Neither. Around here you can get a beautiful puppy without papers for next to nothing (under $100). If I want a pet, I can get one from the pound for free. The pound dog is free. You only pay for spay/neuter, vaccines, hw test, and deworming. Pound puppy should be choice #4. I mean what would you do with an AKC pup who is not to standard? You can't show or breed it. Choice #2 can't show him either APRI is the puppy mill registry. Choice #3 can only be a pet.
$160 is still very cheap if your pound gets the dog altered. I had my dog altered at my vet and it cost me more than $160 not including vaccines, hw test, deworming, and nail clipping. If your dog or cat was fixed and it cost you $160 I say you still got a bargain. Some vets around here charge over $200 to spay a medium size dog.
I would have to say #2 or #3. AKC doesn't seem to be as important here anyway and since you said purebred PET, AKC wouldn't matter at all. We have a lot of activities around here that you can do regardless of your pup's registry or lack of. The only thing you couldn't do without AKC papers is show in AKC conformation. I think meeting both of the parents would be nice, but really I think it's a lot about how the pup is raised....so #2 and #3 really seem the same to me.
"#4: An AKC pup thats beautiful and to the standard, so that if i do become interested in showing or breeding, down the road, i do have that option."
I'm with you Dusty.. I'd choose a well bred puppy who looks like what its supposed to look like from a breeder who takes the time to research and breed her dogs to hopefully produce better than the parents. A genetically sound animal as well.
I have seen some dogs that are registered that do NOT even resemble their breed. My mother had one. It was supposedly a chihuahua and it looked more like a weasel.
#3 is fine is someone just wants a sweet little pet with no interest in purebred dogs. I personally like to know what I'm getting.
For me papers don't mean much if I am buying a pet so #3 might be ok but where I live if you buy a "purebred" dog you must be provided with papers FOR FREE and it's illegal to charge more for them and to sell a dog as pure without them.
Not sure where you live but here that's a no no.
I have three purebred dogs, all from shelters/rescue.