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Purebred Guide

Why a Purebred?

Each breed of dog was developed for a specific reason, such as to retrieve, to aid man in hunting, to guard, to herd or to simply be a companion. Therefore, dogs within a breed will have not only physical characteristics in common, but will also be similar in temperament, activity level and learning ability. While each individual dog within a breed will have small differences, all dogs within a breed can be depended on to display similar behaviors. When purchasing an AKC registered purebred pup from a reputable breeder, you will therefore have an understanding of what kind of personality and traits that dog will possess as an adult. The future traits of a mixed breed dog are much more difficult to ascertain, as it is impossible to predict which of the breeds in the dog's background will dominate.

Choosing a breed

Once you have made the decision to purchase a purebred dog, it is helpful to think long and hard about exactly what you are hoping for in a dog. The biggest mistake people make is selecting a breed of dog for its looks, not for what it was bred to do. The best chance of success is to match a breed of dog with your particular situation.

Some things you should consider when deciding on a breed are:

1. Your lifestyle and location. Do you live in the city, suburbs or country? Are you active or sedentary? How much time do you have available? How much financial commitment are you prepared to make?
2. The reason you want a dog. Are you looking for a guard, playmate for the children, a companion or a worker?
3. Size, life span, health issues and necessary grooming.
4. Trainability, temperament and maintenance.
5. Experience necessary for a particular breed.
6. The cautions and drawbacks of each breed.
7. Who will be the primary trainer and caretaker? Is everyone in the family comfortable with the breed?

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is not to buy on impulse, but to do your research and make an informed choice on a breed of dog.

Choosing a breeder

Once you have selected a breed, it is time to choose a breeder. Whoever you decide upon, the individual should be first and foremost someone you can depend on for advice and answers to your questions for the life of the dog.

Pet stores

Puppies found in pet stores are mass produced for profit on large breeding facilities, often known as "puppy mills." The health and temperament of a dog is not guaranteed, and those who sell the dogs have little knowledge of the nuances of each breed, and will sell a dog to anyone who can pay for it, regardless of the suitability of a breed for an individual. In addition, the pet store provides no resource for problems or health concerns.


Shelters are often an inexpensive source for purebred dogs. However, you should understand that those working in shelters often do not know the history of the particular dog, nor do they have extensive knowledge of breed characteristics and potential problems.


A reputable breeder has a wealth of knowledge of the breed and experience with problems and issues that may come up. A reputable breeder has performed health screenings on the sire and dam (parents) of their puppies lessening the chance of future health problems in the dogs. A breeder can also determine if his or her breed is suitable for your lifestyle and personality. A breeder will also select a puppy for you based the temperament of the puppy and your particular situation. A breeder is a lifetime resource for you and your dog.

Breeder considerations.

1. Comfort and compatibility with individual breeder.
2. Honesty and integrity; will tell you the advantages as well as shortcomings of the breed.
3. Reputation
4. Understanding of breed as a whole, and own dogs in particular.
5. Goals are betterment of the breed and selection of appropriate homes for puppies, not profit.
6. Resource for problems and questions.
7. Potential for long term relationship.
8. Proximity.
9. Experience.
10. Guarantees and contracts.
11. Health clearances.
12. Membership in breed clubs or breed rescue organizations.
13. History of participation in shows, competitions as a means to improve breed.
14. Referrals.

Click here for more information on choosing a breeder.

Be patient.

Once you have found a breeder, you may have to wait a few months or longer for a pup. Be patient. Find your breeder, and then wait for your puppy. It will be well worth it!