You have decided that it’s time to add a pet to your family. After some consideration, you’ve fallen in love with a particular dog breed. Many people then look for a dog breeder to make their purebred-pup dream come true. Like any responsible future pet parent, you still have some questions before you take the plunge and choose your new dog, which may be why you’re here!
Did you know that there are LOTS of purebred dogs waiting for the perfect forever home at shelters and rescue groups? Not only that, but there are also special breed-rescue groups who dedicate their efforts to finding homes for just one breed of dog.
Dogs of every type and breed can end up in shelters. Before you start checking for a breeder to find your next family pet, let’s take a step back and look at some things to consider when starting the search for a special pup.
Think about the kind of dog who will suit you best
Before finalizing your decision on a breed, there are lots of questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have kids? If so, how old are they and how dog-savvy are they?
- How many hours a day are you out of the house?
- Do you have assistance if you are gone for long workdays?
- What kind of energy level are you looking for in a dog?
- Is how much a dog sheds something that’s important to you?
Once you’ve answered these basic questions, you’ll have a better picture of what characteristics you’re looking for in a dog. This will help to narrow your search as you research breeds based on your answers.
You can learn more about each unique dog breed by searching our Petfinder breed guide by name, collection (largest, smartest, and even hairless!), or just browse them all right here. It’s fascinating to discover the history behind each of the countless dog breeds. From small to large, each has a unique story.
Even if you have your heart set on a particular breed, there’s an additional factor to keep in mind: Every dog—even a purebred–is distinct and individual.
Despite what is considered typical of a breed, you’ll need to remember that every dog in the world has their own unique personality (that’s why we love dogs!) and some may have characteristics that aren’t commonly found within their breed. Luckily, when dogs arrive with an adoption group, the shelter or rescue will often do a behavioral assessment that can give you more insight about an individual dog before you make a decision about adopting. This pre-adoption info can help you find the very best fit for your family and lifestyle.
How to find a dog breed near you:
You’ve researched which breeds you’re interested in, and now it’s time to get searching!
Begin your search for a dog (or search for a cat) by adding your location, how far you’d be willing to travel, and which breed you’re looking for. If you want to narrow it down after your initial search, you will see options to filter it by gender, age, size, and some personality traits (good with other dogs, kids, etc.).
Once you’ve plugged in your search requirements, your results will automatically sort themselves to show the dogs that are closest to you first. You can click on each individual dog for more information and to see which rescue group or shelter is caring for that pet.
Don’t fret about any perceived lack of options. 25-30% of dogs in search of forever homes in shelters are purebred dogs, so you are bound to find a new best friend.
Being flexible in your search can ultimately lead you to your most perfect fit. While you may have a particular breed in mind, if you’re open to looking at other dogs whose personality and traits match your family, you could end up pleasantly surprised. There are lots of different types of dogs who would love an active lifestyle and would enjoy being your hiking partner, just as there are plenty who’d prefer to be a lap dog and snuggle up next to you on the couch. Fit is key in everyone’s happiness, so keep an open mind and enjoy the adventure of choosing a new pet.
How to find a puppy near you:
If you’re specifically looking for a puppy, you want to start by searching for a dog, and then narrow your search by age.
When deciding on which age range would be best, think about these things:
- Puppies are a lot of fun but are also lots of work. Do you have the time to train a puppy from scratch, including housebreaking?
- Does the energy level of a puppy suit your current lifestyle?
- Do you have the time to socialize your puppy? Pups need lots of structured exposure to new things in their first months of life.
- Is size important to you? A puppy’s full-grown size is sometimes hard to estimate.
- Are you prepared for any quirky personality traits or behavior challenges that may arise as your puppy grows up?
How to find a young or adult dog to suit your home:
When adopting an adult dog, you can specifically look for one whose story matches your needs, such as being friendly with other dogs, being good with children, and other past history that the rescue or shelter may already have. Having more history on a dog will mean fewer surprises for you as an adopter.
Do you want a little help finding a dog who will be a perfect fit for your family? If you are flexible about the breed, or just want to have some fun, try taking our dog selector quiz.
Your perfect match is just a few clicks away!
To sum things up:
You are in search of a new family member and best friend. The dogs on Petfinder are in search of a forever home and endless love. What could be more perfect? The number of dogs in need of exactly what you have to offer is astounding–purebreds included. The only thing left to do is get to searching!