Helping you to choose the right dog for your home. In part one I discussed health problems and risks, and in part two I told you what you need to do before you go to see the pup. This part gives you some alternatives to think about.
That's my experience, and here are some more of my thoughts on the subject of buying a puppy or what might be better for your needs.
Is a puppy better than an older rescue dog?- A lot of people want a pup to prevent taking on anyone else's problems, and the risk that it might be a danger to children. But not all rescue dogs are screwed up, and for those with behaviour problems a lot of the time their bad behaviour was caused by the owner not caused by a bad dog. I have seen for myself how dogs change with new owners. You have a second chance to change the way a dog behaves by doing things differently. If you rehome through a reputable UK rescue organisation you will get an idea of the dogs strengths and weaknesses, and they will endeavour to match a dog to a new family that suits both needs. A rescue dog can be a mixed breed too but for a lot less money. Another advantage is that they are often past the puppy stage so you don't have the chewing and the peeing and the puppy madness, which can be a challenge for those not experienced. However, if you are thinking of a rescue dog imported from outside the UK read this post from the British Veterinary Association about some of the risks they are concerned about. If you already have a rescue dog and are struggling, then get in touch with a dog trainer who can help you read the dog and respond appropriately to get the behaviour you want.
Finally, why not try rehoming a retired or failed gundog?
It may be the best option if you are working full time, or older and don't have the time or energy to train a young dog or pup. Gundogs have been raised and trained to walk to heel and come back when called - job done. Failed gundogs may be too soft in nature - perfect for a loving family home. Older working gundogs often find it hard to retire and it is not fair if they are left in the kennel when the younger dogs are taken out to shoots. The retired dogs know what is happening and they are being left behind which is sad. A kenneled rescue dog will adjust to living in your home given time - a crate might help them transition. They are most likely to be healthy and intelligent companions for all ages. Ask someone who trials and I'm sure they can put you in touch with someone wishing to rehome a gundog, I share dogs on my facebook page, or why not try Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland,or Perthshire Gundog Rescue.
Other Useful links; introducing dogs to children and babies, puppy socialisation.