Online Breeder Classifieds - Printable Puppy Buying Sheet


Educational Information

The American Kennel Club's Online Breeder Classifieds offers puppy buyers a service which enables them to locate breeders in their area that have puppies for sale. The number of male and female puppies listed may vary from the actual number of male and female puppies available. AKC recommends starting your search for a puppy with the Parent Club breeder referral contact. Online Breeder Classifieds is a supplemental service. When looking for a puppy, you should visit the home of the breeder to see the whelping facilities, the litter, the dam, and possibly the sire.

The classified search will post a list of breeders that have purchased a classified ad along with their contact information and the number of puppies available.

Thinking about buying a dog?

So you've decided to purchase a dog. Owning a dog can be the beginning of years of happiness as the special bond between humans and canines exceeds even the greatest of expectations. However, to ensure the best relationship with your dog, you must be prepared for some important responsibilities. Please follow the links below to learn about essential considerations you should think about prior to purchasing a puppy.

The Breed For You

Is there a breed you have had your eye on, or are you confused about how to select a dog? In either case, you should do some homework to make sure that you select the right dog for you and your family. The bonus of selecting a purebred dog is their predictability in size, coat, care requirements and temperament. Knowing what your cute puppy will look like and the kind of care he will need as an adult is a key in selecting the breed for you.

You and Your Dog

Too frequently, common sense goes out the window when it comes to buying a puppy. This seems to be even truer when the purchase is by a family with children. Buying a dog is like buying anything else; the more you know before you buy, the better off you will be. This advice applies to all aspects of buying your dog, from selecting the breed to deciding where to obtain the puppy. We strongly recommend that you spend enough time investigating before buying. Remember, dogs are for life.

The AKC's Complete Dog Book can help you begin your research with its pictures and descriptions of each breed recognized by the AKC. Your initial research will help you narrow the field when it comes to selecting the breed for you and your lifestyle. Remember to consider your dog's lifestyle, too. And for extended research, consult the resources at your local library.

While investigating, always be honest with yourself. The Bearded Collie you fell in love with because of his lush coat is indeed beautiful, but are you going to be able to brush this coat every day as it requires? Maybe a short coated dog better suits your busy lifestyle. Think about the size of your house or your apartment. Will that Golden Retriever be happy in your studio apartment? The Golden Retriever is a larger sporting dog who requires a lot of exercise. Do you have a fenced yard so he can go out safely? If not, can you afford to install a fence? These are crucial questions regarding the safety of your dog and being a responsible neighbor. Always remember, it is okay to change your mind about which breed you want or if you want the responsibility of owning a dog at all. Owning a dog is a big responsibility! Talk to breeders. Ask them lots of questions; we all know there are no stupid questions. A responsible breeder will eagerly answer your questions and share his or her experience and knowledge with you. Where can you find breeders and see dogs? At dog shows. Also contact AKC clubs in your area for their recommendations.

Selecting A Breeder

Buy your puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. This cannot be stressed enough. Responsible breeders are concerned with the betterment of the breed. For example, they work on breeding healthier dogs with the appropriate temperament for their breed. Your AKC breeder referral contact will direct you to a breeder who is concerned with the future of the puppy.

Once you select a breeder, screen the breeder. Ask to see at least one of the parents (the dam or the sire) of your puppy. See how the dogs in your breeder's home interact with your breeder. Are they friendly and outgoing or do they shy away? The responsible breeder will also be screening you, looking for the best home for each puppy.

How Much Does A Puppy Cost?

This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you'll want to make a wise investment.

Can You Afford A Puppy?

The purchase price of your puppy is not the only cost you have to consider. Be aware that the puppy you bring home will need proper care, such as health care (a dog needs annual shots) and food. Your puppy will also need little things like a collar with identification, a bowl, and a leash. Evaluate your budget; ask yourself if you really can afford a dog. Dog Ownership = Responsibility. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan available in 50 states, can help you budget sensibly and responsibly for the lifelong healthcare needs of your dog.

Take the time to ask yourself these questions and to make an educated decision. You and your dog will be happier for it. There is no doubt that a puppy is a cuddly bundle of joy, but it is also a huge responsibility.

Caring For Your Dog

All dogs must be cared for daily. This means proper diet, exercise, grooming and veterinary attention. There are many excellent guides on all facets of dog care. AKC's own books, The Complete Dog Book and Dog Care and Training, contain information on proper dog care. We recommend you have these or some other authoritative reference source available. Do not attempt to be your own veterinarian! All dogs should be regularly examined by a veterinarian and inoculated against the major infectious canine diseases. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help you to provide this essential care.

Your Dog and Your Neighbors

All dog owners must be aware of their responsibilities to their neighbors, both those who live in the area immediately around their residence and their neighbors in the broader sense of the community as a whole. Dogs, for all the pleasure they are, can be a nuisance to your neighbors if not trained. Remember, excessive barking can be annoying. And, always keep your dog on a leash or inside a fenced yard when exercising. Remember to pick up after your dog. Forestall problems for yourself and your dog and all dog lovers by being a good neighbor.

Obedience Training For Everyone

One way to make your dog a good neighbor is through obedience training. A poorly behaved dog is a problem for everyone. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to corral a dog that will not "come" when you call. A well-trained dog is not only a pleasure to own, he is a goodwill ambassador for the entire canine community. A well-behaved dog is the result of the dog's owner being willing to work with the dog regularly in a systematic manner. Obedience classes are available in most communities. Time spent training your dog is time well spent.

Helpful Tips When Purchasing a Puppy

Whether you go to a breeder or a rescue group, you should be prepared to ask a lot of questions about the puppy or dog you hope to acquire. Here are some questions to ask:
  • What possible health problems might this dog develop?
  • How big will the dog get?
  • How old will he be before he acts like an adult dog?
  • How protective will the dog be?
  • How often will the dog need to be groomed?
  • How does he get along with other animals?
  • How long can he be left alone at home?
  • How much exercise does the dog need?
  • What are the best training methods for this dog?
Your contact should be willing to answer all of your questions fully. He or she should also ask questions about you, your lifestyle, and your family. If a contact doesn't respond to your inquiries, or doesn't show any interest in the life the dog will lead after it leaves his or her premises, you may want to look elsewhere. A responsible breeder or dedicated rescue group member is committed to making a good match between prospective owners and the dogs in their care; that's the kind of person you want on your side as you make the journey into dog ownership.

For more information on selecting a dog and breeder, visit

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The AKC recommends you print the educational information so you have it readily available as you continue your search for a purebred puppy.