Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Picking Your New Pet

dog trainer offers advice on selecting pet, breeder

Karen Rude

Selecting a pet for your family is a major life decision. And as with any major life decision, it warrants some planning, family discussion, and thoughtfulness. Here’s a quick guide to get you on your way.

Things to think about when selecting a dog

Most important: Make sure if you have children, you pick a breed of dog that is good with kids. Temperament is the most important, so pick a breed of dog that is conducive to your lifestyle.
• Are you active, and do you have room for a large dog to run daily?
• Do you want a dog that sheds? If not, grooming is expensive and needs to be done every three months – and that can be costly depending on the breed of dog.
• Big dogs are harder to walk.
• Some dogs drool.
• Protective breeds can be aggressive.
• Puppies are a lot of work – housebreaking, crying at night, vet bills for shots, obedience training – so would an adult dog be better fit than a puppy?

Where to find your new family member

• Pick a good breeder who is reputable by looking at referrals from a veterinarian, a kennel club in your area, or maybe a trusted friend. Make sure you visit the kennel and look at the conditions: Is it clean? Is the staff knowledgeable? Look at the sire and dam (mom and dad): Are they friendly? If you cannot see the dam, buyers beware!
• Do not buy from a puppy mill (someone with many different breeds). Pet stores often buy from puppy mills! No quality breeder will meet you on the highway or halfway.
• Resist impulse buying. Instead, have the patience to make a responsible choice. Responsible breeders usually have a waiting list of puppy buyers. They rarely have a sign out front or newspaper advertisements.
• Never pick out your puppy until it’s seven weeks of age. They are too young to leave before seven weeks.
• Make sure both parents have hip clearances and other necessary clearances for your breed. (Your pre-buying research should help guide you.)
• Most breeders have contracts. Look them over. Is the breeder willing to provide you with references and numbers of other people who have purchased puppies from them?

Breed recommendations

For families, I highly recommend golden retrievers, Labradors, collies, beagles, springers, standard poodles, cocker spaniels, and cavalier King Charles spaniels, just to name a few. The American Kennel club has a great breed book to look at all the different breeds and decide what’s right for you!

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.