How to buy a purebred puppy

How to buy a new purebred dog

So you are thinking about buying a purebred dog. Owning a dog can be the beginning of years of happiness as the special bond between humans and canines exceeds even the greatest of expectations. However, to ensure the best relationship with your dog, you must be prepared for some important responsibilities.

• Have I found the right breed to fit into my lifestyle and home?

• Will you have enough time to spend training, grooming and exercising a dog?

• Am I willing to spend the resources to ensure the best future for a dog?

Avoid Impulse Buys That adorable puppy in the window of the pet store is hard to resist, but you may be paying a lot of money for a dog that you know very little about. An impulse buy could be the worst thing you could do when choosing your new family member. Stop, & think about it! Most reputable breeders prefer you to come & look then go home and think about it. They will also try to advise you as best as they can to all the good and bad points of their breed, and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle. Never rush in and buy the first pup you see, waiting for the right pup for you is always the best way.

Picking The Breed For You Is there a breed you have had your eye on, or are you confused about how to select a dog? In either case, you should do some homework to make sure that you select the right dog for you and your family. The bonus of selecting a purebred dog is their predictability in size, coat, care requirements and temperament. Knowing what your puppy will look like and the kind of care he will need as an adult is a key in selecting the breed for you.

Attend some Dog Shows, talk to as many breeders as you can. This will help you educate yourself about the breeds you think you like. The better informed you are about the breeds your are looking at, the easier it will be to find that dog that will give you the most happiness.

Selecting A Breeder Buy your puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. This cannot be stressed enough. Responsible breeders are concerned with the betterment of the breed. For example, they work on breeding healthier dogs with the appropriate temperament for their breed. Once you select a breeder, screen the breeder. See how the dogs in your breeder’s home interact with your breeder. Are they friendly and outgoing or do they shy away? The responsible breeder will be screening you, too, looking for the best home for each puppy.

• Request to see one or both of the parents of your new puppy.

• Spend some time at the breeders to find out what their intentions for the breed are and to view the temperament of their animals.

When buying a purebred dog reputable breeders can inform you about genetic diseases common in the breed you want and are generally happy to share their knowledge. Health: Any breed of dog can have genetic problems that can be passed from generation to generation by breeding dogs that carry the flawed gene. Many of these genetic problems can be detected with today’s technology, but these tests are expensive. People who are concerned about the welfare and future of their breed will have these tests conducted to preserve and improve in the future quality of their breed. Most reputable breeders are more concerned about the health of the puppies that they are producing than the money that they will or won’t make on the production of a litter.

• Other positive alternatives if you would like an older dog are adopting a rescue dog from various rescue organizations located throughout each State or Territory.

Make the decision of whether you would like a Male or Female?

Do you want to Show, or trial competitively with your dog? Answer this before you buy. How Much Does A Puppy Cost? This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you’ll want to make a wise investment.

Can You Afford A Puppy? The purchase price of your puppy is not the only cost you have to consider. Be aware that the puppy you bring home will need proper care: food, health care, (a dog needs annual shots). Your puppy will also need little things like a collar with identification, a bowl, and a leash. Evaluate your budget; ask yourself if you really can afford a dog. Dog Ownership = Responsibility. Your dog will have lifelong healthcare needs, whether for preventive care or for unexpected accidents, injuries or illnesses that could happen at any time, regardless of how well you care for your dog. Take the time to ask yourself these questions and to make an educated decision. You and your dog will be happier for it. There is no doubt that a puppy is a cuddly bundle of joy, but it is also a huge responsibility.

Caring for your New Dog All dogs must be cared for daily. This means proper diet, exercise, grooming and veterinary attention. There are many excellent guides on all facets of dog care.

Your Dog And Your Neighbors All dog owners must be aware of their responsibilities to their neighbors, both those who live in the area immediately around their residence and their neighbors in the broader sense of the community as a whole. Dogs, for all the pleasure they are, can be a nuisance to your neighbors if not trained. Remember, excessive barking can be annoying. And, always keep your dog on a leash or inside a fenced yard when exercising. Remember to pick up after your dog. Forestall problems for yourself and your dog and all dog lovers by being a good neighbor.

Obedience Training For Everyone One way to make your dog a good neighbor is through obedience training. A poorly behaved dog is a problem for everyone. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to corral a dog that will not “come” when you call. A well trained dog is not only a pleasure to own, he is a goodwill ambassador for the entire canine community. A well-behaved dog is the result of the dog’s owner being willing to work with the dog regularly. Obedience classes are available in most communities.

Contracts A contract can be helpful in stating the terms, or conditions of the sale. Most reputable breeders should have a basic contract. If the breeder does not have a contract here is a standard contract. Download Sales Agreement here

Remember, when you buy a puppy, you are adding another member to your family. Buying you new dog requires careful research and planning. Adding a dog to the family is a long term commitment and responsibility that should be taken seriously and only acted upon after careful consideration and research.

WebMD veterinary expert answers commonly asked questions about how to choose a healthy, friendly pure-bred puppy as your new family pet.

You made the decision to get a puppy and did your research to find the perfect breed — the one that will match your family’s temperament, energy level, and personality. But how do you find the best breeder to get a healthy, well-adjusted puppy? WebMD asked Lisa Peterson, the director of club communications for the American Kennel Club and a longtime breeder of Norwegian elkhounds, for some advice.

Q: There are ads for puppies in the newspaper, on the Internet, and, of course, there are those adorable puppies in the pet stores. Where’s the best place to buy my purebred puppy?

A: Breeders advertise in a variety of ways, including ads on the Internet, in newspapers, and their own web sites. Those are all good places to start, but they are also places you can run into a lot of trouble if you don’t do your research. You can go to our web site,, to look for the parent club of our breeds. We list breeder referrals for all these clubs and they can put you in touch with breeders across the country.

Q: I’ve heard dogs in pet stores usually come from puppy mills. What are those and are they bad?

A: Most puppies in pet stores come from licensed commercial breeders. Those breeders that register with the American Kennel Club are inspected by us for care and conditions, record keeping, and other things.

There are more than 30 dog registries today. But the AKC is the only nonprofit registry and the only registry that inspects our breeders and mandates that the puppies be raised in humane conditions.

The term puppy mill really describes a kennel with filthy conditions, usually where there are too many dogs to care for properly. Many times these places are unlicensed because they sell directly to the public via the Internet. These are not your well inspected, licensed facilities. We have inspected some puppy mills and some were suspended by us.

Q: Do purebred dogs have a lot of health problems? Where can I find out about the health problems of the breeds I’m interested in?


A: The majority of purebred dogs are happy, healthy pets. We have a web site,, which is a great resource for potential dog owners. It highlights what breeders are doing to avoid genetic diseases and whether they are conducting proper health screenings. You need to ask for certificates that show that the breeder has done the proper health screenings on the sire and the dam before the breeding took place.

A balanced breeding program includes a whole list of what should be done ahead of time, such as genetic testing, pedigree research, confirmation, and temperament analysis of the sire and dam.

Q: Will someone who breeds dogs for show sell me a puppy even if I don’t want to show it?

A: Absolutely. The majority of puppies in a show litter actually go to pet homes. The breeder selects the best one or two out of a litter to keep for their line and sells the rest.

Q: What questions should I ask to determine if someone is a good breeder?

A: The first question should be, “Can I come visit your home or your kennel facility?” Responsible breeders are very proud of their kennel and their dogs.

Ask if they register with the American Kennel Club. Ask if they have the health certificates for testing prior to breeding. Then, I expect the breeder to ask the buyer a lot of questions about how they plan to care for the new puppy.

Q: Is it a good idea to meet both parents of the puppy I want?

A: It’s good to meet both parents, if possible. But the majority of breeders have only the mothers at their homes. Usually the stud dogs live somewhere else. But visiting the mother and other relatives that might be in the breeder’s home will give you a good idea of the size and the temperament of the line.

You can also ask for contact information for the stud dog. But in today’s world, you may live in New York, but the stud dog’s frozen semen was shipped from California.


Q: What’s the best age for bringing a puppy home?

A: The ideal time is 8 to 12 weeks, especially with small or toy puppies. Breeders usually want to keep those a little longer because they’re fragile when they’re young. So a 12-week-old Yorkshire terrier puppy is very acceptable, where a hardier breed, like a Labrador retriever, is ready to go at 8 weeks.

You also need to check with your state, because some states have a minimum age for selling puppies.

Q: How important is it for puppies to be raised around people?

A: Socialization is paramount with any dog, especially in that 8- to 16-week time frame and after proper immunization, You need to get the dog out to see as many people as possible and expose it to as many situations as possible.

Q: I’ve found a litter of puppies I like. What signs should I look for to be sure they are healthy?

A: You want to look at the surroundings. Make sure it’s a nice, clean, well-run home or facility. The puppies should have bright eyes. They should be very curious. They should run right up to you. You shouldn’t see a nasal discharge or runny eyes. If you see them poop, they should have a firm stool and no diarrhea. You don’t want a lethargic, uninterested puppy.

Q: How do I choose the puppy with the best personality?

A: The responsible breeder will more than likely select the best puppy for you from the litter. They’ve spent 8 to 12 weeks with the puppies and they know the personalities of each puppy. They know which ones are bold and outgoing and which are the shy ones. And the breeder knows the bold, outgoing puppy will do much better with that active family with three kids versus the shy puppy, which needs to go with the single owner who can spend more time with it so that puppy won’t feel overwhelmed.

Q: Will most breeders give me a health guarantee and agree to take the dog back if I can’t keep it?


A: Absolutely. What sets the responsible breeder apart from everyone else is they will agree to take the dog back for the life of the dog, no matter the age of the dog, no matter the circumstance the owner has found themselves in. The breeder has created the puppy and the breeder is responsible for the dog for the life of the dog.

With health guarantees, each breeder has his own health guarantee, whether it’s to replace the puppy or buy the puppy back or cover vet expenses for certain conditions. All that should be spelled out in the sales contract, which is between you and the breeder. All those expectations and responsibilities will be stated in writing and signed by both parties ahead of time. Some states also have so-called “lemon laws” that give buyers some protection, so check with state officials before buying your puppy to see if your state has laws governing the sale of puppies.

Prices of Purebred Puppies.

Prices for puppies from a show or hobby breeder can range anywhere from about $500 to around $3000, depending on the breed.

Do dogs cost a lot of money?

According to this report, the total first-year cost of owning a dog is $1,270 and for a cat it’s $1,070.

As you can see, having a pet can cost you over $1,000 in the first year, and well over $500 each additional year.

Depending on the food you buy and sudden medical expenses, the costs could be much higher.

Can a diabetic dog drink too much water?

If your dog is drinking excessively (polydipsia) it is possibly because he is losing excess amounts of water for any of a number of reasons.

While a number of diseases result in excess water intake and urine output, the most common of these diseases include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and Cushing’s disease.

Does a dog lick you to show affection?

Dogs also lick because they like the taste of an owner’s salty skin and out of habit.

Mostly, with domestic Dogs, it’s a sign of affection.

Licking releases pleasurable endorphins which gives Dogs a feeling of comfort and pleasure — like the feeling people get when they are biting their nails — it relieves stress.

How much am i supposed to feed my dog?

What are Dog Feeding Charts?

Adult Dog Size (lbs) Dry Food Feeding Amount (Cups)
26 to 50 2 to 2-2/3
51 to 75 2-2/3 to 3-1/3
76 to 100 3-1/3 to 4-1/4
100+ 4-1/4 plus 1/4 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs

How much a puppy should eat?

By around eight weeks of age your puppy should be eating solid food.

Puppies should be fed three to four times a day therefore if you are currently feeding ¾ a cup of puppy food twice a day you should consider spacing it out by feeding ½ cup three times a day.

How much do groomers charge to cut dog’s nails?

Dog groomers typically charge extra for additional services such as teeth cleaning, flea treatments and nail clipping.

On average, expect to pay between $30 and $90 for standard grooming, depending on the size of your pet and its amount of fur.

What does it mean when dogs growl at each other?

It’s very common for dog owners to punish their dogs for growling.

Unfortunately, this often suppresses the growl—eliminating his ability to warn us that he’s about to snap, literally and figuratively.

On other occasions, punishing a growling, uncomfortable dog can induce him to escalate into full-on aggression.

Why a Purebred?

Each breed of dog was developed for a specific reason, such as to retrieve, to aid man in hunting, to guard, to herd or to simply be a companion. Therefore, dogs within a breed will have not only physical characteristics in common, but will also be similar in temperament, activity level and learning ability. While each individual dog within a breed will have small differences, all dogs within a breed can be depended on to display similar behaviors. When purchasing a purebred pup from a reputable breeder, you will therefore have an understanding of what kind of personality and traits that dog will possess as an adult. The future traits of a mixed breed dog are much more difficult to ascertain, as it is impossible to predict which of the breeds in the dog’s background will dominate.

Choosing a Breed.

Once you have made the decision to purchase a purebred dog, it is helpful to think long and hard about exactly what you are hoping for in a dog. The biggest mistake people make is selecting a breed of dog based on appearance rather than what it was bred to do. The best chance of success is to match a breed of dog with your particular situation and lifestyle.

Some things you should consider when deciding on a breed are:

  1. Your lifestyle and location. Do you live in the city, suburbs or country? Are you active or sedentary? How much time do you have available? How much financial commitment are you prepared to make?
  2. The reason you want a dog. Are you looking for a guard, playmate for the children, a companion or a worker?
  3. Size, lifespan, health issues and necessary grooming.
  4. Trainability, temperament and maintenance.
  5. Experience necessary for a particular breed.
  6. The cautions and drawbacks of each breed.
  7. Who will be the primary trainer and caretaker? Is everyone in the family comfortable with the breed?

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is not to buy on impulse, but to do your research and make an informed choice on a breed of dog.

Breed Information.

There are three good sources for learning more about a particular breed. The first is the American Kennel Club at The AKC provides a short summary of breed qualities that will help you determine whether the breed is right for you. Parent breed clubs are also an excellent source of information about a particular breed, and often provide referrals to reputable breeders. A link to a list of national parent clubs can be found at And finally, conversations with experienced owners can provide insight into what to expect with a particular breed. However, it is important to keep in mind one person’s experience may not always represent the general nature of a breed.

Choosing a Breeder.

Once you have selected a breed, it is time to choose a breeder. Whoever you decide upon, the individual should be first and foremost someone you can depend on for advice and answers to your questions for the life of the dog.

Pet stores.
Puppies found in pet stores are mass produced for profit on large breeding facilities in the midwest, often known as “puppy mills.” The health and temperament of a dog is not guaranteed, and those who sell the dogs have little knowledge of the nuances of each breed, and will sell a dog to anyone who can pay for it, regardless of the suitability of a breed for an individual. In addition, the pet store provides no resource for problems or health concerns.

Shelters are often an inexpensive source for purebred dogs. However, you should understand that those working in shelters often do not know the history of the particular dog, nor do they have extensive knowledge of breed characteristics and potential problems.

Purebred Rescue Groups.
Each national breed club has a commitment to rehoming dogs surrendered by owners for reasons that may include divorce, a new baby, a move, or family illness. Dogs in purebred rescue are evaluated, fostered, spayed or neutered, and receive necessary veterinary attention for medical issues before being placed. Purebred rescue is a great source for those interested in an older dog. While there is an adoption fee, it is usually considerably less than the price of a puppy. If you are considering a purebred rescue dog, a good place to start is the AKC Rescue Network at You may also contact a national breed club for further information.

A reputable breeder has a wealth of knowledge of the breed and experience with problems and issues that may come up. A reputable breeder has performed health screenings on the sire and dam (parents) of their puppies which lessens the possibility of future health problems in the dogs. A breeder can also determine if his or her breed is suitable for your lifestyle and personality. A breeder will also select a puppy for you based the temperament of the puppy and your particular situation. A breeder is a lifetime resource for you and your dog.

Breeder Considerations.

  1. Comfort and compatibility with individual breeder.
  2. Honesty and integrity; will tell you the advantages as well as shortcomings of the breed.
  3. Reputation
  4. Understanding of breed as a whole, and own dogs in particular.
  5. Goals are betterment of the breed and selection of appropriate homes for puppies, not profit.
  6. Resource for problems and questions.
  7. Potential for longterm relationship.
  8. Proximity.
  9. Experience.
  10. Guarantees and contracts.
  11. Health clearances.
  12. Membership in breed clubs or breed rescue organizations.
  13. History of participation in shows, competitions as a means to improve breed.
  14. Referrals.

A Word About Designer Dogs
The hybrid designer dog is not a purebred; rather, it is the product of two purebred parents, resulting in a litter of mixed breed puppies. Designer dogs do not have pedigrees; therefore, there is little history on prior generations concerning health or temperament issues. The AKC’s position on designer dogs is available here.

Sanctioned B Match

  • March 28, 2021 (Sunday) Cancelled
  • Ann Arbor Dog Training Club
  • CGC Testing also offered

Conformation Classes

  • Every Wednesday
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • Ann Arbor Dog Training Club

Maize and Blue

  • July 9, 2021 (Friday)
  • Combined Specialities
  • Monroe County Fairgrounds

Ann Arbor Kennel Club

  • July 10, 2021 (Saturday)
  • July 11, 2021 (Sunday)
  • All Breed Dog Shows
  • Obedience and Rally Trials
  • Monroe County Fairgrounds

Serving the Purebred Dog Needs of Washtenaw County, Michigan Since 1957. An American Kennel Club Member Club

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

How to buy a purebred puppy

Don’t just grab the “cutest” puppy or the boldest one. Use my sensible guidelines for choosing a puppy to be a good family pet.

Here’s my first tip for choosing the puppy who is best suited to you: Don’t let the PUPPY choose YOU.

You may have been advised by well-meaning friends to “Pick the puppy who runs right up to you!”

But this simply results in all the bold and pushy puppies being chosen first. The gentler puppies who wait politely in the background get ignored.

Most families are making a mistake when they choose bold, vigorous, energetic puppies who jump all over you, grab all the toys, start all the wrestling matches, grab hold of your pants leg and tug fiercely with adorable puppy growls.

Sure, these little dynamos are a blast to play with – for an hour at the breeder’s house. But they can drive you crazy within a day or two in your own home. And they can be more difficult to train.

A puppy can be perfectly suited to you without immediately launching himself into your lap. Before you choose, resolve to give each puppy a fair shake.

First, evaluate the litter as a group

Your first look should be at the litter as a group. If there are four puppies and three of them are staying at arm’s length or woofing suspiciously at you, this is probably a very risky litter.

And what about the fourth puppy, the one who acts normal? I would be still be wary. He could have inherited the same shy or distrustful genes and it simply hasn’t caught up to him yet.

A puppy who tucks his tail or shrinks away from you is not a safe choice as a pet. This is especially true if you have children. If the shyness is hardwired into his genes, a shy puppy will grow into a shy adult who can be difficult to live with and who may even snap defensively if startled or frightened.

So if the litter isn’t running away, what should they be doing?

Normal puppies are friendly, curious, and trusting. They mill around your feet, tug at your shoelaces, crawl into your lap, nibble on your fingers, and just generally toddle around checking everything out.

How to buy a purebred puppy

Observe how each puppy plays with the other puppies.

You can tell something about the individual puppies by the way they interact with their littermates.

  • Which ones are strong, outgoing, bossy, noisy?
  • Which ones are quiet, submissive, gentle?
  • Which ones grab all the toys and win the tugs-of-war?
  • Which ones seem delicate or picked on?

Most families do best with a pup who is neither boss of the litter nor lowest on the totem pole.

Next, evaluate the puppies individually

After viewing the pups as a group, ask the breeder if you can see each puppy who is available for sale, individually.

This is an important step in evaluating puppies. You want to see how each puppy reacts when he is away from his littermates. After all, that’s how it’s going to be at your house.

  • Sometimes a puppy who seems bold when his friends are “backing him up” will become less certain on his own.
  • Sometimes a puppy who feels dominated by the others will become more outgoing on his own.
  • Sometimes an energetic puppy will calm down when not being egged on by the others.

So now it’s time for your Individual Puppy Tests. and it’s time to introduce my book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, which will guide you through each test.

  • 11 Puppy Temperament Tests. These easy-to-do tests take only a few minutes and give you valuable insights into whether a puppy will make a good pet.
  • 11 Puppy Health Checks. You can do all of these simple health checks in less than 2 minutes – I’ll tell you exactly what to look for.
  • Parent Evaluation. Explains how to evaluate the temperament of your puppy’s parents, especially the mother, who can have a great effect on how your puppy turns out.
  • Older Puppy Evaluation. How to evaluate older puppies and adolescent dogs, including how to test for possessiveness and aggression in a seemingly friendly dog

Plus, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams.

  • Helps you sort out what kind of dog to get – purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed
  • Compares male and female dogs
  • Compares young puppies, older puppies, adolescent dogs, adult dogs
  • Compares animal shelters, rescue groups, performance breeders, show breeders, pet breeders, pet shops, and owners giving their dogs away
  • Tells you the exact questions you should ask, what answers you should expect, and which answers are “red flags” that mean you should stay away
  • Shows you how to evaluate the temperament of puppies and adult dogs to see whether they will make a good pet

About the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

You Should Get What You Pay for

  • Pin
  • Share
  • Email

How to buy a purebred puppy

The price of a purebred puppy depends on if you are buying a “show or working quality” puppy, or a “companion only” puppy. Puppies sold on a spay/neuter contract usually average around $800.00 in price. Puppies sold for working or competing can be as high priced as $1500.00.

Have you ever seen two people in a room, one a definite “Cat Person”, the other a “Dog Person”, and then hear them compare the prices of their chosen species? The conversation went something like this:

“You paid $900.00 . for a DOG?! You must be kidding me! It’s only a dog! That’s how much my Persian, Fluffy, cost!”

And the rebuttal: “For a CAT. You paid how much for that cat? It’s just a cat! Nothing like a dog at all!”

Well, well. Quality, in every species, comes with a hefty price.

What You Should be Getting for That Price

  • At least a three-generation pedigree (preferably more)
  • Titled Champions (sporting, working, or Conformation titles) in the pedigree, within the first two generations listed (directly descended from).
  • Hips and elbows have been certified “Good” or “Excellent” by ​OFA on both parents
  • Eyes have been CERFed free of genetic abnormalities.​
  • A guarantee that your dog is free from inheritable diseases and conditions, with replacement (not exchange) or refund terms, should something happen.
  • A promise of a place to bring your dog back if you can not keep him or her any longer (more than a promise, usually a requirement).
  • Any help you need to help you become a better dog owner. Every breed has its idiosyncrasies, and everybody needs help sometimes.
  • Care and grooming information.
  • Sample of the currently fed food, generally enough for the first few days, or more.
  • A good, even temperament, usually well-matched to the family/home he is being placed into.
  • A healthy, well-socialized dog who will adjust easily.
  • A mentor if you are planning to show, work, or breed your new dog.

The price of a purebred puppy should include all of these things. If it does not, you should be looking elsewhere. If you really want a healthy, happy, purebred dog, the price is worth it.

How to buy a purebred puppy

So you’ve decided to get a dog. Congratulations! You’re in for the time of your life.

Take time to evaluate your lifestyle to figure out exactly what sort of dog you’re looking for (e.g., a high energy dog to go running with, or a more sedate dog to lounge on the couch with). Remember that breed is no guarantee of temperament or likes and dislikes, so it’s best to get to know the individual animal.

Start at a shelter or rescue group

Not only are you likely to find a great dog, you’ll also feel great about helping a homeless dog find a loving home. Most dogs lose their homes due to owner-related problems like cost, lack of time, lifestyle changes (new baby, divorce, moving or marriage) or allergies, not because of something the dog has done.

You don’t want to buy a puppy from a pet store or a website. Most of those puppies come from mass breeding facilities—better known as puppy mills. If you’ve decided to buy a dog from a breeder, you’ll want to support one who has their dogs’ best interests at heart.

How to find a responsible breeder

Responsible breeders don’t sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills. Too often, this results in purchasing puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away.

A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding practices or who develops significant behavior problems due to a lack of early socialization can cost thousands of dollars to treat—and result in grief and heartache as well.

Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of training techniques, problem-solving and important information about caring for your pet.

How to buy a purebred puppy

  • Before you buy a puppy for sale, consider if you can adopt a puppy. Use the form to the right to find a puppy near you.
  • See photos of cute puppies in your area at local shelters.
  • Search for puppies near you by breed, size and more! Before you search for puppies for sale, consider adopting a puppy!

Buying a dog or puppy

Where to buy a dog

Some people want to get a purebred puppy and think their only option is to go to a local pet store or dog breeder near them. That’s certainly one way to get a purebred dog or puppy, but many people don’t realize that sometimes purebred dogs and puppies end up in shelters and need homes as well.

Any dog of any age can end up in a shelter. Someone may breed their purebred dog to sell the puppies but then not find homes for all the purebred puppies. Or someone might buy a puppy from a breeder or a pet store, and then be unable to keep the puppy. Perhaps they cannot afford the care, or there is a crisis in the family that requires them to find a new home for their dog. They may not be able to return the puppy to the dog breeder or pet store, and so the purebred puppy might be taken to a shelter to find a new home.

Adopting vs Buying

When people want to buy a dog or buy a puppy from a breeder or pet store, more and more people are first searching their local animal shelter or purebred rescue group to see if there might be a purebred dog or puppy they might like to adopt. In most cases this is a cheaper way to buy a puppy. Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue also saves a life, so if you are looking to find a breeder or visit a pet store, please consider as an option adopting a dog from your animal shelter or rescue organization near you.

Humane America Animal Foundation, dba, is a non-profit, tax-deductible 501(c)(3) adoption advertising charity. Our mission (and passion) is to help
get homeless pets out of the shelters and into loving homes. Let us know what you think! Suggestion & Comment Box

Special thanks to our sponsors, Purina, Chewy, and PetBasics,
whose support makes our life-saving work possible.

How to buy a purebred puppy

Buying a purebred puppy is a lifetime commitment and a decision not to take lightly. Puppies require time, energy, and dedication to raise properly and train to be well-behaved and rewarding companions.

Far too often, the decision to buy a purebred puppy becomes an emotional one, and people jump too quickly into it. The same amount of thought, time, and research that goes into buying a new home should be given to buying a purebred puppy if not more. A poorly thought out house purchase can be sold and although a hassle and possibly expensive, a house does not have to be a ten to fifteen year commitment. A dog is at least that and once they become a part of your family, not something you can ‘flip’ when the market improves.

Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying a Purebred Puppy

What type of dog are you looking for? Do you have an active family that hikes, bikes, boats, and hunts? A similarly active dog would be a good match for your family. Or do you prefer a quiet, docile dog that requires little physical activity? Look into breeds that are content to be couch potatoes. Do you want to show your dog or maybe do agility? Do you want a protective dog? Or maybe just a family pet? The first place to start when researching buying a purebred puppy is to match your activity levels and interest to the breed.

What other preferences do you have? Some people are happy to spend twenty minutes a day brushing their longhaired dog while others hate the very idea! Be honest with yourself about how much grooming you want to do and make sure you do not over estimate your interest.

Size restriction is a big issue. Many people choose small dogs because they have a small house, neglecting to realize that small dogs can be more active then some large dogs. The biggest breeds of purebred dogs can often be the laziest and are content after their two walks a day to spend the rest of day sleeping. A small dog that is all over the house and never wears out no matter how much exercise they get each day can very often make a small house seem even smaller!

Does someone in your family have an allergy to dogs? Hypoallergenic dogs do shed, but a much smaller amount then a regular dog, often easy the reactions of people sensitive to doggy allergens. However, these dogs often require regular grooming by a professional. Do you have the money and time to take your dog to a groomer every three to five weeks for a wash and trim? Are you interested in learning how to do this yourself?

What type of purebred puppy does your family want? Although buying a purebred puppy is a huge decision and should not be left to the five year old, their input is necessary as well as their expectations of what they want out of their puppy. This does not mean you buy a longhaired dog that requires twenty minutes of brushing a day because they promise to do the work – they won’t, guaranteed, and it will fall on your shoulders. However, if they want a dog they can swim with at the lake cottage each summer, buying a purebred puppy that, as a breed, cannot stand the water, may not be a good idea.

Once you have asked yourself exactly what it is you want and do not want in a pup, read some breed books and narrow down your list of possible breeds. From there, start to contact owners of these breeds to find out all you can about what it is to live with the adult dog.

Where to Buy a Purebred Puppy

There are many options when it comes to where to buy a purebred puppy but care needs to be taken when making this decision.

First off, a purebred puppy is one that comes with papers from reliable sources such as the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, the FCI, or the American Association of Rare Breeds. Designer breeds such as the Labradoodle are not actually purebred dogs although they are popular and breed ‘true’. If in doubt about the authenticity of either the puppies pedigree or the institution that produced them, do some research into the breed by looking up the kennel club from their country of origin and find out whether they are recognized within their own country. If they are not, there is a strong likelihood the breed is not purebred and the kennel club issuing the papers is on shaky ground.

Buying purebred puppies from pet stores, signs on the side of the road, out of the back of a truck in a parking lot, and at the local swap meet all contribute to pet overpopulation and ‘puppy mills ’. Puppy mills breed dogs as a way of earning an income, not for the betterment of the breed. Little to no genetic testing is done, breeding stock are not from championship stock, and temperament and medical issues are ignored in breeding stock. This can mean a dog with an aggressive streak is bred because they produce nice babies with no thought or care put into what the puppies may be like temperament wise.

To get the best guarantee of both the temperament and physical soundness of your pup, only buy your purebred pup from a reputable breeder. This often means being put on a wait list and passing the breeders ‘test’ – they will not sell a pup to someone they feel is not capable or interested in providing the best possible home for their dogs. Expect to feel as though you are being graded on your suitability as an owner of the particular breed, you are!

Once the breeder puts you on a wait list, it is only a matter of time before your bundle of furry joy is ready to come home. Have your house and schedule prepared for the new addition – a little bit of homework and preparation is the key to a long life with your new friend!