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Buying a Puppy – Online vs how to do it right!

Buying a Puppy - Online vs how to do it right!

I remember you writing that “no one gets a dog until Mom wants a dog” and this mom thinks that it’s time we were buying a puppy. How do you feel about people purchasing dogs online from services like Kijiji?

JK (London)


I was waiting for the someone to ask that question. Kijiji, for those that don’t know is sort of an on-line penny-saver. Ebay owns it. Different areas of the country have different versions. It’s great buy and sell venue for some things but not a great place to get a dog. Some good breeders may be on there but they’re more the exception then the rule and I wouldn’t chance it.

The majority of those that use venues like Kijiji to put puppies for sale are puppy mills and back yard breeders. Most of the ones I’ve run across think they’re good breeders but I haven’t found one that knew much more then the difference between a male and a female dog. Another source I’ve come to learn and avoid in your region are dogs coming from Mennonite farms. The ones I see and I see them regularly are more often then not, train wrecks. They are often physically unsound; many that I see are suddenly aggressive. Do a Google search for – Mennonite puppy mill – and you get about 6,000 hits. Do another for – Amish puppy mill – and you get just under 40,000. Don’t ask me why, I’m as surprised as anyone. I had two clients and one phone consult inside a week, all with facial bites from dogs they purchased from Mennonite farms. One requiring significant plastic surgery to a teenager’s face.

I have a bunch of ways to track down the better breeders. Here’s one weird but good way. You may or not be familiar with the concept of feeding your dog a raw diet. I had a chance to interview Dr. Ian Billinghurst one of the principles behind this a few years ago on my radio show and one of the things I learned as a by product of my research for the interview is that breeders that feed raw like a lot of doggy people are a little nutty, but in a good way. Not crazy nutty like some dog people as in the “I’m wearing underwear I knitted from the fur I collected from my dog.”  (I wish I were kidding.) They’re generally over the top about being current and well-informed about breeding dogs. They’re usually hard core detail people with above average knowledge and usually know far more about what they’re doing when it comes to the breeding of dogs then the average breeder. So I tell people looking for a good breeder to start by joining an Internet forum for breeders that feed raw and ask them if they know of someone good in the vicinity of where they live. Go to Yahoo Groups and search – raw dog food breeder – Sign on and see who can help you directly or refer you to someone in your area.

Anyone looking for a dog should spend as much time researching every nuance just as they would for anything they’re going to have for many years, like a car, a home, or a spouse. You have to drive a few, see a few, date a few before you find what’s good for you and you for it. Taking your time, doing your homework, asking the right questions almost always leads to finding a great dog.

John Wade

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