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Buying your first puppy can be a daunting task, but is here to help. We've added some common questions to ask when choosing the right puppy... and the right breeder.

Internet fraud is on the rise, so we've also included some tips to help protect yourself when buying online. Arm yourself with information and buy with confidence!

How to protect yourself when buying online:

  1. Email should not be the only form of contact with a breeder. Once you have your initial questions answered and feel you want to move forward with the purchase of a puppy, ask for a phone number to talk to the breeder. If they refuse to give a phone number or they state that their phone is out of service, walk away from the sale.
  2. Insist on meeting the breeder in person or with a free video-chat app, such as Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or Google Duo. If the breeder is unwilling to meet or have a video call so that you can see the breeder and the puppy, along with the puppy's living conditions, discontinue the sale.
  3. Do not make any payments through cash-transfer apps or services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Once this payment leaves your hands, there is no recourse for recovery or refund.
  4. Every listing on the site will show the city/town and state of the breeder. The location is something that the breeder designates upon their account creation. If they ask you to send money somewhere different, discontinue the purchase and report them to the Support Team.
  5. Once you have determined that the breeder you have chosen has the puppy you want, ensure that you have a clearly defined contract prior to the purchase of the dog. The contract should specifically state which dog you are going to receive, what registration, if any, you will receive, and the timeframe to receive the registration papers, what type of health guarantee comes with the dog, and what is the process of reimbursement and/or return if the dog is sick, etc. Most contracts will state that you need to have the pup seen by a vet within a specific timeframe. A clearly defined and signed contract will protect both the buyer and the breeder and will avoid any problems that could arise from miscommunication. A reputable breeder should have a contract defining these terms.
  6. If you or the breeder make an agreement that is not included within the contract, get it in writing (such as in an email).
  7. Save a copy of the contract along with a printout of the listing for your records.
  8. will never ask you for your password. Never give out your password in response to an email or text message.

Questions to ask when choosing a puppy:

  1. What kind of lifestyle does this breed require?
  2. What personality traits should I be informed about?
  3. What grooming requirements are there with this breed?
  4. What type of exercise does this breed require?
  5. Are there any common health problems associated with this breed?
  6. Can I meet the puppy's mother and father?
  7. If one of the parents is not available, does the Breeder have pictures available of the parent?
  8. May I see/visit where the puppies are raised?
  9. How many litters do you have per year?
  10. What happens to your retired breeding dogs?
  11. How many different breeds do you breed?
  12. What is the average lifespan of the dogs?
  13. What type of food do you feed your dogs?
  14. At what age can the puppy go to its new home?
  15. What immunization protocol do you follow for your breeding dogs and your puppies?
  16. Do the puppies have any type of socialization prior to being sent to their new home?
  17. Do the puppies have any type of training prior to being sent to their new home?
  18. Are you affiliated with any breeder associations? Why or why not?
  19. Do you have references?
  20. What guarantees do you offer with your puppies?
  21. Do you require spay/neuter contracts on your pet quality puppies?
  22. If, for any reason, I am unable to keep the puppy, what is your policy?

Most breeders are more than happy to answer questions related to the purchase of one of their puppies and will be just as concerned about the type of person/household they are releasing one of their puppies to. Remember: It is up to both the buyer and the breeder to be comfortable with one another and to ensure that the puppy has been and will be treated properly.

Please note: does not act as an escrow service. We will not hold funds until you receive a puppy. If any breeder tells you differently, report them to at staff will not refer you to any specific breeder. If you feel like a Breeder has not upheld their end of the contract, you always have the right to pursue legal action against them. does not offer any guarantees, nor do we pre-screen advertisers on the site. However, if you are unsure about a specific breeder and feel they might be a potential scammer, please feel free to forward us their information and we will investigate.