Dog Buyers Guide
Ways And Means
Of How To Get A Dog!
This dog buyers guide is intended to help you find your ideal dog after you have decided you can offer a forever
home to a pet. Dogs are waiting in many places for owners and forever homes.
So assuming, you and your family have gone over all the things to consider about the responsibilities of dog ownership as discussed on my dog selection page...
the votes are in and everyone definitely wants a dog, now...
The next big decision to make, and it's an important one to mull over, is where is the best place to obtain your dog?
If you have a minute, this guide will help weigh the pros and cons of various
But before I get to that, I just want to mention one important tip. Once you have
zeroed in on a potential pet, try to get as much information over the phone before you go to
visit. Otherwise you many find it hard to be objective once you've met the dog and he's won
Back Yard Dog Breeders
In these situations you may be acquiring a dog from someone who did not "intentionally"
breed their dog, but now finds themselves with a litter of pups needing good homes! Perhaps
some of your neighbors or a vet's office may have told you about these opportunities. Some
will be posted on public bulletin boards, or advertised in the local paper.
Most likely this person won't know a lot about breeding, so the dog buyers guide recommends that
you become a sleuth and prepare some good questions to help you size up the situation.
At the very least, find out as much as you can about the history and health of the
sire and of the mother (dam) before breeding and what additional care was given during the
gestation period. If the sire is unknown, take note of the size of the mother dog to give you some idea of how big the pups may become.
Semi-Pro Private Dog Breeders
On the other hand, if an individual is breeding dogs for sale (most likely purebreds), it is
wise to learn a lot more about the lineage and genetics of the dog, as well as the potential
health disorders that may affect the breed.
If you are seeking a particular breed, no doubt
you have already done some research and will have many questions in mind including whether
the dog has been registered with the AKC. The answers you get should tell you a lot about the
Some semi-professional breeders may be very conscientious
and reliable sources, but the dog buyers guide recommends you proceed with caution and try
to verify the credentials of the breeder. It will also be up to you to ask good questions,
so have your check list prepared before you visit.
In return, expect a responsible breeder
really quiz you too! A good breeder will be selective in choosing suitable owners for their
TIP: Not all individuals who present themselves as breeders are ethical. The AKC,
national dog breed associations, rescue organizations and vet offices are the safest places
to find names of responsible breeders.
Whatever the case, when visiting a private
facility it is a good idea to be very observant regarding the welfare of the dog(s) as well
as the sanitary conditions of the environment. Look, listen and ask questions to help you
decide if you are dealing with a knowledgeable, caring and responsible breeder.
use this opportunity to interact with the dog you are considering, watch their behavior, get
a sense of the chemistry between the two of you. Try to visualize loving and living with
this dog for many years.
Dog Adoption Shelters
If you have a particular dog breed
in mind, it is very worthwhile to make contact with dog adoption shelters
of the breed you have in mind. These folks can give you a lot of information about dogs they have available
for adoption including their background and temperament. They also are good judges when
matching dogs to suitable homes.
This is a great way to obtain a dog, because you are
giving the dog an opportunity to have a new home. Some of these dogs have been abandoned by
thoughtless people who didn't live up to their promises. While others may be handed over to rescue for
valid reasons such as the owner died or could no longer physically take care of the dog, etc.
Whatever the case, the dog breed rescue shelter is often the first choice among dog lovers when seeking
to add a new pet to the family and you may decide it is your preferred way too!.
One of the advantages to consider is that the dog may already be housetrained, leash trained or even more.
Plus a mature dog is not usually as demanding of your time as a puppy!
The best reason of all is that you are rescuing a dog and bringing him into a loving family which gets
a very high endorsement from the dog buyers guide.
Do be prepared if you go this route, to be thoroughly interviewed by the shelter, because they are
very dedicated to finding just the right owners. You can find out the location of breed shelters through
the national breed organizations.
Puppies From Pet Stores!!
I won't linger on this one too much, because I believe this is the worst place to look for a
dog. One simple deterrent is that it is very difficult to determine the origin of the dog or
about the mother or whether it came from a puppy mill. And if you know anything about puppy
mills, you know they are not nice places!!
For these reasons, the dog buyer's guide
gives pet stores a thumbs down.
There is only one exception and that is the major big
box pet chain PETCO that hosts pet adoption days in their stores on a fairly regular basis.
They do not "sell" dogs, they only "host" adoption days by providing a venue.
City Dog Shelters
Very often you can find a great dog or puppy at the local animal control pound. This is a wonderfully humane
way to save a dog's life. You are to be commended if you are an individual who can extend
this gift of life without expecting anything in return. If you do, I honestly think you'll be
The pounds may not always have a lot of background information on the dogs
they shelter, so you may have to rely on your own instincts. But they will usually have
completed a health and vaccination check and be able to tell you something about the dog's
temperament. While you are there, please don't overlook the mixed breeds or the ones who
have retreated to the back of their pens. Many are unique, as well as smart, and I'm
convinced they know they need to have someone to rescue them soon.
you have it. The next move is for you to carefully weigh your options and preferences.
On a final note, the dog buyer's guide is just that - a guide. When you finally
set off on your search for Rover, it will probably all come down to a matter of chemistry.
Not male or female, not this breed or that, nor purebred or mutt, but simple
It's a kind of magic you will feel when you see a certain dog and know
that this is the one - and there will be no doubt left in your mind.