Where Should I Get a Puppy?

two young rottweiler puppies looking over a fence

Where Should I Get a Puppy?

Where to Get a Puppy in Ireland

Congratulations – you’re getting a puppy! Bringing home a new puppy is so exciting, and I bet you can’t wait to have a little four legged friend running around your home. After doing all the research into raising a pup and deciding to take on the responsibility, the next big question is, where exactly do you get a puppy?

Your options are either adopting a puppy from a rescue centre, or getting a puppy from a responsible breeder. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these sources, so it’s important to carefully consider both options and decide what is best for you and your family. In this blog post, I’ll explain what to look out for in both a rescue centre and a breeder, what questions to ask, and what the benefits and drawbacks are to both.

Dawn Greer, Professional Dog Trainer

Dawn has been working and training with dogs for over 15 years. She has a Certificate in Canine Studies and a Certificate in Canine Behaviour & Psychology.

She is an advocate for the use of positive reward-based training methods, and enjoys watching how each dog learns, what motivates them, and how they react to challenges. She participates in many online training courses with trainers across the globe about various aspects of play training, obedience, and agility.

She currently shares her life with her dogs ranging in age from 16 years to 12 weeks. She has represented Ireland at the World Agility Open and the European Open Championships and has also represented Ireland in the International Agility Event at Crufts. She is a spokesperson for the Petmania Puppy Club where she has demonstrated her knowledge and expertise in obedience training young puppies.

Adopting a Puppy from the Rescue Centre

There is a stigma around shelter dogs that they are ‘damaged’ dogs, which is simply not true. They are just pups that have been unfortunate in their lives up until now. Many dogs are surrendered to rescue centres for several reasons, such as a change in family situation or lack of time. It is not always because of the dog’s behaviour.

Pros and Cons of Adopting a Puppy

I’ve worked with dog rescues for years, fostering dogs and helping find forever homes for pups in need – and I have also had five of my own dogs come to me from a shelter situation, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons for adopting your puppy from a rescue centre or animal shelter, and what you can expect.

Considering a Rescue?

Benefits of Adoption Shelters: Drawbacks of Adoption Shelters:
1.     You are saving two lives; the life of the dog you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog in the shelter or rescue 1.You may not know what breed they are mixed with
2.     Many are already trained in basic commands as well as toilet trained, saving you lots of time 2. You may be unable to adopt the dog you want right away. Shelters and rescue groups often have a waiting period, so you don’t rush into a decision.
3.     Many will already be vaccinated, neutered and microchipped 3. You could be rejected for the dog you want if you don’t meet the organization’s requirements.
4.     Rescue centres will know the dog’s personality, leaving no surprises 4. Some shelter and rescue dogs have special needs, so you must be prepared and ready to deal with them.
5.     Adoption fees are minimal when compared to breeder fees
6.     The love and appreciation you get from a rescue dog is unlike any other.


5 Most Important Questions to Ask the Adoption Centre:

  1. What is his history? (How he came to the shelter, how long he’s been in the shelter, has he been adopted before)
  2. Tell me about his healthcare history (vaccinations, neutering/spaying, any allergies or illnesses he has had, is he microchipped, is he up to date with his flea and worm treatments)
  3. Is he trained? (Potty trained, crate trained, obedience trained)
  4. What is his behaviour like? (Does he get nervous around certain types of people such as children, does he get on with other pets, does he get separation anxiety, does he bark a lot, how long can he be left home alone)
  5. What are his typical energy levels like? (favourite activities, how often he needs to be walked, does he like to relax)

Whether you decide to adopt an older dog from a rescue shelter or buy a puppy from a breeder, make sure you are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to properly care for a dog. Your dog is your most loyal companion, so make sure you treat him as such!

Getting a Puppy from the Breeder

If you decide to go with getting a puppy from a breeder, always make sure they are reputable and responsible. A responsible breeder will be careful who they sell their puppy to, so always ask lots of questions and expect lots of questions in return. Many unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills, where they often have medical and behavioural issues.

You should always personally visit a breeder’s facility before buying a puppy. Make sure you see the mother and where the puppies were born and raised. Put in the time and effort to find the right breeder and you’ll thank yourself for the rest of your dog’s life.

Considering a Breeder?

Benefits of Breeders Drawbacks of Breeders
1.     You have far more predictability in what you’re getting, especially if you’re looking for a certain type of breed or a high energy level dog. 1. They can be very expensive (that’s not including all the vets visits afterwards too!)
2.     Reputable breeders will carry out genetic health testing to ensure your dog is not likely to carry any inherited genetic problems.


2. You will have to put in the time and effort of raising the dog-they won’t come to you already trained!
3. You will be able to see your puppy’s mother and see the environment they were raised in. 3. You might not get a puppy straight away and instead be placed on a waiting list-so be patient!

Top 5 Questions To Ask Dog Breeders:

  1. Show me their parents (this will help you get a better understanding of what breed your puppy may belong to and how he will look when he’s older)
  2. How long have you been breeding and what’s your experience?
  3. How do you socialise your puppy? (It is essential that puppies are properly socialized so they become well-adjusted dogs. You should enquire if the puppies have been around people, other dogs, and if they are calm in a household environment.)
  4. Tell me about their healthcare (vaccinations, special needs. Most likely would not have been neutered yet)
  5. What requirements must people have when looking to get one of your puppies? (You must be eager to ask lots of questions but make sure the breeder is doing the same to you. This will help you determine if he truly cares about where and whom the puppies are going to)

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