Are You Ready For A Dog?

Have you studied several breeds?

Have you interacted with an adult of the breed you are considering?

Are you aware of the breed's adult size, temperament, and exercise and grooming requirements?

Do you know the disorders that can appear in this breed and plan to research breeders and lines to avoid problems?

If a problem appears, despite the breeder's and your efforts, are you prepared to deal with it?

Is everyone in the household enthused and willing to help?

A dog is a living creature that requires attention, training, grooming, exercise and proper nutrition.

Are you capable and willing to devote your time/money and attention to a dog?


A dog is a long-term commitment, depending on the breed it may live for as much as 16 or 17 years. Acquiring a dog should never be a spontaneous decision.

Is the dog for you or for someone else? If mainly for the children or another loved one, are you also looking forward to the companionship?

Have you considered the cost associated with owning a dog? The cost of food, accessories (leads, collars, dishes, crates etc.), veterinary expenses, training, boarding, grooming and licensing your dog with the City?

Are you gone from home long hours with no one to care for the dog? Do you hurry home from work, only to leave again most nights?

Do you relax by taking a walk or playing a game, or would you rather snooze on the couch?

Are you a 'neat freak' about your home? Will you be upset at canine chaos?

Why Go To A Dog Show?

You will see all sizes and shapes. A large part of the show is a beauty contest judged by people who have studied dogs for years. The judge is judging how close the dog comes to the Canadian Kennel Club breed standard. There are also obedience trials, rally obedience trials, agility and scent hurdling. Please wait and speak to a breeder after the competition in the grooming or benching area. If you are in the benching area well before judging ask if the exhibitor has time to speak to you, and always ask before you touch a dog.

Places To Start Your Search

  • A dog show is a perfect place to start your search. The AKC holds two sets of shows each year.
  • Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website for further education about purebred dogs.
  • Visit the Calgary Associated Dog Fanciers website for information on many breeds and local breeders.

Questions To Ask

Some questions to ask the breeder and questions the breeder may ask a future puppy or dog owner.

When first contacting a breeder, ask if they have time to talk. If not, ask when you may call again. Tell the breeder that you have been thinking about buying a puppy or an older dog, and a bit about your lifestyle, if anyone is home during the day or part of the day, about your family, children and other pets. If you live in rental housing, will your landlord allow a pet or pets?

You may be asked what you actually know about the breed or if you plan to stay in the Calgary area. It's a good idea to make an appointment to meet the breeder and his/her dogs. If other breeders are available, it's wise to visit several kennels. Meet the breeding stock, this will give you an idea of what your puppy will grow up to be. You may have to wait several months for your puppy to be born. If you can, visit the puppies several times after the birth and before the placement.