I consulted the Veterinarian Doctor at the Vet hospital I worked at before purchasing my pure breed Labrador retriever. I remember he told me to make sure the dog comes from a recommended good breeder and it comes from a good line from both sets of dog grandparents and parents. He said to know if there was any history of hip dysplasia and retina detachment. Other breeds may have a different set of issues, it's helpful to research the breed. At first I didn't even know what he was talking about until I did some research of my own. After doing some research, I found out hip dysplasia and retina detachment is common among the Labrador breed.
Luckily Carely hasn't experienced any of this. She does limp a little after playing outside or from a long walk, so I give her glucosamine chews daily. Also you can give your dog a daily dog vitamin. Hip dysplasia normally happens during a young dog’s growing stages. Hip dysplasia can affect both the left and right hips. This can cause terrible pain to your pet. The disease usually is due to the laxity of the ligaments and muscles around the joints. It is mostly a genetic disease.
Retina detachment in dogs happens when the retina detaches from the two outermost layers of tissue in your dog's eye. So I had to make sure that the dog I brought home didn't come from a history of parents or grandparents that experienced those concerns. Carley has been pretty healthy so far at 8 years old, she just had a senior check up with her blood taken and urine checked.
I remember when I chose Carley, I just said I wanted the smallest and whitest one. I wasn't even thinking about her temperament. However when you choose your new puppy, there are ways to determine if you dog is high strong, happy go lucky, hand shy, food dominate. Luckily Carley was just easily excited and didn't obey very well. If you place the puppy on it's back and he/she doesn't like it or is relaxed can tell you whether the dog is easy going or unsure.
You can also see if the puppy is food dominate or not by putting a fake hand by its dish when the dog is eating. If the dog growls or bites the fake hand or stick then unfortunately your dog may bite you when eating. You can take the fake hand and pet the dog with it to see it its hand shy too. Most puppies are just glad to get attention and haven't developed any issues yet unless it an abused dog or a dog from a shelter. After picking out which puppy you would like then you need to think about vaccines, flea medicine, heartworm protection, testing, ect.. Also what type of dog food your puppy will eat. We bought puppy chow for Carley when she was a puppy and she loved it. Most puppies love any food just as long as they are eating.