Finding a puppy

Had to euthanize my 11 year old big dog a few weeks ago. We have 2 younger smaller dogs but I like to have a big dog too.

It has been a while since I was looking for a puppy. Used to be you could find a nice, mixed breed, larger dog and not spend a small fortune. Local shelters have nothing.

Now everything is a breed ( no matter the cross) and the " rehoming fee" is more than I would have ever wanted to pay. Sigh.

I keep hoping a suitable puppy will wander down my driveway!

1 Like

It’s not really a bad thing that shelters are not full of mixed breed puppies.

What state are you in? There are a few rescues in my area that bring pregnant bitches up from southern states and adopt out the puppies. Not sure if there are rescues like that in your area but maybe.

Otherwise - for puppies, you need to find a breeder. Do you have a specific breed in mind if you were to look for a purebred?

7 Likes

Keep an eye on Petfinder.com. Say you’re only just looking and not ready to get one yet, and then your puppy will magically appear!

I went through this in 2020 when I lost my favorite girl in February, and was ready for a new puppy by May or so. This was in the height of the pandemic puppy trend, and it was tough. I inquired on a couple that were spoken for already. I got a tip about lab mix puppies at a shelter an hour away, and drove there on the day their facebook page said they’d be adoptable only to find about 30 people standing in line outside the building. Eventually someone came out and said they’d all been adopted. I ended up with the puppy I got because the first person whose application they accepted backed out. At $400 (8 weeks, rescue), it was definitely the most expensive rescue mutt I’ve ever gotten (the others were $25 (1992, 9 weeks,shelter), $0 ($1995, 9 months, stray), $100 (2005, 4 months, shelter) and $300(2011, 1 year, rescue)). Of my 5 dogs, three were trucked up from the south. None have been obvious pit bull mixes.

Watch your nearest large city Craigslist- just a cursory peek at a large city in your state, there’s
many ads for mixed breed large dog puppies running $50. to $400. Many different mixes.
Puppies go very fast in county shelters so that probably isn’t the best place to check.

Sorry about your big guy. Not many puppies around here either. A friend fosters dogs relocated from the South. Many are young (3-6 months). Great dogs and interesting to see how they grow up.

1 Like

This might not meet the OP’s needs, but I want to provide this as a PSA. If there is a breed you love, acquaint yourself with show breeders in your area. I mean the dedicated to the breed, successful in shows, AKC registered folks. They truly love their dogs. If there are puppies from a litter that aren’t quite show quality, they will sell them to pet homes, sometimes for less than you would expect.

We were inquiring about the breed we wanted (which shall remain nameless for now) amongst many breeders. No one had a litter “but call x who might be breeding soon” which would lead us to the next person, and then the next. We finally linked up with the most phenomenal breeder (who was also a horsewoman). It was an instant match. We met her, her dogs, and when we bought our puppy, she gave us his mother as she’d had her two litters and was being pensioned. We adore them both. And the breeder and I are still in touch regularly years later.

15 Likes

My parents got a pup from one of the southern state (TX, holy mud, so many good dogs in kill shelters) and it was a wonderful easy process. She cost a bit b/c they delivered her clear across the country, I want to say $250 ish. The dog is a sweet mysterious little mix and we all love her dearly. I got a pup from a rescue that pulls dogs off the reservations here. He was a hungry street puppy and now he is in the lap of luxury; I love him beyond. He was $100, fixed and vaxxed.

I love the mixes that need saved in the world; I don’t always like dealing with rescues but these two were great. I will probably always do the shelter/rescue thing unless I find myself in need of a specific breed, which has happened a time or two in my life.

3 Likes

Well if you like bully types you can have your pick of size/age/gender/color at the local shelters any day of the week here. Including spay/neuter they are usually ~$100. Baby puppies go quick though.

Perhaps all the non bully types get shipped North?

Another resource would be to ask your local shelter or vet office if they know of any reputable rescue groups in your area. They might have people they work with. Or do you have NextDoor? if so, try inquiring on there. Good luck and that’s sad about your dog. Little dogs are cute but big dogs, they just try harder.

Along with all the above recommendations, if there’s a breed or two that you really click with, check out the breed rescues for that particular breed.

If you don’t have to get a puppy, check with reputable breeders. Many often will place their retired breeding dogs, typically around age 4-6. These are well loved, usually have some type of training & all around good mannered dogs.

Just a PSA… while getting a dog from a rescue/shelter is great, please! Please! Make sure it’s a reputable/ethical one.
So many “rescues” nowadays are in fact nothing but flippers & retailers that are in it for the $$, not for the animals.

1 Like

So sorry to hear about your dog and good luck with the puppy search. :heart:

2 Likes

Breed rescues sometimes have puppies, too. However, they may be coming from a backyard breeder/puppy mill shutdown, so be careful.

We love German Shepherds so we did the research, found a good breeder, and bought a puppy. They have less then one litter per year and the dogs are raised in their home. They compete well in working classes. When we lost our first GSD, we went back to the breeder for another one. We knew they were healthy dogs, with very stable temperaments and good minds.

3 Likes

Great advice! These are Excellent ways to get a dog with good, sound temperament, particularly if you have children and need a dog that is emotionally stable.

1 Like

About 9 years ago I got a great dog on kijiji. I had to comb through a lot of sketchy ads but there were a few promising ads too. The dog I got had started off with a couple that took great care of the dog but had a lifestyle that didn’t match the dog’s needs. The dog was for sale for $250 but they gave him to me for free when they came to meet me and saw the life I’d give him. This is a bit of a gamble, though, because you may not get the true history on the dog. It was only after the dog had chewed through a few hundred dollars in stuff that the previous owners joke that they used to call the dog “shredder” - this would have been good to know. These owners gave me copies of all his vet records, puppy school records, etc so it was clear he was not stolen and re-sold. Not sure if dogs are available on kijiji these days.

Since we have a farm and all the animals that go with it I am looking for breeds that normally do well with livestock.

We also have a 2 year old Mini Aussie who is a very strong personality, so I need a breed that is more easy going. In addition we have a ? breed who is about 30 pounds but very sweet.

I would love to have an Anatolian Shepherd but I will be happy with a Lab , lab cross since we have had those with no issues.

@Mango20 I can identify with what you went through. Almost all of our dogs have been shelter puppies, strays. Except for a few “oops breeding” people were giving away . We bought a reg Golden right after we married and our Aussie is a purebred as well, but that is all.

We have never had a bad dog no matter how we acquired them.

I am looking at CL and I will talk to my vet ( forgot about that) . Looking at breeders is a good idea too!

2 Likes

Keep us posted; I love to hear about dogs and homes uniting! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes! I have a similar breeder experience.

After scouring rescues and even driving out of state with plans to adopt a dog, who turned out to have been terribly misrepresented by the rescue and was basically feral with a ton of undisclosed health issues.

I posted in a specific dog breed fb group that was mainly comprised of show breeders. My post included my location and that I was looking to find a new family member. I was put in contact with a lovely breeder, who turned out to be only 30min from me, and happened to have 13mo old that she had been casually looking to find a home for. He showed as a puppy, until his underbite exceeded the standard and also had a bit of carsickness. We met and I brought him home with me. He came to me well loved, taken care of, with manners installed, no mental baggage and is just a fantastic little dude!

6 Likes

I think many breeders sell puppies for less than people think already. A lot of people are willing to buy a designer dog (mixed breed) for $1500-$2000 from breeders who just own two not-so-great specimen parents. Meanwhile, in my breed you can get a show quality puppy from a line of 10 generations of health tested and titled parents for the same price. Often for less. Very few breeders are selling at $2K in my breed, and that’s east/west coast mainly. Definitely for less in central regions.

Most breeders I know don’t really discount the pet quality puppies; they cost just as much to produce. But also - in a breed like mine where 7 puppies is typical and 13 is not unheard of - it’s rare that the entire litter is sold as show puppies. A lot go to good pet homes. So, if you’re looking for a puppy, don’t assume you couldn’t get one from a show breeder. I know a breeder that has a puppy available right now that has a minor bite fault and he is slightly discounted. And I know a large litter that was just born in St. Louis that has puppies available. I don’t think either advertise, just use personal referrals.

That said - there are some breeds that don’t produce large litters and they can be harder to find. But I would try. Facebook groups is a great way to get connected in the breed.

3 Likes

I can’t navigate anything on facebook ( i have tried). What breed are the pups in STL? My husband works there so it is definitely in my area ( 90 minute drive) if you want to PM me the info?

1 Like

You do realize if you get a puppy we will want pictures and updates!

3 Likes