So You Want a Puppy

     Shortly after your purchase, you discovered that the puppy who seemed fine in the pet store had an acute respiratory infection. Your first weeks with your new puppy were a blur of expensive vet appointments, medications and countless hours nursing your puppy back to health. Not to mention the recriminating glances from your spouse, who hadn't even been consulted about the new addition.
      You made the classic mistake of an impulse purchase and now regrets your rash decision. If you had done a little research you would not only have known to avoid purchasing a pet store puppy, but you would also have discovered that getting a dog was not a responsible decision based upon your current lifestyle. Unlike a mismatched lamp or a faulty refrigerator, a puppy cannot be easily returned or exchanged.
     Do You REALLY Want a Puppy? So, you say that you want a puppy, but are you thinking with your heart and not your head? Are you truly ready for the trials and tribulations of a tiny terror invading your home? As wonderful as puppies are, they also involve a great deal of work, a hefty investment of time and money, as well as the patience of a saint. In short, a puppy means responsibilities: Spending time socializing and training your puppy so that he or she grows up to be a well mannered dog. Getting up in the middle of the night to take little Puddles out for walks. Getting up again... and again... Cleaning up the puddles left by Puddles. Taking off work for veterinarian appointments. Spending hundreds of dollars for vet appointments, food, medicine and all the other "incidentals" in being a pet parent. Realizing that there will be no more carefree, spontaneous vacations. Your vacations will have to revolve around the availability of boarding or pet sitting
providers. Accepting torn cushions, chewed shoes and stained carpet as a way of life. Even if you have the patience and love to put up with all the changes and challenges that a new puppy will bring, are you and your family willing to care for a dog for the 10-15 years that he or she will be a member of your family, even when your puppy is no longer cute and cuddly? One of the most important factors to consider is whether your lifestyle has room for a dog. Will the dog be alone in an apartment all day or will there be someone at home? Does your significant other want a dog? Have you or any member of your family ever lived with a dog before? If not, spend some time interacting with dogs! Baby sit a friend's dog while they go on vacation or visit a house with doggie family members. You would be surprised at how many people bring home a new dog only to find out later that hubby is allergic or little junior is absolutely petrified of dogs. You may have the desire, but think honestly about whether you have the ability to provide an appropriate environment for a dog. Now that you have considered it a bit more, perhaps you've decided that you are not ready to bring a dog into your home. Wonderful! That is one less pet who will be abandoned because someone didn't think carefully about the commitment involved in bringing a dog into their family. You can still satisfy your puppy urges by volunteering at a shelter, where you will get all the unconditional doggie love you can handle! If you still want to get a puppy after reading the above, then congratulations! You are about to embark on a wonderfully rewarding, yet challenging, adventure. Now the real work begins. Don't think of this process as simply "getting a dog" - you are adopting a family member that will be with you for life. By doing some research and making your decision carefully, your story will have a happy ending. Click here for What's a Breeder

A Few Hints on Selecting a Dog

The initial visit should be as objective as possible. On your very first visit to the dog source, it is wise to leave the children at home.

Don't make a same day decision.   Remember, think about it like buying a car, not like  picking up a candy bar in the supermarket check-out aisle.

Don't buy a dog as a "surprise" for someone else.  Imagine how you would feel if someone else surprised you by choosing a new roommate for you.  A dog is a very personal choice.

After  you have surveyed the situation, bring entire family to meet a dog to make sure the dog fits in well with everyone.   Some places will even allow you to bring along an existing family pet.

Know the general breed traits for which the breed (or breeds) was selected for over the years (hunting, running, chasing vermin, herding) -- these instincts will be very strong in a purebred dog.

Ask about the dog's background. Try to determine the dogs' experiences with humans and other dogs.

See the Section on Temperament Testing

Below is a check list for you (printable version click here)
and some things to think about before purchasing a new puppy

  ...............YOUR  COMMENTS..............
Are you sure the Rat Terrier is right for you .
Have you determined your purpose for the kind of dog you are choosing .
Have you found out what the breed is all about - temperament, care involved, size, health issues, length of hair, companion, hunter, guard  .
Are you willing to dedicate commitment,  time and expense for a lifetime- do you have time to housebreak, train, be prepared for regular vet checks, illness etc.  .
Can you provide a secure environment to protect your dog with a fenced yard or pen or responsible leash walking .
Have you  talked to breeders about the dog  .
Have you avoided Pet Stores and Brokers .
Have you researched the breeds history and understand what the dog was bred for .
Are you, your kids or anyone in the family allergic to dogs .
If this is to be a family dog is everyone in agreement .
Reasons why not to select a breed:  "It's cute and I love the way it looks" or  "It's for my kid" or "Everyone says to get a ... they are a great family dog."etc.
A registered dog is:  A registered dog, be it AKC, UKC, CKC, etc., simply means that it's parents (and their parents) are also registered with the same registry. This confers no merit in of itself, it simply means that the dog's parentage is known.
    Most registries do not make any assertions of quality in the dogs they register (except for some limited breed-only registrations, but these are uncommon). They do not restrict the breeding of their dogs and hence there is no guarantee that a registered dog is a good specimen of its breed.
If Your Still Interested This Is For You
Choice of Size
Choice of Color/Markings
Where to find a breeder
Newspapers, Internet, Dog Magazines, Breed Clubs and Shows
Choice of Breeders