Locate Your Breeder Here

The Complete Guide to Finding the Perfect Dog

 Introduction - Finding the Perfect Puppy

Dogs are awesome.

If you’ve stumbled upon this guide, it’s probably because you have just realized, or are starting to realize, that the above statement is true.  And, if you are still unsure, here’s an indisputable list to support that fact:

Seven reasons why dogs are awesome:

  1. “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings
  2. How many other pets (or people) jump for joy every time you walk in the door?
  3. They ALWAYS want to hang out with you.
  4. They will alert you of any possible danger, including burglars, neighbors, and doorbells.
  5. They give you an automatic excuse to leave any situation early: “Gotta let the dog out!”
  6. Dogs never hold a grudge.
  7. Dogs love unconditionally, and for life.

Dogs are awesome

Point proven; accept it as gospel.

But dogs are also a lot of work.  Along with that never-ending joy and happiness comes a boatload of responsibility.

  • Dogs need exercise… every… single… day.
  • Dogs take a long time to house train (typically 4 months MINIMUM).
  • A dog’s gotta eat – and dog food isn’t cheap!
  • Dogs always believe that you will be just as excited to play fetch, chase, or tug-of-war as they are.
  • So much joy always eventually leads to a broken heart (warning: only watch if you want to cry).

Still, in spite of the responsibilities, commitment, and eventual heartache, I firmly believe that everyone should own a dog at some point in their life.  I believe Roger Crass said it best:

“If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” ― Roger A. Caras


This guide’s purpose is to help you figure out if now is the right time in your life to jump “paws first” into one of the most rewarding, loving friendships you will ever experience in your life.

Why Did I Write This Guide?

I wanted to give you the most comprehensive and detailed guide to answering the question “Am I ready for a dog?” and the additional information you will need in selecting the right dog. This resource combines all the great information that you could find from talking to experts, reading books, and searching the web, all in one place.

Before writing this guide, I realized that there was no one GREAT online resource to help a first-time dog owner address all the questions and concerns that you are faced when trying to find the perfect puppy. I wanted to offer that resource to EVERYONE who needs it, and I think this is it.

Who Is This Guide For?

boy with arm around dogIf you are thinking about buying a dog for this first time, this guide is definitely for you. It will answer almost every question that you have about:

–  How to choose the right type of dog
–  Where you can find your dog (shelters, rescues, and breeders)
–  What questions to ask when looking

It will also help you honestly evaluate if you are ready for dog ownership and what to do to prepare yourself for the first few weeks with your puppy. However, this guide isn’t just for first time owners. Anyone who has owned a dog, past or present, will find useful information within this guide. This guide provides you with dozens of things that you can use right now or in the future to find the perfect puppy.

How Much of This Guide Should I Read?

We recommend reading the whole thing! You should read it especially if you are thinking about buying your first dog. However, if you are an experienced dog owner you can also skip from chapter to chapter, picking and choosing topics that you are interested in or want to learn more about.

The process of choosing a dog can be broken down into smaller pieces, and each section will help you gain a better understanding of each part. Once you combine them all together, they interlock to show you the whole picture, so even if you aren’t a first time owner, you’ll want to read it all.

Chapter Index

Is Puppy Ownership for You?

am I ready for a dogYou might want a dog more than anything in the world, but if you aren’t prepared, then you should wait to become a dog owner. In this chapter, you are going to learn exactly what it takes to be a good puppy parent and determine whether or not you are really ready. We will walk you through exactly what you need to consider before you make the leap into dog ownership. Everyone wants to find the perfect dog, but it’s just as important that every dog finds a great owner.

Picking the Right Type of Dog for You!

different types of dogsChoosing the right kind of dog is another vital step in the process of getting a dog. Certain breeds work better with certain lifestyles. An active breed needs an active owner, dedicated to providing it with plenty of exercise. On the other hand, some breeds are content lounging around most of the day and could be a better fit for someone with a busy schedule. Do you live in an apartment? Or out in the country with a large yard? These factors will come into play when choosing the right breed.

Additionally, you will need to consider if you want a puppy or if you would be happy with an older dog. Both will have their benefits and drawbacks. Puppies are cute and fun, but lots of work to train and care for. Older dogs are often already trained and will have their personalities fully formed before you adopt them.

Where to Find your Puppy

where to find your puppyWhat type of breed and what age of dog you are looking for will help you determine where to look for your puppy. This section will provide you with a comprehensive resource for exactly where and how to look for the perfect puppy. Don’t make the mistake of a spontaneous purchase! There are thousands of places to find your new puppy, and we list many of them here.

Adopting from a Shelter or Rescue

animal shelterAdopting from a rescue or a shelter can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, you need to have a game plan before you visit. Oftentimes a visit to a shelter can be an extremely emotional experience, which can cause some to make a spontaneous decision without enough forethought. In this section, we give you the tips and tools to enable you to make the best decision possible for you and your future puppy.

Before You Visit a Breeder

be prepared to visit a dog breederGood dog breeders come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, so do bad breeders. Determining whether a breeder is good or bad is difficult for a new puppy owner, but the process starts even before you visit their home. Phone calls, online research, and talking with past buyers are a few ways to help you decide if a breeder is worth visiting. Read this chapter for detailed information about the questions to ask, places to look, and people to talk to in order to help you make the right choice.

Visiting a Breeder

visiting a breederDo you know what to look for on your visit to a breeder? A visual inspection of a breeder’s facility will give you a lot of insight into the health and happiness of their dogs. We provide you with a detailed checklist to use when visiting a breeder so you can decipher any red flags that may have been hidden before.

The Final Decision…

Final Decision

Once you have chosen the right shelter, rescue, or breeder, choosing the exact puppy that will be your newest family member is the final step. Typically you will have multiple adorable dogs or puppies to choose from, all of whom you will want to take home with you. This final section will teach you to quickly assess their personalities and physical signs, helping you pick the best dog for your family.

Basically this guide has everything you need to find the perfect dog - Take Me To Chapter One

{ 63 comments… add one }
  • carolyn April 4, 2015, 11:50 pm

    Interested in a male black pug puppy. Decatur or Huntsville area must see puppy before buying

  • Brittany Horner June 10, 2015, 2:49 pm

    Really want a pomsky

  • Deborah Burch July 4, 2015, 8:31 pm

    Interested in a South African Boerbol puppy male

  • Grace August 13, 2015, 1:33 am

    I am interested in a chocolate colored toy poodle

  • bobby muncrief August 27, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I am lookin for a female registered boxer puppy. No higher than $600dlrs
    Can u help me?

  • Janet Parker August 29, 2015, 7:38 pm

    Hello my faviate corgi i am deaf and use scooter and looking for corgi for girl let me know if have you corgi for girl ??
    thank you

  • summer shafer September 15, 2015, 5:58 pm

    really want a pitbull puppy for my mom’s cristmas present. has to be under $500.00 can you help me ? if you can please contact me before cristmas @ (308) 537 6388

  • Cindy September 19, 2015, 2:33 pm

    Good info so far

  • Truman Ellis September 23, 2015, 8:28 pm

    I am hoping to find a Mali breeder in Washington State who might have puppies on the ground. The puppies MUST HAVE PAPERS.


  • Kip Nguyen October 6, 2015, 12:27 am

    Looking for purebred Boston terrier puppy in the Charleston,SC area must see puppy first

  • Terri M. October 22, 2015, 4:47 pm

    Looking for either a Welsh Terrier puppy or Wire Fox Terrier puppy. Michigan, northern Ohio or northern Indiana. Must see puppy before purchasing.

  • Alix innocent November 10, 2015, 3:16 am

    Are family is really looking for a corgi. We think it’s a right size adorable and very lovable. If any other way to contact, contact innoentaleisha@gmail.com

  • Sandra Shell November 21, 2015, 1:04 am

    Looking foe yokkie less than 500 dollars

  • Adriana January 15, 2016, 2:45 pm

    Looking for a hypoallergenic dog, maltese, any poodle breed. Just can spend 400.00 can you help me

    • Natalie February 24, 2016, 1:57 am

      some hypoallergenic breed suggestions i have are maltipoo(maltese-poodle mix) Cavapoo (cavalier king charles spaniel-poodle mix), Yorkipoo(yorkshire terrier poodle mix) Shih-poo (shih-tzu poodle mix), and more.

  • Morgan February 24, 2016, 1:53 am

    Ive been researching the right breed for me for about 2 years, and i might get a puppy this summer. Ive narrowed it down to either a Maltipoo or a Cavapoo. Leave a comment if anyone knows any good breeders for these breeds in VA or any shelters that will have a puppy sale, or has these breeds(puppies).

  • linda February 25, 2016, 3:52 pm

    I am so glad you took the time and effort it took to gather all this information. Owning and being owned by a dog is such a huge decision to make but the rewards can and should be amazing. We are in love with many different breeds, including those who are of questionable blood lines. Love is a major factor in ownership which goes both ways. I cannot chose a single breed to recommend because I just love all who have shared our home

  • Tawny March 14, 2016, 3:14 pm

    I am looking for a small breed dog. A terrier mix is my preference. I am not concerned with papers…We are looking for a dog that needs a lot of love and will make a good family pet. I have $200.00- $250.00 to spend, and a rescue is something i have considered, but I am hoping to find a puppy for Easter. Thank you for your time and attention in helping us find our forever dog. Have a blessed day.

  • Marian March 18, 2016, 1:36 am

    I am looking for an apricot or brown male poochon in the Dallas area. I have asthma, so he must not shed. Must see puppy before purchasing.

  • Sierra March 25, 2016, 6:21 pm

    I am wondering if/where i can find a french bulldog under $100. If you know of a website, or a certain dog i might be interested in, please email me.

  • Rejects March 29, 2016, 2:21 am

    I’m interested in a cavapoo that looks like this one. ( https://pets4homes.co.uk/classifieds/849577-female-f1-ruby-tan-cavapoo-puppy-taunton.html) I don’t have a lot of money but I need a friend. I am in high school and I’m lonely and I don’t have friends really. And I need someone to hug when I’m lonely. Let me know if you have one and I will be happy for the first time in a long time thank you!

  • Emily Nix April 21, 2016, 2:38 pm

    I am looking for a pug puppy in the Marylan d area. Fawn or apricot. Up to 2 yrs old. Please notify me.

  • Don April 21, 2016, 9:54 pm

    Looking for a female yorkshire terrier. Limited fund’s but a loving family.

  • Janice April 22, 2016, 10:06 pm

    I am uninterested in a Pomapoo female puppy

  • Jesse Padgett April 23, 2016, 1:16 am

    Looking for a cavachon adult or puppy, prefer housebroken .

  • Nicki April 30, 2016, 12:57 am

    Really want a Australian shepards or bortocolli in newhampshire area

  • Tianao Yang May 6, 2016, 8:27 pm

    Really want a puppy samoyed. Because i am student and i really need a cute dog to stay with me and i will love my dear dog forever!!

  • ms gee May 31, 2016, 12:56 am

    Looking for a westie poo female
    My granddaughters recently lost theirs of 7yrs. Please help

  • Jasmine carson June 2, 2016, 1:47 pm

    call me at 317-828-9076 and i would really want a puppy call me soon as you can thank you!

    • Patricia Alvarez June 28, 2016, 9:13 pm

      What kind????

  • Ashley June 27, 2016, 7:16 pm

    Im really interested in a pit bull puppy, could you please help me? I wanna surprise my husband.

  • Melondy June 30, 2016, 1:35 am

    I want one but I’m only 11and my mom has canser

  • Roger July 2, 2016, 4:42 pm

    We have lost our best friend and the most Loving creator I have ever known. She was only 3 and one half yr
    Ears old. We are looking for a Rottiweiler. female puppy

  • Kimberly July 11, 2016, 3:32 am

    I am looking for a pug. Can only spend $600.00 dollars. I live in Oklahoma City and would like a local breeder.Can you help?

  • Valerie July 15, 2016, 10:19 pm

    Looking for teacup Maltese breeders in new Hampshire/Boston area

  • Hannah Marie July 29, 2016, 2:53 am

    I’m interesting in a teacup yorkie puppies. I need a female. It was to be cheap. Any color. Small when it grows up.

    • Kallie freeborn August 11, 2016, 12:00 am

      Can you help me find a bull terrier puppy prefer a female, I’m in south dakota the closer the better… Thank you

  • Jessica August 14, 2016, 10:32 pm

    Hi, I am looking for a pug puppy around VA. please email me, thanks!

  • Jamaica August 21, 2016, 2:43 am

    looking for a 4-6 weeks old maltipoo (not buying right now but sometime in 2017) the breeder has to be in brampton, missisaugua,or toronto.

  • Trina September 13, 2016, 6:52 am

    Looking for a beagle puppy as soon as possible. Must see pictures,and to see at the time of sale or visit.

  • Debby Brockington September 16, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Looking for a Sheepadoodle or Old English Sheepdog. Have had 3 Rescue Sheepdogs, really miss not having a dog.

  • Samantha September 21, 2016, 3:39 am

    Hi I am looking for pomsky, I don’t have a particular color that I prefer but I would like one that looks mire husky. Thanks!

  • Alicia September 23, 2016, 5:51 am

    Hi. Im looking for a female puppie dachshund.

    Thank you

  • Scott October 4, 2016, 3:58 am

    I have looked for a Puppy for about 3 years and hAve decided to add a new baby to our family. My schedule and my girlfriend feel that we are in a place in life that we have the time to dedicate to a puppy. We live in a rural area and have came down to two different breeds at the same breeder a Sheepadoodle or Goldendoodle. We are outdoor people and went to take our her everywhere with us. Can you gibe your opinion and some advise.

    Thanks for your insight Scott

  • Daniel October 10, 2016, 8:59 pm

    Hi I’m looking for a Pomeranian that looks like a husky or one that has white tan and brown thanks

  • Archie Viela October 15, 2016, 1:31 am

    I am looking for an English bulldog puppy.

  • Jo Ann Boswell October 24, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I am really wanting to find a little girl Toy Poodle. I want a red or brown color with very curly hair.I want a new born. Please let me know if you have one. I will pay cash on the spot.

  • Jessica Tull Murphy October 27, 2016, 5:54 am

    What dog is perfect for me

  • Kimberly cooke October 28, 2016, 8:30 am

    Looking for a female dachshund black and tan either young or older I live alone with 2 kitty’s they are dog friendly I just lost my dachshund to sezures and my other one is 9 yrs and getting slower I would live some help thank you

    Kimberly cooke

  • Cheri young November 10, 2016, 2:22 pm

    I am interested in either a Yorkie or a Shih Tzu. I want a female
    Please advise if you have either available. The highest I can go is 500.00


  • Corinne November 17, 2016, 12:14 am

    Looking for a Japanese chin

  • Bob & Carol Centracchio November 18, 2016, 11:21 pm

    We are looking for a Havanese/Havapoo puppy female. Looking for a breeder in the six New England states. please contact us at nomad1ne@gmail.com

  • DARLENE GILLIES November 22, 2016, 1:54 am

    Looking for Scottish terrier puppy we are looking for breeder in Illinois

  • Jori November 26, 2016, 11:44 pm

    I’m looking for a female Bedlinton terrier please I’ve been looking for one for almost 3 years

  • Rhonda December 4, 2016, 1:42 am

    Interested in finding a female Beabull puppy. For my granddaughter for Christmas. We live in MomroeMichigan. I want to keep cost down 400$. Thank-you, Rhonda

  • Alexandra December 9, 2016, 4:36 am

    I really would love to adopt a lab puppy I will feed it water it and take it baths I hope I can have one

  • Steven Brister December 12, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Looking for a yorkiepoo puppy. I’m in Houston but am willing to drive a couple of hours to find the right dog.

  • sliva torres December 21, 2016, 6:47 pm

    im buying this because granddaughter is begging for a blue nose pitpull thats an puppy so can you please bring this to my house so i can give this to her.

  • Hazel Durham December 30, 2016, 8:43 pm

    looking for a minature pincher male black and tan under 350.00 dollars to a loving home for companionship.

  • Dawn January 3, 2017, 5:34 pm

    I’m looking for a miniature shih tzu r a puppy. Please email me pics my family is looking for one to bring into our home n love n care for

  • Brenda Lightfoot January 5, 2017, 9:24 pm

    We’re looking for a black male yorkie poo. We had to put ours down on New Years Day & we’re devistated. Please send details if you know where I can find to brendalightfoot5@gmail.com. We’re in Ohio but will travel within reason to pick up.

  • emily morris January 14, 2017, 9:20 pm

    hi i’m looking for a female silky terrier puppy

  • Mary January 18, 2017, 1:07 pm

    Looking for a beagle pup or a frengle(beagle French bull dog mix) limited funs but a lot of ❤️