Looking for a Dog?
Go to your local shelter.
There are 10 to 20 million dogs and cats killed in this country every single year. These are great animals. They deserve to have great homes. We should all strive to be great enough to deserve them. According to many studies, 25 - 30% of the dogs in shelters are purebreeds.
Go to a breed rescue group.
Almost every breed of dog has a rescue group. You can find them on the Internet. Do a websearch for any breed and contact any of the representatives. They can give you the names of the representatives in your area.
Go to Internet shelters.
Many shelters are doing long distance adoptions. You can find them with a websearch.
If you do not find the dog you want by taking these steps, look for quality breeders.
Go to dog shows and talk to the breeders of the breed you are interested in. Ask them for the names of breeders they would recommend. Ask them what genetic testing and medical certifications should be done for that breed.
When you go to a breeder to buy a puppy, make sure to ask these questions:
1.Does the breeder have a state or federal license?
2. How many breeds of dogs do they breed?
One is good, two is probably acceptable, but no more.
3. How many dogs do they have?
Ask how many litters they have every year. Ask how many puppies they sell and whether they sell any to petstores.
4. Ask if you can see the dogs - all the dogs - not just the puppies.
Many puppymills have an area where they will bring the puppies to show to the public. You want to see where ALL the dogs live.
5. Has genetic testing been done? What kind?
The breeder should have viewable health certificates for all the dogs. Genetic testing is important to avoid congenital defects like hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, and undesirable behavioral traits (like aggression) from inbreeding.
6. Ask for the name of their veterinarian.
Call to find out how often they see the parent animals and confirm whether genetic testing has been done.
7. Ask for the names of five people who have bought puppies from them.
Call for references.
8. Are the puppies sold on a contract?
Ask to see the contract and warranty.
9. Will the breeder take a dog back (regardless of age) if you become unable to care for it?
If not, can they refer you to a breed-specific rescue organization?
10. Ask to see the pedigree.
How many champions are there in the lineage?
11. Does the breeder ask YOU any questions regarding your lifestyle and how you would care for the puppy?
If the breeder doesn't care about the home the puppy would be going to, you DON'T want to buy from them.
DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, buy a dog in a pet store.
Research establishes that 98% of the dogs in pet stores come from puppymills.
You are not saving that puppy, you are sentencing its parents to lives of misery.