Buying A Dog Online

Buying your next dog should be a pleasurable experience. The internet offers a variety of options for buyers to find breeders of all types of dogs, but there are a few helpful ways to sift through all you’ll find.

Know What Works for You
It’s important that when you’re actually in the market to buy a puppy, you’ve done the necessary research to a make sure it will fit into your lifestyle. Dogs, especially puppies, are just like children and they need constant care. (This topic can be saved for another day).

With that said, once you know the type of dog that fits best into your life, it’s time to start searching the internet. Having a few breeds in mind will help you move past everything you don’t want to see. This is all about ease, so if you can search “labs for sale” you’ll be better off. Which brings you to two types of sites: dog classifieds and breeders.

Finding the Right Site
Whatever your internet search returns you’ll have two distinct directions to start from. From a puppy availability standpoint, look at the all-inclusive classified sites. Unlike breeder sites, if you browse places like,, or, you’re guaranteed to be in a place where there will be plenty of available puppies. Each site allows you to narrow your search by certain characteristics including breed and location — two key factors to quickly finding available dogs near you.

After narrowing your search, you’ll be able to browse for just the type of dog you’re looking for. Simply clicking on a certain dog ad will bring up its page and from there you’ll be able to directly contact the seller. Just like that, your search could be over. (Painless, right?) It’s important to remember that these sites are not selling dogs, they are just serving as a meeting point for buyers and breeders (more on that later).

I don’t want to discourage visiting breeder sites, it’s just that you don’t really know what you’re going to find when you open their page. Breeder sites range from up-kept and modern to old or outdated. As for any available dogs, there is no way to know going in if they even have puppies for sale. Some sites last listed litter go back to the summer of 2006. On the positive side, when breeder sites are updated, entire litters are posted, planned breeding may be disclosed and you get an immediate feel for the type of business that’s being run.

If you’re looking to simplify the search, use one of the larger dogs sites mentioned earlier. You’ll be connected to web-savvy breeders, who have available puppies or dogs for sale.

Be Aware of Who You Contact
Dog classified sites are a great place to find dogs for sale, but take some caution when contacting sellers. These sites work very hard to control their content and keep scam ads away, but one or two can slip through the cracks.

When contacting a seller, make sure you receive a phone number and talk to them in person. Find out where they are located — if it’s not specified in the ad. Find the name of their kennel and visit their web site. Scam ads are set up to discuss everything through email, and they can occasionally be tied back to an official-looking site. Simply, be aware of who you’re dealing with and don’t commit to anything without doing some of the research mentioned above. Oh and a good rule of thumb, if an ad appears to too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t let any of this information scare you away from classified sites. Every effort its made to verify the owners of each listed puppy. There are tons of loving breeders all over this country, and there shouldn’t be anything to deter you from trying to reach them.

Buying Your Dog
Regardless of the direction you take (classified or breeder sites) always try and see the dogs in person.

This helps you know who raised the dogs and the conditions they come from. You should want to get an idea of the dog’s temperament, physical appearance and health. And who knows you might even find a puppy you didn’t see and like it better.

Using online resources are a great way to start and do most of the work but it won’t tell the entire story. Use classifieds and breeders to your advantage because it definitely speeds up your search.

Erick D. Smith is an avid dog lover and a proud dachshund owner. If you are interested in buying or selling a dog, visit his growing dog classified site

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