Finding the Dog That Was Made For You.

Lab Puppy

All puppies rule.

But finding one that's right for you can take weeks.  In dog years that's a long time!  Don't worry.  Simply read on to find the dog who was made for you (or were you made for him?) sooner, rather than later. Where to begin before you visit a breeder or shelter to adopt, try seeing your world through the eyes of a dog: If you were a big dog, how would you feel about living in a small apartment? And if you were a small fluffy dog, how would you feel if you caused sneezing in friends and family? What does this all mean?

Basically, there's a lot to consider before bringing a puppy home, including: Your living space your lifestyle, your budget, any medical conditions you have (like allergies). These are all areas of your life to consider before deciding to adopt. We suggest you try the following tools, to help figure out if adopting a puppy or an adult dog, makes the most sense for you.

You can also complete our Select-a-Dog questionnaire for a more comprehensive assessment. Once you're prepared and know which dog suits your living situation, it's time to start looking.  Another adoption option is the animal shelter, where you'll find lots of dogs in need of a good home. There are other benefits, as well.

If you do adopt a dog from a shelter, you're saving more than one life.. You're making room for another dog, or allowing another dog to be kept at a shelter for a longer period of time, giving them a better chance of being adopted, too. (Talk about a loving option!).

Another rewarding aspect of shelter adoption is the special bond many owners develop with their rescued dog. Opening up your heart and home to an "orphan" usually results in an extremely strong relationship. That can mean a loyal, affectionate and attentive dog for life. There are literally hundreds of links to local organisations all over the country.

Here are several to help you on your way to finding an adorable, adoptable dog near you.

Breeders.

If your heart is set on a specific purebred, then you're ahead of the game. But you've still got to find a breeder. The best place to get a purebred dog is from a recognised, reputable and ethical breeder, or rescue organisation who understands the character, temperament and challenges of their breed, as well as what kind of home will make their dogs the happiest. To find a breeder in your area, you can check the breeds section of our website for the breeder referral contact in your area.

You can ask..

  • Other dog owners
  • Your veterinarian
  • Check advertisements in newspapers and dog magazines
  • Visit a dog show
  • Search the Internet

Many breeders and rescue groups have websites to review.

Have a breeder in mind?

We recommend asking lots of questions about their facility, the bloodlines of their dogs and the warranties/guarantees offered. If they're a caring and responsible professional they'll be happy to answer and should screen you with plenty of questions too. Some even make potential dog owners fill out full questionnaires!

Once you've decided on a breeder, here are some general questions you can ask:

  • What height and weight range is appropriate for this breed? What are the grooming requirements for this breed?
  • What are the exercise requirements for this breed?
  • Are there genetic diseases common to this breed?
  • Have the appropriate tests been taken to identify diseases, and avoid them as much as possible?

You can then ask a few questions about the individual puppies: Have the puppies been socialised? (Responsible breeders start this process by spending time with the pups, introducing them to toys, children and other animals.)

Can you see the mother? (You should be allowed to observe her with the pups, depending on the puppies ages, to give you an idea about the eventual physical and behavioural characteristics of the puppy you are considering.)

And don't forget to obtain or complete the following before taking your puppy home with you: Health and Vaccination Records. The breeder should provide you with a health record, including information on diet and parasite control, and a record of vaccinations. These records should be available for the pup and the pups mother.

Basic care information. A reputable breeder will want to ensure that you have the basic exercise and grooming information to begin caring for your pup properly from the start.

Bill of Sale. This should include the purchase price, date of purchase and any refund policies or guarantees.

Register your puppy.

Registration provides safety and security for dogs, owners and the community. It is compulsory to register your dog in Australia, please visit your local council for more information.

Breed rescues.

Love to adopt a purebred dog from a trustworthy source but find breeders too expensive? You can always try a breed rescue club. These clubs are typically run by dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers who often foot the bill of housing homeless purebred dogs and pups. As always, you should find out as much as possible about the organisation you have in mind. If it’s reputable, there's a good chance that your new dog has been well looked after. You should also expect that the volunteers will try their very best to match the right dog for you.

Advertisements.

Breeders and private individuals regularly place classified ads in newspapers or pet magazines. You can also check your local yellow pages or use an Internet search engine.

These can all be effective tools in helping you find your potential dog, but be cautious, make sure you know why the owner is giving away or selling their dog. As you would with any other adoption, ask as many questions as you can about the background of the dog, including: Breed specific questions regarding height and weight range, grooming and exercise requirements and common genetic diseases, Puppy specific questions about bloodlines, socialisation, health and vaccination and basic care information.

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