You’re excited about getting a dog or puppy…but you’re a little nervous, too. What breed is right for your lifestyle? Should you get a puppy or go for an older dog? Rescue or purebred? Should you buy a dog online? Is your house ready? Your kids? What about food? Leashes? Collars? Crates? Yikes! Choosing, raising and training a dog is a big responsibility. The time you spend getting ready will make a big difference. Let Sarah be your guide as you begin your search for the perfect dog or puppy.

Live Local? For residents in the tri-state New York area, Sarah offers one-on-one consultations to help you select the right dog or puppy and prepare for their homecoming!

The Hotline. Help is just a phone call away. A 30- or 60-minute phone consultation will give you the answers you’re looking for. It’s fun, informative and available anywhere!


Dog or Puppy

A puppy is new to everything, so the way he sees the world is all up to you. That’s a big deal. If you want a well-mannered dog, you will need to invest time to train and condition your puppy to help him become a great dog. Adopting an older dog can be easier, but I recommend a temperament test for dogs or puppies of all ages.

Purebred or Rescue

Purebred dogs are like little mirror images of one another: they share similar looks and personalities. You’ll usually know more about the puppy’s background and personality, too.

Rescue dogs are more mysterious. Background and breed is often unknown, so a thorough temperament test is a must.

Male or Female, Young or Old

A dog’s sex is less important than the dog’s personality. In some breeds, a neutered male is the mellow member and in others, the females can be a bit more aloof. The best age to bring a puppy home? Between 8 and 12 weeks. If you adopt an older puppy, don’t assume you’ve brought Lassie into your life; even older dogs have habits that may need reconditioning.

Love on the Internet?

These days you can find all sorts of love on the internet. If you’re looking for your puppy online, get as much information as you can. If possible, try to speak with the caregiver and meet the dog in person before committing your heart. Do your homework and be cautious of any online promises; don’t be mislead by a pretty face!

Temperament Testing

Every puppy has a unique personality…a way of approaching other puppies, interacting with you and exploring his environment. These characteristics will help you determine how he will fit with your family. Download Sarah’s Temperament Testing Score Card to assess a litter. For more information about temperament testing puppies and older dogs, consult Sarah’s book, Puppies for Dummies or Understanding Your Dog for Dummies.

Getting Your Home Ready

As the big day approaches, you’ll need to do a little shopping. You’ll need bowls, beds, crates and food. You’ll want to create an environment that is safe and comfy for your new arrival and prepare your family for the upcoming event. Sarah will help you make the smart choices you need to make to create the perfect new home for your dog!