If possible, get to know the breeder and meet both of the puppy's parents in person. If it is not possible to meet them, make sure you have seen pictures of both the male (sire) and female (dam), and inquire about their health and temperament. Breeder dogs should be carefully screened and certified by a veterinarian to be free of congenital disorders, and have have healthy eyes, hips, and shoulders. A breeder will be excited and proud to tell you all about their dog's health history. And, a breeder who has properly socialized their young pups will be proud to share pictures with you and tell you all about BOTH parents. I am so excited to get my first small dog soon. After researching online, I decided I want a Yorkie Poo. Click the link below to see the website of the breeder I chose. You can see that she is doing it right! A healthy puppy starts with healthy parent dogs, lots of love, and early socialization.
In the last few decades, dog rescue groups and clubs have sprung up all over the country. This can be a very good thing for dogs that need homes, and a great thing for people who want to choose among hundreds of choices and combinations of breeds. Most reputable rescue organizations work closely with local humane societies or animal shelters to first find a foster home. Although older dogs are most in need of homes, there are often young puppies available too. Experienced fosters will take the puppy to the vet, evaluate the puppy for temperament around other animals and children, and of course, socialize the puppy! If you are looking for a particular breed or mix, you can often find a rescue that specializes in just that kind of dog. My niece and I fostered "Gigi" ( in the picture) for The Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County. They are a shining example of a well run rescue organization. Check out their website by clicking the link below!
Many people make the mistake of acquiring a puppy without knowing the environment it came from. Do not buy a puppy from a pet store, or from a basket of pups for sale in a parking lot. Unfortunately, some people pray upon our desire to nurture and love these beautiful little creatures. They may be adorable, but most have never seen a veterinarian, are unvaccinated, and may be full of disease causing parasites. Some of these poor puppies may even have life threatening congenital abnormalities. The only way we can stop puppy mills and end irresponsible backyard breeding is to stop buying dogs without seeing where they came from.