What is the difference between going through a private breeder and a puppy store? Is one better or preferred over the other? I visited two local pet shops and one was selling for $399 and the other store wanted $1100. This seems like a huge difference. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.
First of all, it's never a good idea to buy a puppy from a pet store. Those puppies often come from puppy mills, have not been tested for genetic problems, and have not been socialized. Down the road, you may be faced with some nasty and preventable condition, and massive vet bills. Decent breeders test for genetic abnormalities, immunize, and many have cesaerian sections with their females. Their costs are higher, but their dogs should be much healthier. You should also be getting a health guarantee, pedigree, and registration papers. I would never advise anyone to buy a puppy for their children for Christmas, maybe a week after, but not on the actual day. The reason for this is that there is a lot of excitement going on, people coming in and out, and noise etc. The kids are often preoccupied with other gifts as well. This is just my opinion,and others may disagree.
I totally agree with Pen, you NEVER want to buy a puppy from the pet store. almost all those dogs from puppy mills, and most aren't healthy even when the pet store orders them. Also if you by a mini schn. and the store orders another one. Any littermates that are not sold are put to sleep. You always want to perchase a puppy from a good breeder. You can usually look them up on sites like this one, or another good one is www.pets4you.com. You can also look for breed clubs and see if they can refer any breeders to you. Don't be afraid to ship a puppy. I have shiped all 3 of mine, and I ship puppies to people. Everything has been great. A good breeder will give you a 1 or 2yr health guarentee. You may pay alittle more, but from what I have found the costs are aprox. the same. I would also either purchase after Christmas, that way all the toxic things like the tree, tensil, ornaments are put up. You may even encounter a waiting list. Good breeders don't have pups all the time. Good luck
You can buy show quality dogs that come with lifetime health guarantees in some breeds (though not all!) for less than $1100.. we're talking puppies that come from Ch sire and Ch dam breedings. That price for a puppy is outrageous, especially given that it's a pet store charging it!
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.