Choosing a Pure Bred Dog or purchasing a Pure Breed Puppy for Your Household

Choosing the ‘right dog’ for your household should be less of the impulse buy it has become to a heavily researched, informed decision. More emphasis is placed on the refrigerator in your kitchen and the automobile in your driveway than the animal that could potentially spend his life in your home, with your children, spouse and you! The cute little puppy in the pet shop is a real heart stealer, but are you prepared for the consequences of an uninformed decision regarding the size he will become? Do you know about the temperament of his parents? How about the health guarantees of your new pup?

Purchasing a puppy from a pet shop is never a good idea. Do not be deluded into thinking you are doing anyone a favor by buying a dog from a broker, pet shop or other unscrupulous dealer. Although I am sure there are pet shops that do provide puppies that are sound mentally, physically and emotionally, the truth is by virtue of how these pups are housed prior to their interment at a pet shop and their care while available for sale; it is not conducive to the correct hygiene necessary for mitigating disease or parasites, the minimal human handling is a direct link to behavior problems later in life and there are no real assurances that your puppy came from sound parents who have been selectively bred for low incidence of disease, temperament soundness or even breed purity!

Although there are no guarantees that a registry like the American Kennel Club assures the ‘quality’ of your new puppy, you stand a better chance of finding the right pup from a conscientious breeder than you are finding one at a pet shop.

When looking for a pure bred dog, be sure to research the breed or breeds that you are interested in before making a decision. It is important to know what you are looking for and it is even more important to not settle for anything less! There are many good resources on the internet, but beware, another unscrupulous source for puppies is the world wide web! Stay away from any puppy seller where you cannot see at least one of the parents in person! ALL of the top breeders of good working dogs will own the dam (mother) but rarely the sire (father). Most top breeders will maximize the potential for any planned breeding by taking their best females to the best males available, even if they have to ship her to another part of the country to do so.

Don’t be trapped by the “Show Quality” advertising you may see on puppies advertised either on the ‘net or in the local newspaper. Top breeders do not sell their top show puppy prospects through such mediums. They want to be selective on where these pups go so that they offer a good representation of the breeder in the future, either as show dogs or dogs used for breeding. If you are interested in showing your puppy, don’t think you will get a bargain at the pet shop or through the paper. Go to a few dog shows, talk to a few breeders of the dog breeds you are interested in and observe these dogs outside the ring. Ask the breeder or handler if you can see the dog away from the ring. Is the dog social? Does the dog seek attention? If the dog has been used as a stud dog or brood bitch, is there an opportunity to see any of his progeny (puppies) from these breedings?

Again, a certificate from the A.K.C. (American Kennel Club) or any other registry is not a guarantee of ‘quality’. The AKC is simply a registry that oversees the family tree (pedigree) of any given pure bred dog. There are a lot of unscrupulous breeders out there who will take your money for a dog that is “AKC registered” when in fact the papers themselves mean nothing. It just means that that dog is registered with the AKC and it was bred to another dog with AKC papers. It means that only the minimal effort was made in selecting dogs for breeding.

If you are acquiring a dog as a pet, you should still be reasonably assured of the physical soundness of your puppy prospect. Many defects pervade the purebred dog population because of poor selection criterion. Eye diseases and certain forms of cancers are prevalent in Retriever breeds like the Golden and the Flat Coat. Some pure breeds of dogs suffer from allergies that prevent their maintenance on a standard dog diet, and some other pure bred dogs are genetically predisposed to orthopedic issues like Hip Dysplasia and other debilitating health issues that are heartbreaking to the pet owner who unwittingly bought one of these puppies.

Look for a purebred dog breeder who actively tests his dogs both physically and mentally. Only approach dog breeders for puppies that not only breed selectively for the job their dog breed was specifically designed for, but for critical practices like testing for the genetic diseases that are common to those breeds of dogs.

Any good, responsible dog breeder will have pure bred puppies available from planned breedings that will better assure you of that puppy’s genetic soundness and health. Remember, if “show quality” were so easy to obtain, it would not be so hard or expensive to have a Champion show dog, or performance dog in any of the dog performance venues.

If planning to purchase a pure bred dog or puppy, remember the time you take and the money you spend will serve you in the long run. Good dogs are not cheap, whether you want a show dog, working dog or pet. What you save up front on that bargain puppy could potentially cost you much more than you bargained for!

That chrome refrigerator cost you a pretty penny, as did the Lexus or Mercedes in your driveway. They were not impulse buys! Don’t let your next pure bred dog or puppy be an impulse buy either. DO THE RESEARCH!