Before Buying a Puppy

A dog is for life, think twice before buying a puppy. Here are some things to ask yourself before buying a puppy. Too many puppies and dogs end up in shelters because the buyer didnít think before he bought or it wasnít a good match breed vs owner.
  • Donít hurry. Think before you buy. A puppy is for life 12 - 15 years commitment. Be sure that all members of the family want a puppy or dog. If just one doesnít want one right now then the time isnít right.
  • Read more than one book, donít base your whole understanding of a breed on one generic description. Read books on puppy raising and dog training.
  • Narrow your breed choice to only one or two breeds that fit your life style.
  • See the breed in person to see what the puppy will look like as an adult.
  • Contact the National Breed Club through the American Kennel Club. Basic information on the breed is available through their website or through the club Secretary. Ask to be refereed to a local club representative who can answer all your questions.
  • Request names of local breeders from the National Breed Club.
  • Attend local dog shows or performance events in which the bred participates. This will give you a good idea of the puppy as an adult.
  • Be honest with the breeder you contact about your level of knowledge on the breed, puppies, and dogs. Before calling the breeder make a list of the questions you want to ask. See the section on FAQ for Breeders.
  • Inform the breeder if you are ready to buy, have changed your mind, or still researching. Or advise them when you would be ready for a puppy.
  • Do not ask to be on the active list or expect special consideration unless you are ready to put down a deposit.
  • If you are not ready for a puppy but would prefer an older dog, some breeders have dogs that they are looking to place. Or consider one of the breeds Rescue dogs. Information is available on the National Clubs website on Rescue Dogs.
  • Review your lifestyle before choosing a breed. Most pure breed dogs were bred for a ďpurposeĒ. Please be sure that you are aware of what they were bred for, what their habits will be, grooming, exercise required, and health problems. Be sure to ask the breeder about the specific questions about their breed. Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Do I want small or large, what is the space I have available for this puppy when it becomes an adult.
    2. Coat Type for shedding. If you have allergies stay away from long coated dogs. Choose a short coated breed.
    3. Grooming. What type of coat to you have the time for grooming or the expense of sending the puppy to the groomer.
    4. Activity Level. How active is your lifestyle? Are you a couch potato and want a dog that likes to cuddle. Or are you active and want a dog to go hiking?
    5. Temperament. Are you looking for a friendly dog or a protective dog? Or a combination of both.
  • Stay clear of Pet Shops, they are NOT breeders. They have NO experience with breeds and will not be able to give you breed specific information. Plus health of the puppy should be questioned. See the section on FAQ for Breeders.
  • Do not buy a puppy at first sight. Beware of impulse shopping. It is always better to think about it for 24 hours before you make the commitment.
  • Final and most important will you have time for this puppy? This puppy will have to go to obedience school. Are you available to put this time into the puppy? You will get out of your puppy what you put into it. We all want Canine Good Citizens.

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