Before you run out to the pet store and pick out the first cute ball of fur that runs up and licks your hand (as tempting as it is!), do your research and find a breed that will best fit your life style. All dogs need training, veterinary care and grooming but some will require more of some than others.
Do your research and find a reputable resource if you are looking for a specific breed. Try to find a local breeder where you can visit the parents and littermates of your soon to be best friend. Choose a breeder who is focused on preserving the breed and weeding out health issues that may commonly occur in the specific breed. Throw caution to the out of state “breeders” you find online or even local pet stores as they are commonly associated with “back yard breeding” and puppy mills. What is a puppy mill?
A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects.
Some puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. The lineage records of puppy mill dogs are often falsified. Other puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public, including over the Internet, through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets.
If you are looking to adopt, that is an admirable feat also. Thank you for opening your heart and home to saving a life. Finding a local rescue organization where you can meet and select your new best friend is ideal. With rescue also comes a lot of “unknowns” but with some training and a positive attitude, we can make these dogs a happy, healthy part of our lives as their forever home!