wikiHow to Buy a Purebred Puppy

Buying a purebred puppy is a commitment for the lifetime of that animal. Follow these simple steps to ensure your happiness and the happiness of your puppy.


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    If you have fallen in love with a purebred dog, make sure that the breed is compatible with your lifestyle. Be clear about your motives for wanting a dog - are you looking for a show dog? A protection animal? Or just a family pet?
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    Learn how a typical dog of your chosen breed behaves and whether that is a fit for your lifestyle. Keep in mind how much room your dog will have, how much exercise you plan on providing daily, grooming needs, and the "drool and hair factor."
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    Consider adopting a dog from a breed rescue group, rather than buying a dog from a breeder, until there is no more pet overpopulation for that breed.
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    Join and get information from the prospective breeds breed club. For AKC breeds, the parent clubs can be found at For other breeds, a simple Google search will find the parent club online. Ask friends if they know of anyone with a dog of the breed you're interested in, and make arrangements to visit them, particularly if you have never seen a particular breed in person.
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    Seek out a reputable breeder, once you've made your decision, to give you the best chance of a healthy dog with a sound temperament. A puppy's temperament is fully formed at six weeks and is determined solely by genetics and the environment provided by the breeder and the brood bitch. Avoid buying a puppy at your local pet store as they are often bred by puppy mills for quick profit, rather than sound health.
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    Contact breeders in the parent kennel club. Visit their facilities and meet their dogs. Google them to see if there is any internet discussion. Facilities should be clean and the dogs should behave as you would want your future dog to behave. All dogs should be healthy, clean, and free of parasites. A good breeder will screen breeding stock for common health problems before breeding and will be happy to share that information with you. Research the common health problems of the breed you're interested in and ask your breeder for proof of screening (e.g., OFA certificates, degenerative myelopathy gene test certificates, etc.). A reputable breeder will be able to produce veterinary certifications to show the sire and bitch have been cleared of serious health problems. If the breeder is not forthcoming with information, or your gut tells you something isn't right, trust your instincts. Don't be surprised if a breeder will not allow you to handle puppies or if they require you to wear protective clothing. A good breeder will protect his dogs and puppies from visitors to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases on his property. If you are allowed to visit and there are no precautions taken to protect the puppies,the quality of the breeder should be suspect.
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    Find a breeder you want, then wait for a litter. A good breeder will likely have requirements for you to have one of their puppies and will have a written sales agreement that clearly spells out the obligations for everyone involved. Reputable breeders will also provide a guarantee that you can return the puppy if your veterinarian discovers a serious health condition within the first few days of your ownership. (Although, keep in mind that the breeder will likely euthanize the puppy,so try to avoid this.) They will typically suggest books, grooming equipment, etc. for the care of your future pet.
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    As an alternative to finding the right breeder yourself, you may hire a puppy finder company, who will guarantee that the breeder is ethical and the puppy you get is healthy. This is especially useful if you are buying a breed that is not available in your home country. A puppy finder company will probably also advise you on what breed best suits your lifestyle, which can be very useful if you are uncertain.
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    An ideal time to pick up your puppy is eight to nine weeks.Though extra work for the breeder, this provides the puppy with much needed socialization from litter mates. A puppy picked up too early will likely be fearful of other dogs (and even people) for his/her entire life. The puppy also needs the mother's milk and socialization with the rest of the litter.
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    Get a complete veterinary exam within 24 hours of picking up your puppy. Start heartworm and tick prevention right away. Start providing your puppy with a quality food. Take time to consider whether you will feed your puppy dry kibble, canned pet food, or a raw diet.
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    Take your puppy to puppy obedience classes. Ask your vet to suggest a facility. Establish the same expectations for your puppy as you will have from an adult dog.
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    Enjoy your new family member!


  • Deal only with pure breed dog breeders who routinely screen their own dogs for diseases and various conditions that affect the breed. While this is no health guarantee in any way, it does prove that the breeder is doing his best to help you take home the best and healthiest puppy that you can.
  • Spending a little extra on a puppy in the beginning can often save thousands in medical expenses and is often a sound investment.
  • Stay away from in breeding- you will find that your dog has many problems such as allergies, and heart failure if you don't.
  • Good puppies come to those who wait.
  • Choosing your perfect purebred puppy and companion does require a great deal of time, effort and energy, but when done properly will be something you won't regret at all in the future.
  • As an alternative to buying a purebred puppy, consider adopting an older purebred dog from a rescue organization. See How to Adopt a Purebred Dog. In some cases, you can even find a purebred puppy in need of an adoptive home. GREAT IDEA!
  • If you can, meet the stud dog and the brood bitch. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. If find the parent's temperament bothersome (perhaps they are skittish of new people), then consider finding a different breeder.


  • If the breeder insists on meeting you somewhere to deliver the puppy, beware - the likely reason for this is that they do not want you to see their breeding facility.
  • If the breeder "imports" their puppies from outside of the US. Great care should be taken to make sure the puppy is healthy and is actually old enough to leave it's mother. Federal Standard (No less than 8 weeks)
  • If any "breeder" is willing to offer you a "deal", does not have a clean kennel or acts suspicious to you in any way, back out quickly. Trust your instincts.
  • Never buy dogs from pet stores! A lot of these dogs come from puppy mills, which is basically living hell for dogs, besides the possibility of inbreeding. Research puppy mills for more information. *Beware of pet stores' lies or misinformation.
  • Dog "breed hybrids" are mixed breeds and not "Designer Dogs". These dogs are mixed and NOT purebred, so beware, you can't register or show them.
  • Never buy a dog because of a trend or as an "emblem".

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Categories: Choosing a Dog