Where to Buy a Dog and How to Find the Right Breed

Where to Buy a Dog and How to Find the Right Breed

Where to Buy a Dog and How to Find the Right BreedA decision on where to buy a dog that will become your loyal pal for many years to come is a crucial one, but finding the most appropriate breed is no less important.

Committing to welcoming a dog into your family is tremendously exciting! Dogs are wonderful companions and loyal guardians, but bringing a new family member into your home can sometimes become a challenging, overwhelming, and exhausting task, as you will soon learn.

Doing your research and making sure that you and your family are prepared for a dog is vital. That’s why NextGen Dog is here – so you get the most precise information on raising a healthy dog.

After you have educated yourself on how to be a smarter dog owner and raise a happy and healthy pet, the next step is selecting the appropriate breed for you, which can also prove to be quite challenging.

Information in this article will teach you how to decide if a dog is truly right for your lifestyle, which breed is the best fit for your family, and where to buy a dog when the time is definitely right.

Will canine be the right pet for you?

Before we can look for a place of where to buy a dog, let’s take a minute to consider some important aspects that every future dog owner needs to be aware of.

Very few people will disagree with the fact that having fun times with your loyal dog companion isn’t something they wish to do. Moreover, having a pet dog can actually improve your life. But what some future dog owners fail to understand – and I’m sure you’re not one of them – is that dogs and especially puppies are a lot of work!

It takes shiploads of time to care for an animal who cannot function independently in our modern society. Aside from that, to keep your dog truly happy, dog owners must  provide them with the attention and communication these animals require on a regular basis.

With that being said, if you’re currently looking where to buy a dog, try to first put a lot of thought into whether this is the right time to bring a canine pet into your home.

Here are just a few questions to consider:

  • What kind of home do you have? Will there be sufficient room for a dog?
  • Do you travel a lot? Will you be able to take your pet with you?
  • Do you work long hours? How long will your dog be alone at home?
  • If you are away for the night(s), is there someone to care for your dog?

Many of these questions don’t have to be as black and white as they initially seem. There are about 340 dog breeds in the world right now. While some can be completely wrong for your lifestyle, other breeds will be absolutely perfect. For example, you’d be surprised by the type of dogs that are best for apartment living.

So if you decide that this is indeed the perfect timing for you to purchase or adopt a dog, then you need to narrow down your choices in terms of breed selection.

Do you want a long haired or short haired dog? As you probably guessed, long-haired dogs need more maintenance than dogs with short hair.

What size pet are you interested in? Maybe you have a big house with a nice yard and you want a larger dog like a Saint Bernard? Or maybe you live in a smaller apartment and might be interested in a smaller toy breed, like a Yorkie?

Never buy a dog on an impulse. Take some time to ask yourself these types of questions and consider them carefully. Once you narrow down your options, the real research begins.

Where to Buy a Dog and How to Find the Right Breed for You
Rylan, a young Boxer from a rescue shelter. Photo by Rob Swatski

How to conduct research on the best breed fit

Not everyone has a preference on breed. In fact, many people think that mixed breeds make the best pets. A recent study has also proven[1] that mixed breeds are not more likely to have any genetic disorders or be more sickly than pure breeds, as initially thought. But regardless of which type of canine breed you’re interested in, there is a lot of reading that you will need to do if you care deeply about your future pet’s happiness.

General education on dogs. For this purpose, read things online and websites like NGD where claims are truly supported either by scientific research or at least make logical sense. Dog books are obviously another great source of information.

Breed selection. While online breed selectors can occasionally provide you with a somewhat appropriate suggestions, nobody knows you better than yourself. It’s important to not be lazy and take your time during this stage.

Manual breed selection is actually very easy since all the information is freely available online, and the whole process will be a lot of fun for you.

Try to start off with something broad, like the size of the breed that you would be the most comfortable with and go from there. Once you have more information on this, you can narrow down your selection to a list of breeds in that size category to learn more about each one of them and continue filtering through further.

Make sure to choose a breed that will do well in your living environment, with your level of activity and grooming preferences. We’ve already talked broadly on this subject in our recent discussion on what dog should you get.

For example, if you are an active person that spends his/her weekends on walks, hikes or often goes on swimming adventures, go for breeds that would love those things too. Don’t pick an English Bulldog whose body isn’t even built for swimming. Likewise, if you are more of a homebody, you may want to look for a less active couch potato companion, and an English Bulldog would be a perfect fit here.

Another important thing to take into account among others not mentioned in this article is of course the financial burden of certain dogs.

Depending on your stance on the subject, you may need to get your pooch spayed or neutered and all breeds will require their regular shots as well as annual vet checkups. Thanks to Babylonians, in today’s world everything will cost you money.

And yes, some dogs are more costly than others in the long run. While researching your breed of choice, check into common health issues of the breed so you can be prepared if something happens down the road. Preventing any kinds of possible health problems is better (and cheaper!) than taking care of it once the problem occurs.

In terms of daily expenses, larger dogs will obviously cost more to keep than smaller breeds. They eat and drink more, and certain types of large dogs can be significantly more expensive to groom and board. Keep all of this in mind while searching for your future pal and don’t fall for the picture of the first cute puppy you see (we’ve all been there!)

Where to buy a dog?

You’ll know that you’ve done most of your research when you’ve put in a lot of thought into the following aspects:

– Your personal lifestyle and responsibilities
– The environment you live in, your home
– Your financial situation
– Personal health issues, allergies and similar
– Your family situation
– Your knowledge of the breed and dog ownership
– Your long term goals and your future

Once your research is complete and you’ve answered all the necessary questions for yourself and have selected the right breed, it is time to find your dog!

Depending on the type of canine breed that you are interested in, there are multiple places for where to buy a dog in America.

A. Animal shelters

Normally, your first option as a future responsible and empathetic dog owner should be your local animal shelter. There are many benefits as to why you should rescue and adopt a sheltered dog, but here are just a few:

1. Shelters only charge a fraction of the cost that breeders and pet stores do.
2. These dogs come spayed or neutered already and they are already up-to-date on their shots.
3. Vet checkup won’t be necessary as soon as you bring a dog home since the shelter will do this for you for free.
4. Some sheltered dogs, depending on the age, will already be housebroken and trained to follow at least the most basic obedience commands.
5. You will feel great about saving an animal from euthanasia and making space to home one more stray dog.

There are financial and moral gains from adopting a sheltered dog, and there’s a big chance that you’ll find a pet you’re looking for in there. It’s also important to critically consider facts and myths regarding sheltered pets.

However, with that being said, don’t feel obligated to adopt a shelter dog if there are no perfect options for you to consider in your local rescue centers. The most important part is for you to find an ideal fit for whom you’ll be able to provide a great home.

If you have a very specific breed in mind or want to buy a young purebred puppy, you will probably have to look elsewhere.

Where to Buy a Dog and How to Find the Right Breeds
Lemmy, a mixed breed puppy from a shelter. How can we say no? Photo by Rob Swatski

B. Breed-specific rescues

Another great option is to look into breed-specific rescue centers. The easiest way to find these is online. Use Google and search for “<breed> rescue <state>”, i.e. “pitbull rescue california“. State is better because not every town will have that breed’s rescue center.

These places are usually a little more expensive than your local shelters and many of them will want to conduct an in-home visit before they will let you adopt a dog. Breed specific centers want to ensure a great home for their animals.

Even though there are breed-specific rescues for literally every breed out there, it can be difficult sometimes to find one anywhere close to your location.

C. Breeders

Your third option for finding your future perfect pet companion is to locate a breeder, which shouldn’t be too difficult. Breeders is a for-profit business, so they are still common. However, with the growing population of “adopt only” dog owners and generally eco-friendly Millennials, the number of these places is decreasing[2].

If you’re on a lookout for a purebred canine, this is generally the most sure-way option.

Purchasing from a breeder is the most expensive method of buying a puppy, however, and breeders aren’t always honest about how they breed their canines.

Always do some research on the specific breeder of your choice before you even make a call. For additional assurance, you should also ask them for references from other people that have purchased their puppies.

There are some really great breeders out there who treat their dogs like royalty, but there are also others that keep their pet residents in the type of conditions you couldn’t imagine. Make sure to visit the breeding facility in person and meet with breeders face-to-face before you think about purchasing a puppy from them. That way you’ll get a better feel for how the place is run.

D. Pet stores

The final option for purchasing a specific breed of dog is to visit your local pet store.

As a responsible dog website, we feel the obligation to let you know that pet stores are notorious for selling puppies that come from puppy mills and other unlawful breeding facilities. Try to be very careful about buying puppies from pet stores.

Do your research online, ask around and definitely talk to the store owner or whoever manages it. See if you can contact the breeder where this store get their puppies from. Our mission here at NGD is to educate dog owners, and research is the most crucial part of making any kind of dog ownership decision.

Where do other people get their dogs?

Market research and data collection conducted in 2011[2] has revealed that aside from pet stores and breeders, 27% of dogs are adopted from family members or friends.

19% of dogs are adopted from rescue centers and local shelters. An interesting fact: the same study has also noted that most people adopting canines from shelters are usually motivated by the photo online.

 

After you’ve done all your due diligence and online research, answered the most important questions for yourself and picked the most appropriate breed – congratulations, you are on a sure way to joining the ranks of responsible dog owners. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

 

References:

  1. O’Neill et al. Approaches to canine health surveillance. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. 2014 1:2. DOI: 10.1186/2052-6687-1-2
  2. Kelly Campbell. Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter: Understanding Public Perceptions by the Numbers. November 27, 2012; Ipsos Webinar. [link]