The most important thing is to ask yourself if you can give the dog proper exercise every day. And I don't mean letting him loose in a yard. I mean
you go out and walk/run him so he can get tired. A tired dog is a good dog. Exercise is a MUST. Every day. Depending on the age and breed, it may be
necessary twice a day. Bored dogs dig, chew up couches, eat food off the counter, destroy things while you're gone, and are generally unhappy.
Can you afford a high quality food and vet care?
Are you prepared to be consistent and train your dog from the beginning?
Do you want a dog that requires grooming?
Do you plan to have kids?
Do you want a puppy or an older dog? A puppy requires additional training.
These are all questions you need to ask yourself and PLEASE research like crazy! (I can help if you need it)
If you decide on a purebred, don't just take anything that's in your area. Find a good breeder and have the puppy shipped, if necessary. I'm in New
Mexico and my GSDs are out of Oregon.
Finding a Good Breeder
A responsible breeder:
Explains in detail the potential genetic and developmental problems inherent to the breed and provides documentation that the puppy’s parents and
grandparents have been professionally evaluated in an effort to breed those problems out of their puppies. (This will include testing for genetic
diseases for which there are valid testing protocols available)
I LOVE a Border Collie, but they need LOTS of physical and mental stimulation. I also LOVE a Coton de Tulear, a small dog in a large dog's body.
I have adopted from the shelter and I've also bought purebred dogs (obviously). If you find a GOOD breeder (and that means a LOT of things - please
research) a purebred dog can be as healthy as a mutt, though I love them both.
About my pound puppies, Cara and Mia. Mia developed osteosarcoma and we had to put her down last year. Cara has hip dysplasia VERY badly (since she
was a year old) and will be leaving us soon. My GSDs are very healthy by comparison because their parents and generations before them were tested for
various medical issues (one sign of a good breeder) so I knew what I was getting. You never know with a rescue. I'm not advising getting a purebred,
just giving my experience. I will probably only own purebred dogs in the future. People say not to get them because their experience is probably with
back yard breeders, puppy mills or hobby breeders. Don't buy from any of those. ONLY buy from a reputable breeder.
I would do all the "breed selectors" you can find on the Internet. Some will be 'off', but the more you do, the more info you'll have. Then you
can look up the breeds you think you may want to get more info on them.
I would also join a dog forum so you can take advantage of the knowledgeable people there. That's how I found my breeder.
Most important, research, research, research!
If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer.