* Who will feed, walk and pick up after your new puppy?
* Will you take the time to socialize and train your new puppy?
* Have you budgeted for the cost of good quality, nutritious food?
* Have your found your veterinarian and discussed your new puppy's medical care requirements?
* Can your home and lifestyle accommodate a dog? Remember, puppies grow up!
* A dog is a lifetime commitment. Think in terms of sharing your life with this dog for at least the next 10 years, hopefully longer.
The advantage of purebred dogs is that they are bred to meet specific standards of size and temperament. You need to know what your dog will be like fully grown. How big will it be, what type of coat will it have, how much exercise will your new dog require every day and most importantly will your dog have a good temperament?
In all litters of purebred dogs there may be show stock and companion stock. Unless you intend to get actively involved in the sport of dogs, a top quality, healthy companion dog is what you want to find.
* Think about size - fully grown! Be sure the dog will fit comfortably in your home.
* Think about coat - long hair, short hair. Be certain members of your family are not allergic to animal fur.
* Think about temperament. Meet both of the puppy's parents if possible. Always see the mother (dam). If you like the parents, chances are you will like the puppy.
* Talk to the breeder about socialization and early training.
* Select a breeder who raises puppies on his/her premises.
* Avoid shy or aggressive pups.
* Look for someone who is proud of his/her dogs.
Once you have selected the breed of dog you ar interested in seeing, you need to select a breeder very carefully.
Now that you have decided to get a puppy, do not buy on impulse. The shelters are full of unwanted dogs put there by owners who didn't take their time in the selection process.
Visit several kennels. The condition of the kennels and dogs should be the first thing you notice. Are the facilities clean? Do the dogs appear clean and healthy? If not - leave!
Make an appointment to visit the breeder or breeders of your choice. Do not show up unannounced and/or early. A good breeder will allot a specific time for your visit so that you can adequately discuss the breed and a possible purchase without interruption.
A good breeder will:
* have a copy of the breed standard on hand and should know and tell you the problems to look for in the breed you are interested in.
* know the pedigree of the puppy - grandparents and great-grandparents.
* want to know all about you, your family, your lifestyle and where the dog will be living.
* Get everything in writing and signed. A sales contract should indicate the breed of dog, that it is purebred and eligible for registration.
* Ask about return policy and health guarantees.
* Look for a non-breeding agreement and/or a spay/neuter condition - both are good signs.
* Do business with someone with whom you are comfortable.
Prior to buying a new puppy you should look into the by-laws where you live, such as:
* leash laws
* stoop and scoop.
* noise by-laws.
* limits on the number of dogs you are allowed.
* limitations on running at large.
The above consists mainly of excerpts from "The Purebred Puppy Buyer's Guide" published by The Canadian Kennel Club.