Like all things these days, if you’re looking to find a puppy on sale or to adopt near you, you’re going to be doing at least some of your search online. We just got a new puppy and the process was very different from finding our first puppy 25 years ago. I did a lot of research and looking. Keep reading to learn how I found a puppy near me, in my area.
It was really easy to find our first puppy 25 years ago, but it has gotten harder since. Animal rescue associations are a wonderful option and we have friends and family members who have gotten fantastic dogs through them, and family members who have been animal foster parents. Definitely give them a try!
But each time we have looked for a new dog, we have specifically wanted a puppy around 8 weeks of age. Puppies are a lot of work. In fact every time we get a puppy I realize I have forgotten how much work a puppy is! But since we get a puppy less than once a decade, the work is worth it to us to have the puppy time that we love.
It was really easy to find our puppy 25 years ago. I had grown up with Collies and loved that breed. My husband had grown up with Britney’s, also called Britney Spaniels, and love that breed. We both thought we wanted a purebred dog. They mixed breeds I had experience with up until that point were pretty much Heinz 57, like who knows how many breeds were mixed in and what genetic outcomes you would be inheriting! You know, good cow dogs.
But the first weekend of our search, we opened the pet classifieds of our local paper and found a litter of puppies that was a border collie and Brittany mix. How could it be more perfect? Cinnamon was a fantastic dog and all our kids grew up with her patient presence.
Finding our second dog was a little more difficult, a little over a decade ago. After 2 months of searching the internet and stalking Craigslist I finally located a litter of puppies that had the same floppy ears as Cinnamon. They were treeing walking coonhounds, and Topaz has also been a wonderful dog.
Both times, with both dogs, we were able to pick a puppy out of a litter with multiple options. We really wanted to meet the puppies before we chose our dog. We have never seen an appeal that as soon as the puppies are born, you look at photos of the litter, and you have to choose your puppy, strictly on their markings, before they even open their eyes. When we did our puppy searches in years past, that seemed to be the only way to get a purebred puppy.
So after purebred dogs of our childhood, a mixed breed, and then another purebred, we started out this puppy search thinking we would go back to a mixed breed again. Specifically the same mixed breed. We were looking for a Collie Brittany mix.
But we quickly started looking for pretty much any puppy in our favorite breeds.
Between the two of us we have personal experience with several breeds we were considering, and a couple of breeds that we weren’t! Ha!
I found a couple of good websites that helped us expand the dog breeds We were considering.
Dog Breed + is a fantastic website that lists not only history, size and temperament, but expectations of exercise, grooming, and biting statistics. (Every dog can be a good dog, but matching temperaments to people can help you know what your expectations are.) They also cover mixed breeds.
But even with a broader search, we still had to find a puppy!
With the decline of print newspapers, pretty much the only option for finding a puppy is to find one online. There aren’t even many pets listed in the online newspaper classified ads.
Unfortunately if you put find a puppy, puppies for sale, find a (insert dog breed here) puppy, or find a puppy near me, into a Google search, every single time you are going to find these general web pages for searching. You tell the search you want to find a puppy in your area, near you, the the whole first page of search results is filled with these special puppy search pages that want you to search – again – all over the United States for your puppy, and ship you one by air! That is not what we wanted to do. Not helpful, Google!
What’s more, as I continue to look and stalk a broad range of Craigslist, I started to recognize the same photos of different puppies, making me suspicious of many listings and websites alike. I have no proof of this, but something to watch out for. In general, if the puppy shot was too good a photo, I started getting suspicious.
Also be aware that when you find a puppy online people are likely to request a deposit. I’m sad to say, that from some of the postings I saw, that it appears that the people taking those deposits are not always honest.
We did have to pay a deposit before we could get our puppy, but it was a small deposit, and it was an amount we could afford to walk away from if for any reason we weren’t comfortable with the puppy, or the location, when we went to pick it up. (Or, if the person on the other side of the transaction was dishonest, we could afford to lose it that way as well.) That’s sad to say but consider that as you look. We had absolutely no problems making a deposit for our puppy, and I hope your experience is just as great!
After a month of looking, we gradually realized that it was going to be easier to find a purebred than a mixed puppy. And furthermore, the only times I would see puppies we could consider it would be a newborn litter of puppies that wasn’t going to be ready for 2 months.
We had kids coming home from college in a month, and we wanted to have our puppy at home while the college kids were home. Because, fun! And well more puppy parents. I highly recommend having five puppy parents on site. But don’t worry, if you don’t have those you can still do it, but it’s just going to take more of your time.
Another place we started looking was AKC and other dog breed official sites, such as AKC Marketplace. This is a promising place to look but it just didn’t happen to be where we found our puppy.
After 2 months of doing varied research and checking craigslist and AKC regularly, I finally gave in and went to Facebook. We are not big Facebook fans or users, but even so I had tried to look with outside searches. But you really have to look from a Facebook profile, from within Facebook.
So after searching the internet pretty regularly for 2 months, I spent an entire day on Facebook and finally found us a puppy!
How did I find us a puppy near us? I can’t really tell you an exact path, because the 2 months of looking and the dog breed information sites really informed our search. And then the full day that I stayed on Facebook I followed so many paths that I don’t really know for sure how I found the breeder with our puppy. But I do know the general intent that I started out with.
On Facebook, I started out with searches for Facebook groups on more than one specific dog breeds in our state, specific dog breeder pages in our state, and specific breed groups in our region of states, and specific dog breed groups, for breeds I was interested in, in the whole United States. Then I started following leads in discussion pages, direct messaging breeders I found links to. I started out trying to locate them geographically at first, but I know at some point I got a little bit sloppy at this.
Whenever I asked a question, if someone replied I definitely followed up with a thank you, and if applicable, a reason why I was going in a different direction. It was kind of nice that universally when I let them know that I had found our puppy with a different breed/breeder, people responded encouragingly.
At the end of the day I had leads on a few different puppies and four different breeds, but none of them were perfect for various reasons.
But then one was.
I’m not exactly sure what rabbit trail I followed to finally finally find our puppy near where we lived, but what I can tell you is that I finally found our puppy by direct messaging a breeder, who had a Facebook page, but according to their Facebook page and website they didn’t have any puppies available at the time. But he knew of puppies that would be ready in two weeks, grandchildren of his own dogs, just a few days after our college kids would get home!
Meet the newest member of our family a Brittany, Bluebell, named after the wildflower the Texas Bluebell.
And, as my husband would say, after the other Bluebell, too, because well, everybody loves Bluebell! (My husband’s favorite Texas ice cream brand.)
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