccinations.
Heart worm:
Heart worm this is an issue for dogs in all states of Australia. Prevention may be daily, monthly or yearly. This is best discussed with your vet.
Recommended treatment
- 6weeks of age,
- 12 weeks of age,
- 6 months of age,
- 12 Months of age, then yearly.
Fleas and other external parasites:
Use a recommended flea treatment according to label directions to ensure that your dog has no fleas. Remember that juvenile fleas live off the dog, so don’t forget to treat the environment.
Leaving your pet unattended:
Dogs are social animals that normally live in groups. Damaging behaviours (barking, scratching, and chewing) can result in dogs left for long periods alone.  Never leave your dog alone when harm might result (e.g. from chewing electrical cords) and NEVER leave your puppy/dog alone in a car as car temperatures can rise rapidly.  Leave your puppy/dog alone for as short a time as possible. Remember, the more time spent with your puppy or dog, the better the dog!
Life span:
With good care, small dogs can live up to around 18 years of age, with a shorter lifespan for larger dogs (to about 10 years for giant breeds). There is no guarantee that your pet will live this long. It depends on individual genetics, health, exercise and just plain statistics.
Legal issues:
By law, your dog must be registered with your local council and in most places must also be at point of sale micro chipped. In most places you must also keep your dog on your own property at all times unless he is on a leash or in a sign posted “off leash” area. Other legal issues may apply according to where you live, your local council can assist.
In an emergency:
Contact your local veterinarian. Keep their number in your file or look in the yellow pages. If your dog becomes lost, call your local pound or animal shelter. Develop some knowledge of first aid for cuts, heatstroke or other minor emergencies. In poisoning cases the Poisons Information Centre can also assist. 
This information has been supplied by K.Schoeffel BSc(Hons) BVSc -
Every person or family is different and there are different breeds to suit each situation. In your situation consider:
Are you strong willed or gentle, preferring reason to force?  Only strong minded people with a good understanding of dog behaviour should own a large guard or hunting breed -  dogs don't reason and some animals must be dominated to be safe. A smaller, gentle, easily trained breed is more likely to suit gentle people.
How old are your children? Babies and toddlers don't handle bouncy or delicate puppies well - perhaps you should wait a bit.
Do you want an inside or outside dog? If you don't like dogs in the house and you're working all day you won't get to spend much time with your dog - get an "independent" dog. If thinking of an inside dog, think of hair shedding, size and activity level.
Do you have a large car and a very large back yard? You should have no worries with an active dog or a dog over 25 kg. If not look at a smaller or less active breed.
Do you have time for/enjoy grooming? If not can you afford someone else to do it for you or should you get a short haired dog?
Do you have the time or interest to train your dog?  Intelligent trainable dogs can be rewarding but they are more likely to become destructive or neurotic if left alone for long periods. "Independent" is usually a euphemism for "totally untrainable" but breeds that bear this label can still be affectionate and loyal and make great kids companions - if your back yard is secure.