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Choosing the perfect purebred puppy
does not have to be so hard

Bringing home any new purebred puppy takes lots of planning ahead of time and plenty of puppy proofing.



Before you jump head first into this big decision (please never bring home a puppy or dog on impulse) you must first evaluate your abilities and needs - your real ability to care for a dog, your household space issues, the financial ability to afford and adequately care for a dog, and the sincere readiness of ALL family members to welcome a new member into the family.

Depending on which purebred puppy you choose you're easily going to share your life with this new addition for 12 years or more.

And depending on which new puppy you choose and how much socialization time and training you put into your new puppy, that time spent with your new puppy can be great or terrible or anywhere in between.

Bassett Hound puppy

What do you look for in your potential new purebred puppy? Most breeders and purebred puppy enthusiasts will agree that temperament is key.


Why is this so important? Because it makes a your pure bred puppy more compatible in any situation, with better coping skills no matter what you throw at it. Soundness in temperament is key, no matter what the future purpose of the puppy may be - working, herding, companion, etc.

Now, a major question: where can a prospective buyer find the perfect puppy of their dreams? There is more than one answer to this question.

Obviously the first thing you'll think of is from a breeder. This is by far the best way to get a purebred puppy other than through a Rescue Service, pet store or at your local animal shelter, because you will have access to the puppy's background history, health records and family history.

If you decide to go through a breeder, just remember, not from just any breeder. If you decide to go this route just make sure the breeder you choose your next companion from is reputable, helpful and knowledgeable about their breed.

Just what makes a breeder reputable you might ask? First off, I would start on the internet. Check out the local parent breed club (of the breed you are interested in), and then do further serious research with local purebreed dog breed clubs in your area.

This is a great way to get several names of breeders. Another good way is to get referrals from local vets, any dog groomers in your area, or other pure breed dog owners that you know of.

Please do all your research carefully and check out all recommendations and references seriously. Be cautious and ask a lot of questions.

A good breeder will expect that from you and will ask you many questions as well before you get an opportunity to take their precious puppy home.

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.

Look for a purebred puppy breeder who is truly interested in her breed and much more interested in finding a proper home for her puppies than simply getting paid.

Any "breeder" who is simply in it for the money has the wrong motivation all together.

Take the time to talk with the breeder more than once via the phone, email, etc. and visit the puppy litter more than once if possible before making your decision.

Also, does the breeder offer a guarantee? What type? What kind of documentation do you get with the new puppy? What about the registration papers? Pedigree?

What other things go home with the new puppy? Food? Collar? Other dog supplies or paperwork? Did you get to meet the parents of the puppies and the litter mates? Did you get a chance to have hands on time with them? A reputable purebred dog breeder will offer all of this and more. Don't expect any less.

Additionally, ask the puppy breeder about shots, dewormings and exams the puppy may have already have had. Are the puppy's parents "OFA certified?" AKC /UKC (or otherwise) registered? Ask to see certification of both parents from one of these organizations; reputable dog breeders will usually offer the information without you having to ask.

And, take a very close look at the pup. It should be a proper weight (not too chubby or too thin); clean, odor-free and kept in clean surroundings; clear eyes, not runny or red; clean ears; full hair coat (no balding spots); no excessive scratching; and appear well-socialized, playful and friendly. Take the puppy to your vet for a compete exam with 48 hours of purchase.

Deal only with purebreed 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.

Coated GSD puppies eating their first "real" meals

Many purebred dog breeds, suffer from a variety of inheritable diseases that cannot be determined by a simply looking at the dog. Research the history of incidence of all diseases in the puppy's parents and further down in its lineage. Your breeder should be able to discuss any likelihood of these diseases developing in your new purebred puppy.

Other things to worry about are the potential threat of elbow and hip dysplasia which are very common in many large breeds and things such as luxating patellas in smaller breeds. There are many tests available for your puppy that help screen your dog for these conditions.

Disorders of this type are screened by evaluating x-rays of a dog's joints, hips or elbows. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), a nonprofit foundation evaluates and registers X-rays, is the most common certification.

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.


More Important Purebred Puppy Issues


Information about Dog Breeders

A few Activities for that Active Puppy

Puppy Supplies List

Puppy Names - Suggestions For Your New Puppy

Tips on Choosing a Dog Collar

Puppy Housebreaking

Puppy vaccinations

Teething and puppies

Using a crate

Pets and kids


Return from Purebred Puppy to Dog Articles

"Fifth Avenue is too expensive for anyone but dogs." -- Mel Finkelstein, Daily News