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Humane Societies/Animal Shelters
Once you have an idea of the breed you want and once you are certain that you can provide a quality home for your new dog or puppy, the next step is to actually find the right one. The best place to start is at your local humane society and animal shelters – even if you want a purebred. Believe it or not, shelters and humane societies often have purebred dogs and puppies available. If they don’t have the breed or breed mix you want, ask them to call you when they do. Or you can make regular visits until you find the right dog. Going to the humane society or animal shelter gives you the choice between many dogs and you get them at a very reasonable cost which includes all their shots and the spaying or neutering.

Breed Rescue Groups
You can also check with rescue groups. If you are wanting a basset hound, for example, check with a basset hound rescue group. They specialize in the breed and they can tell you about a specific dog’s personality as well as a lot about the breed itself. They will also most likely provide the animal’s shots and spaying and neutering.

Individuals and/or Breeders
You can also get a puppy from individuals by looking in classified ads in the newspaper or online. Craig’s List is an example of an online classified where you can find pets from individuals. Be careful, however, if you are buying a purebred puppy from an individual. If an individual is breeding purebred dogs for the sake of making money, they could inadvertently be spreading the genetic diseases and health problems associated with that breed. Make sure this individual has done testing for these diseases and make them show you the vet records. Doing your research on breeds will help you know what to look for. Also, make sure that if you get a purebred from an individual that you visit the individual’s home. This is to make sure you are not getting a dog from a puppy mill. We strongly urge you not to get a dog from a breeder who breeds several dogs just for the sake of making money and we strongly urge you not to buy a puppy from pet stores. This is because pet stores usually get their dogs from those kind of people who only breed dogs to make money.

Remember, you don’t have to get a purebred. Mutts are great dogs too. The main benefit is they don’t usually have all the health problems associated with the genetic degeneration of pure-breeds. A downfall would be that you may not be sure of the breed mixes, so therefore, you aren’t certain as to what to expect behavior and personality-wise from your dog. But discovering your dog’s breed mix and personality can be a fun experience. With time, patience, and lots of training, any dog can be a great dog!

Check our blog later for information on what to do once you get your new pet. Future blogs in this series includes getting pet supplies, potty training, grooming, and more!

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