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Choosing a Breed

Considerations Before Buying a Purebred Dog

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When buying a purebred dog there are a few things you should keep in mind before rushing out and purchasing the breed of choice. The first thing all potential purebred dog owners need to be aware of is the fact these dogs are more prone to inherited diseases and illness due to the long inbreeding the breed has gone through. A good example of this is the fact many Dalmatian’s are either born blind, or develop blindness at some point in their lives. So the following tips may come in handy when buying a purebred dog so you do not end up with a dog that is very expensive to own and may require special care.

Consider WHY you feel a purebred dog is your preference over a mixed breed dog. Is it for social status, to look good when walking the purebred dog, or other vain personal reasons? If the purchase of a purebred is based solely on these criteria then take a moment and consider rescuing a mixed breed dog from an animal shelter so you are truly saving a dog, and becoming the proud owner of a dog who will give you love and happiness. Not that a purebred dog is incapable of giving the same, but saving a dog from living out their life in the rescue shelter (and probably having to be put down eventually) is going to bond you with the dog in a way buying from a purebred breeder never will.

If you already have experience with the purebred breed you are a step ahead of the game as you already know many of the strengths and weaknesses of the breed. For those who are purchasing their first dog the time to do a bit of research on the purebred of your desires is before bringing the puppy home. When buying a purebred dog visit several breeders and ask about the personalities of the breed. Is the dog going to be a calm, gentle canine, or a high strung dog that needs constant attention and more effort to take care of?

Either type of dog can make great family pets ONLY if you and your family understand what they are getting with the new puppy. Your best choice is going to be a purebred dog that is compatible with the size of your home, the abilities of you and your family to meet the needs of the breed, and how the dog rates on the compatibility meter with your family.

Give the above questions serious thought before buying a purebred dog, and after doing your homework you will end up with a wonderful family companion for many years to come.

How do you select a dog? Please share your thoughts below.

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  1. Avatar Of Lee



    Ugh. Stop demonizing people who want a purebred dog. I tried to get a purebred dog, a breed a grew up with. I knew I couldn’t afford a breeder, so I scoured the shelters — none of our shelters have purebreds, and if they get one in, they get shipped off to breed-specific rescues, who charge almost as much as a breeder. A rescue turned me down because my other small breed dog wasn’t fixed (the new dog would have been; I had no plans to breed and she had never been bred). What has that got to do with giving a rescued adult dog a good home with an experienced owner? Besides, some breeds are rare enough that they aren’t in shelters. As long as people are smart about picking their pets (no puppy mills, ever!), don’t make people feel shunned because they wanted a particular breed of dog.

  2. Avatar Of Lora



    I see this site leans toward the rescue/shelter type of dog, “purebred” or otherwise rather than go to the trouble of selecting a responsible breeder of a breed you are interested in. Breeders who are responsible will be able to show you the parents of the litter when you visit their home. You will also be able to see if the dogs and their surroundings are clean and healthy. In a pound, pet store or shelter you have really no idea what that particular dog has been through or what breeds are included in their pedigree. You may get a “purebred” that looks like an AKC picture, but you will not know if an aggressive type is bred into the mixture. With a good breeder, that dog came from someone who cares about the breed. Someone who does the research for genetic disease like blindness, hip dysplasia, congenital heart problems, and so on. Someone who selects the parents based on soundness and lack of genetic disease not to mention temperament. This type of breeder will ask you questions and answer yours and will stand behind their pedigree. You may well get a great mixed breed dog or something that is a named breed from the pound/shelter/pet shop, but you’ll never know until you start living with them and perhaps become attached to them to discover they have health or temperament problems.
    A breeder of a breed you are interested in will tell you what these dogs were bred for, if they have a good temperament with children or other animals. They will ask what kind of lifestyle you live and suggest if this is a breed that meets your lifestyle or suggest other breeds that might. That is the benefit of purebred dogs. You know what you get when you get it, if you do your homework. Don’t get a Border Collie or a Dalmation(or a cross because it’s cute) if you are a couch potato who doesn’t plan a lot of exercise for the dog. Don’t get a frisky Great Dane pup who will knock over your 2-year-old constantly but with no malice at all. It’s like getting a suit from a tailor. It fits you, not just anyone on the street.

  3. Avatar Of Susan Grayson

    Susan Grayson


    If you are going to buy a purebred dog, watch out for the “backyard” breeders. While these folks are a step up from puppy mills, they are still in this business for the money. They often have many litters per year (pretty obvious if you call and they tell you all their puppies are spoken for right now but they will have another litter in a month…), they might not want you to see the parents of the puppies, they offer “teacup” versions of the breed (unrecognized by the AKC but the public likes them because they are so cute), or they offer “designer” breeds (Cavachon, Maltipoo, etc.) which is another name for a mutt. You want to find a breeder that breeds to the AKC standard, who does health testing in his/her line for the diseases that breed is prone to (ethical breeders work hard to breed out these issues), who will be willing to take the dog back at any point during their lifetime if you can no longer care for it, who shows their dogs in breed-specific conformation dog shows (proving that they are committed to the breed standard), and who support their own breed rescue. If the breeder you are talking to does not fit the above picture, walk away.

  4. Avatar Of Veronica



    I have rescued 5 purebred boxers over the last 13 yrs. I have selected this breed because they are beautiful, loyal, funny, etc, you know the qualities. Plus being a bigger dog they could be harder to place. I feel these pure bred dogs were bred and wanted by someone at some point and then unwanted for some reason I have always picked the older dog to give them a forever home.Max my last rescue was my youngest appr 2-3, he is now 5-6 and his “big brother” Rocky is 8. I also took in a mini dachshund that my daughter brought home because it was living on a back porch covered in her poop. So its not just a status thing for me its giving a dog specifically bred a good loving forever home. Its not the dogs fault they were born and someone paid $2-3 hundred dollars for it and then ended up homeless.

  5. Avatar Of Jolie Hendricks

    Jolie Hendricks


    Don’t forget, there are a LOT of purebred dogs and cats in shelters. IF you are set in getting a puppy from a breeder, make sure the breeder will allow you to see where the parents live. Don’t support the puppy mill industry by buying your dog from a pet store, online, or flea market.

  6. Avatar Of Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson


    My wife and I selected our four labradors based on three criteria. They either had to be a rescue or shelter dog, they had to have either a rough life or a rough beginning to life, and they all had to get along. We feel that age and health issues are not an issue with us because even a dog with these issues still have a lot of love to give. All four of our furry kids are living the good life now and will until the day they make the trip over the rainbow bridge.

  7. Avatar Of Donna



    I love German Shepherds. We got our Major last November after our Shepherd of 10 years passed away. Major was in a high kill shelter down south. He was turned in by his owner and he came with papers. The papers don’t matter to us but the point being ,you can still get a purebred dog(whatever that means) from shelters and rescues. We love him so much with or without papers and he’s brought such joy to our lives. The saying “I thought I saved a dog but it was he who saved me” is so so true.

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