The decision to purchase a dog represents a 10 to 15 year commitment, hopefully even longer. Look at the purchase of a dog as a three part exercise: homework, field work, and purchase. Homework - Know and understand the responsibility you are undertaking. The financial commitment goes well beyond the initial purchase price of the dog. Dogs of all breeds and ages require veterinary care, training, grooming, and quality food. All dogs, especially puppies need companionship, supervision, and exercise.
Honestly consider your home, lifestyle, and the time you have to commit to a dog or puppy before you buy. Remember, that although we enjoy and love dogs very much, sometimes the right dog is no dog at all. Until proper care, supervision, and time can be provided, the best decision is to wait.
Once you are certain you are ready for a dog, think about the breed that is right for you. Some things to consider include activity level, size, grooming requirements, and temperament.
A lot of people will sell you a dog but unfortunately, not all of them are reliable and responsible individuals. Do your research and find a good breeder that is right for you. Know the health issues concerning your chosen breed and ask prospective breeders what they are doing to screen and eliminate these diseases. Know the medical history of the parents and ask to see CERF, OFA, and other applicable certificates. More information about canine health organizations can be found on our connections page under canine health. Ask for references and check them.
Reputable breeders will often require you sign a contract. Read this carefully and be certain you can live with the requirements. The American Kennel Club offers this additional information about buying a dog!
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