Do not buy a dog, not any dog at all. Ha, the above remark, might lead to you think I do not think people should live with dogs, but, just the reverse, I think almost everyone should live with a dog.
But, do not buy one, do not support a breeder/puppy mill/store selling dogs from puppy mills/ with YOUR wallet, instead, rescue a homeless dog or puppy from Petfinder.com.
We have a severe dog overpopulation crisis in USA, (and most other countries as well) with over 6 million dogs being put to death for the crime of not having a home. Each puppy or dog that is bought, competes for the available homes against these dogs:
(if your country has a great adopt-a-dog website, please add it below)
Top Reasons Why People "Buy" Their Dogs:
1) I want a purebred, so I know what I am getting.
Fine, go to petfinder, over 40% are purebred dogs. You can sort the homeless dogs there by breed, and even sign up for email alerts if the breed you desire arrives in the dog pound. I totally support researching the type of dog a person brings home, wish more humans did that.
2) I want to buy my purebred dog, so I know it is healthy.
This is just opposite of reality, in fact, purebred dogs are plagued at far higher rate with illnesses and maladies, at a higher rate than mutts and mixed breeds. This is due to the smaller gene pool, and less than 5% of breeders properly check dog's Entire family tree prior to breeding to reduce inheritable problems. If you are really interested in a dog more likely to have a healthy life, consider a mutt!
3) I want to buy a puppy, so I can see it's parents, and know what I am getting.
Ha, this is hilarious!
Like humans, dogs can create puppies much unlike themselves in both size, temperament, ability, etc etc. Ask around, some amazing stories out there. Also, the 2 most difficult inborn neurobiological disorders, (visible on MRIs of the dog brain) are the "shy" dog,(reacts to most unknown humans, also called the "fear-aggressive dog") and the "dog-aggressive dog" (reacts to most unknown dogs) are both recessive genes, and are not visible in the litter box, but manifest later on, at age 6 to 9 months, or later. Many human inborn neurobiological disorders (autism, some forms of schizophrenia, some forms of sociopathy, for example) are inborn, and not evident at birth.
Most breeders (and most dog authorities) still believe these issues are result of 'raising the do wrong', though. We can definitely make such dogs better or worse, but, this behavior is neurobiologically driven. It's usually only one or two of the litter, and many a person has chosen a pup from two 'normal' dog parents, only to find when that pup approaches maturity, it begins to manifest either one of those 2 disorders. You can NOT tell by the parents if the pup will have either disorder.
Best way to avoid dealing with either issue, is to adopt an adult dog. Either of these 2 difficult disorders, is usually painfully, most obviously evident by 14 months old.
Much of a dog's behavioral baselines and traits are inborn,yet, every dog is unique individual.
4) I want a puppy, so I can be his first human, and guide him into the type of dog I want him to become.
Fine, go to petfinders, there a millions of puppies there. But, be aware, much of a dog's personality and traits are inborn, and not always evident in the newborn.
5) If I adopt an adult dog, it won't "latch" onto me, the way a puppy would.
Pure horse pucky, nothing could be further from the truth. If you take home an adult dog, that dog will be a bit reserved initially, as it sizes you up, deciding if you are safe. But, once the dog has decided you are safe, (you can spot the day you have been approved, is so heartwarming) that dog will indeed love you more than you love yourself, more than he loves life itself, if you only give him a chance.
Have you ever needed a second chance?
6) I don't want a dog pound dog, there is something wrong with those dogs or they would not be in a dog pound.
This is so so false.
THE OVERWHELMING VAST MAJORITY OF DOGS IN PRISON, ARE LOVELY, LOVING DOGS, "READY TO GO" COMPANIONS WITH ZERO ISSUES WHATSOEVER, and did nothing wrong, but got thrown aside for sometimes horrifically stupid reasons.....
- girlfriend did not like the dog,
- some of these dogs were handled wrong/misunderstood/neglected,
- some are runaways,
- some the owners moved and left the poor dog to fend for himself,
- some couldn't afford them,
- relative is allergic,
- they wanted to move to a 'no pets' apt,
- human ignorance,
- owner death/illness,
- couch potato took home a high energy breed,
- dog got lost,
- etc etc, and many dogs never had a chance to show how loving they really are.
Yes, there are a few problem dogs in dog pounds, (same with puppy mills or those bought from breeders) and the dog pound staff usually spots these dogs fairly quickly, and sometimes these dogs are put down if the problem is severe, not adopted out, or, come with warnings "no other dogs in the house" etc.
But even those dogs with behavior issues, deserve a good chance to the few of us willing to take on dogs with issues. (these 'special needs' dogs require knowledge, commitment and time, not for everyone).
MOST DOG POUNDS HAVE PERSONNEL ON HAND TO HELP YOU "TEMPERAMENT TEST" A DOG you are interested in.
Many dog rescue groups will send someone over to temp test the dog, in an effort to help one more dog get off death row.
ADOPTING AN ADULT DOG is a great option.
If you do not have the time to go potty train a baby dog (takes very frequent outings for months and MONTHS) or if you are not interested in going through the chewing/destructive phase, the nipping/biting phase, (ouch! ouch! ouch!) the ruin your carpet and drapery and furniture and ipod phase, the "you can't be away from home too long"phase, the crying all night long phase, the expensive multi-vet trips newborn phase,and all the other stages of puppyhood that may not fit into your lifestyle. Some issues do not manifest til the dog is adult, too. (thread to come on that).
MEETING YOUR DOG AS AN ADULT is much less mysterious than bringing home an infant dog.
Dawg bless those humans who will
invest 24/7, for almost a year, into raising up and training baby dogs.
IF YOU REALLY WANT A NO-MYSTERY DOG, consider adopting a dog in "rescue".(being 'fostered')
(his is different from a dog in a "shelter"/dog pound.)
The dog in "rescue" is living with a foster family, who can tell you allll about the dog, every little thing, is he friendly, outgoing, is he lazy, couch potato, or hyper, how much exercise does this dog need to stay sane, does he walk nicely on a leash, what is he afraid of, how does he get on with cats, strangers, kids, etc, does he shed much or bark a lot, is he okay home alone, how is he in a car, is he destructive if home alone, does he have any behavioral issues at all, etc etc etc, WHATEVER you want to know about a dog, that family can and will tell you the truth, they are interested in finding a good match.
Dogs in dog pounds cost about $50, some are more. A few are almost free, and most dog pound shave "specials", too, but, if you are really poor, check to see if you can really afford a dog's food and vet bills, etc etc.
Dogs in "rescue" are usually about $200, but the org is not making profit, once the food, vet bills, transport, etc is subtracted, and need that to keep their mission going.
GO FIND YOUR NEXT BEST FRIEND!!! http://www.petfinder.com/