Home Selecting a Puppy Preparing for Puppy Basic Training Beyond the Basics About Us

Contact: Kathy Gallagher

Selecting a Puppy

Purebred vs Mixed Breed Finding a Good Breeder Selecting the Pick of the Litter

Purebred vs Mixed Breed

What type of dog will you get?

The first decision most dog owners make is whether they would like a purebred or a mixed breed, sometimes known as a "mut". Like most things in life, there is a plus and minus side to each. The following matrix identifies some of the prominent characteristics:

Mixed Breed
Health Known hereditary defects. Parents are able to be screened. Testing does not guarantee the puppy will be healthy. Unpredictable based on composite gene pool. Generally less issues due to diverse gene pool.
Intelligence Bred for specific purpose or exaggeration of ability. Unpredictable
Physical Characteristics Looks determined by breed. Adult features may not be evident in puppy, even if parents are known.
Temperament Predictable to a certain degree Environment plays a role Unpredictable
Working Abilities Strong for breed purpose. May be unable to change a natural trait through training. Typically less pronounced behavior that may be changed through training.
Cost Expensive Relatively inexpensive

Points to remember:
Considering a purebred dog?

Purebreds come in a somewhat predictable array of sizes, coat lengths, energy levels, and behavior traits that need to fit your lifestyle.

Think About:

Think before you buy or adopt!
It is not uncommon to research for one or two years before bringing a dog into your home. Having a dog is a long term commitment.


Finding a Good Breeder

Starting your search

Once you have decided you would like a purebred, you will need to find a good breeder. Understanding the qualities is quite important.

A Good Breeder:

Where to find a good breeder

There are many resources available to help find a good breeder.


Selecting the Pick of the Litter

What exactly is the pick of the litter?

This is a trick question with no definitive answer; The pick of the litter is the puppy that best suits your lifestyle.

A word on the "runt"

Many people consider the runt of the litter to be an undesirable puppy. If you have done your job picking a breeder, this may not be the case at all. There always is a smallest puppy. You need to look for signs other than size to determine if the puppy is a good choice for you. Many believe that the smallest puppy is the picked-on , more submissive puppy. It is just as likely that the smallest has learned to protect himself in the pack better than its littermates and may be the most dominant puppy. Most times the smallest puppy is just as healthy as the others. It may actually grow bigger than some of its littermates or it may not. I have personally seen larger pups grow into small adults. The key is to watch for activity level, evident health issues and personality.

Top ten items to prepare for your visit
  1. Research dog care
  2. Research the breed if it is a purebred
  3. Have references with telephone numbers
  4. Ask question on how the dog has been raised so far
  5. Ask to see the parents if both are available
  6. Have the name and phone number of your veterinarian
  7. Be ready to share information about yourself and family
  8. Wear old clothes. Some breeders will spray you with a mist of bleach and water.
  9. Be prepared for biting, licking and snuggling
  10. Be prepared to walk away before making a decision


Additional Links

Your Purebred Puppy PurinaOne Breed Selector