It’s time to get a puppy! From spring until September, the Humane Society reports a spike in new furry friends available for adoption. If you’re thinking of buying a dog, because you want a particular breed, there are things you need to consider. We found this info on MSNBC.com.

  • Beware of breeders. If you’re looking for a purebred pup – like a bloodhound, poodle, or a golden retriever – then a kennel club is the best way to go. Know this: There’s no standardized code of ethics that all breeders must follow. So while they can certify that a dog is in fact the breed you’re looking for, they may not be able to guarantee the dog has been properly socialized, or screened for health problems.
  • Avoid breeders who sell at flea markets or online. These breeders are rarely certified and a lot of websites are simply brokers for illegal puppy mills. Plus, they may use high pressure sales tactics to appeal to your sensitive side, like telling you the puppy will be put to sleep soon if you don’t buy NOW.  The only time you should surf the web for a pet is to locate the name and address of reputable breeders in your area.
  • So what if you DO fall for a private seller’s puppy dog eyes? Then ask if you can visit the seller’s home. Experts say you can tell a lot about a dog by seeing where it came from. For instance, you can meet the puppy’s mother and if she has a nice temperament, your puppy probably will too.  Also take a look at how the puppy was raised. Dogs raised in backyard cages may not be exposed to a lot of other people – making them more prone to behavior issues. One breeder adds that you should never buy a puppy from a place where you wouldn’t want to eat dinner, or use the bathroom.  All that said, if you ask to visit a seller’s home, and they say no – that should be a red flag!

In the end, the best thing you can possibly do is adopt a dog at a local shelter, even if you want a purebred. 1 in 4 dogs in shelter is a purebred. Or try a breed rescue group. The website AKC.org has a database of breed rescue groups.