Once you’ve made the decision you want a dog in your life, you have a lot of choices to make. Do you want a puppy or a dog? Many people prefer a grown dog so they don’t have to go through all the housebreaking and puppy chewing which can really take an expensive toll.
Do you know what kind of dog you want? Sometimes where you live dictates simply that you need to get a small dog or a dog that doesn’t need a lot of exercise. You may not have a specific breed in mind at all and if this is the case, the classified ads or your local shelter are good places to start looking.
If you are the person who has unwanted puppies, it is a sad fact of life, but giving your puppies away for free might be condemning them. Many times this is how pups are obtained for clinical testing or worse.
If you are looking for a puppy or dog and don’t have a lot of money and are attracted to the puppy for free ads, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Ask the right questions. Why are these puppies free? Since they are usually unwanted, what you are looking for here is honesty. If it was an unplanned litter of mixed breeds, for example, the breeder should tell you this.
Surprisingly, sometimes you will find free purebred puppies from a responsible breeder. Breeders imprint and study their litters, test and evaluate them. Often, when a puppy is determined to be “pet quality only” the breeder may just be interested in finding a loving home for that pup. There is nothing wrong with a pet quality pup. This just means it cannot be shown for something as simple as one white toenail. Or, it could mean the puppy does not show the right emotional traits. For example, when a person is buying a Doberman, they are looking for a protection dog. If a puppy in the litter shows no self confidence and no apparent prey instinct and has a low protective score, the breeder should not be knowingly passing this puppy on to an owner who wants to train the dog for work or sport. If the puppy is free and is wanted as a loving home companion and it is healthy, this is a good deal.
If the puppy is free, find out how old the litter is. So many backyard breeders give the puppies up at five and six weeks of age and the pups should not leave their mother until they are 7 or 8 weeks old. If they are any younger than that, they will not yet have the proper socialization and imprinting needed from their mother.
The shelter is a great place to get a free pup or dog. These dogs are neutered or spayed to avoid future unwanted litters. Usually they are also free from disease and have been evaluated to determine if they have proper personalities.
If you are searching for a puppy for sale, always start with the breeder instead of the pet store. If you are looking for a specific breed, the responsible breeder is the only way to go. Do your research; know in advance what you should expect to spend. While you may be able to make some kind of deal, keep in mind that the better the breeder, the more time, hard work and money has been put into that puppy. The lines of the puppy have been ensured for both physical and mental health.
The truth is that when obtaining a puppy from a responsible breeder, you are usually always getting a good deal because the breeder could never charge what the puppy or dog is actually worth.
If you have decided on a specific breed, you should be able to learn more about that breed from the breeder; responsible breeders are always looking for the purity in their lines. It is up to you to still check everything out when it comes to the health of the pup and the rest of the dogs in the kennel.
Remember, you are adding a member to your family and it is important to ensure the right family is getting the right dog.