How to buy a puppy

How to buy a puppy

With the lifetime cost of a dog topping $30,000, our guide to buying that perfect pedigree pooch ensures you make the right investment


Step 1: Find a breeder

To buy a healthy pure-bred you’ll need to find a reputable dog breeder. Check out the pre-vetted breeder list on the Canadian Kennel Club’s website ( As Canada’s only official pure-bred registry, CKC provides support and education to potential dog owners and to the dog-breeding community.

Step 2: Pass the sniff test

Before you hop in your car, pick up the phone. Most responsible breeders won’t sell a puppy to just anyone that shows up at their door. They’ll want to talk to you first and ask a few questions about your motivations. They may even ask to visit your home, to be sure that you’ll provide a safe environment for the puppy. Pass this test and the breeder will invite you to come meet the dogs.

Step 3: Pay a visit

Surrounded by playing puppies it’s easy to forget the purpose for visiting a breeder: to assess their facilities. If you see cramped, dirty dog-quarters or dogs that are not treated like pets (loved, played with and given lots of exercise time), find another breeder.

Step 4: Seal the deal

If, everything checks out, it’s time to bring your new pup home, right? Not quite. Breeders plan well in advance for the placement of their litters. Plus, you’ll need to wait at least eight weeks after your pup is born before it’s ready to leave its mama. During your last visit, the breeder will want payment and should provide you with a Contract of Sale as well as the pup’s registration papers.

Step 5: The guarantee

The best breeders offer up to four weeks of Kennel Club Pet insurance, which starts the moment you take your puppy home. Many also provide written lifetime guarantees covering genetic diseases and temperament problems. Although you won’t get your money back, this guarantee means you can return your dog at any point in its life, for whatever reason.