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Find The Right Dog For You

Buy A Dog From A Responsible Breeder

The Westminster Kennel Club continues to firmly believe and advocate that the best source for a puppy or adult dog for your family will always be those responsible breeders who produce puppies with the goal of improving the health and physical traits of that breed. To accomplish that, responsible breeders continuously study their pedigrees and breeding stock, do health checks on all of their dogs involved, properly raise and socialize their puppies, and stand behind their puppies. Responsible breeders are proud of their dogs and participate in activities and organizations that further their knowledge of their breed and their dogs.

As we have for many years during our televised broadcast, The Westminster Kennel Club will continue to make the following announcement: “If you are planning to add a dog to your life and have come to look over the best of the best, please note, no dog you have seen here (yesterday or today) came from a pet shop, or was the ‘product’, if you will, of a puppy mill. If you want a dog, go to the people who care – the dedicated specialty breeders who have made dogs like those you see here – a lifetime effort. Talk dogs with dog people who care and understand.”

Find A Dog To Match Your Lifestyle

Unconditional, tail-wagging love – there’s a special dog out there for you. Here are some things that the Westminster Kennel Club would like you to think about as you try to find that special four-legged companion for you and your family.

To begin, take your time, do your homework, and find a dog that matches your lifestyle. Owning a dog is a very special experience. The reality is that you are adding a member to your family, as a healthy dog can live for 12-15 years or more. It is important that you give a lot of thought to this process.

Don’t get a dog on impulse. Don’t get a dog to be trendy. Trends come and go, but your dog will be with you for a long time. The stars of “101 Dalmatians” and “Frasier” and “Beethoven” are wonderful dogs, but they aren’t for everyone and they may not be the right dog for you or your family.

Envision the dog as an adult. Every puppy is a cute ball of fluff, but you need to know what it will grow up to be. This is the essence of the purebred dog: predictability. You will know what that puppy will grow up to be in terms of size, personality, conditioning and grooming needs.

Study the breed’s history. All breeds were developed to perform a specific function. If you know that purpose and the history of the breed, then you will be best prepared for a successful relationship.

Make a commitment. Having a dog creates responsibilities. Be sure that you will have quality time to spend with the dog.

There are many resources to help you. Use the Breed Finder to browse descriptions of each of the 202 breeds and varieties currently recognized by the American Kennel Club, and links to all the parent club websites (e.g., Golden Retriever Club of America).

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on the FS1 network in February.
  • Look at books, magazines, websites, and videos.
  • Consult with your local all-breed club, boarding kennel, or veterinarian.
  • Go to a dog show and visit with breeders and owners.
  • Visit the American Kennel Club Web site.

Be A Responsible Dog Owner

We like to say that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Have fun with your dog. Love your dog, include them in your life.

Know the laws for dogs where you live. License your dog, use permanent identification such as a tattoo or microchip. Practice good manners and dog owner etiquette: be respectful of your neighbors and their dogs. Clean up after your dog, and control barking and behavior issues.

Take them to some basic training and help them be a responsible member of your family. A trained dog is a happy dog.