Option 3: A newspaper ad
If you go to the local paper to find a puppy, be prepared to ask a lot of questions about the puppies. Find out medical history of parents, ask to see the place where the puppies are being kept and also ask to see the parents. With a newspaper ad, you will often see “puppy free to a good home”. Be wary of such ads, as there is no such thing as a free puppy. Not knowing anything about previous medical history, you could be taking a dog with long-range health problems and/or temperament issues. Look at the puppy with a judging eye and make sure the puppy is exactly what you want temperament wise. This kind of puppy can make a great pet dog if you don’t want to do any serious competition with it provided it passes your temperament test. Try not to just take a puppy sight unseen or just because you feel sorry for it, especially if you have children. It is important to see how the puppy or dog interacts with the whole family and also to get a feel for its energy level. A dog with lots of energy may not do well in a family where no one is home for the majority of the day, for example. The positive side of a newspaper puppy is, lots of the time, the cost is extremely low. Just make sure to get as much information on health and temperament as possible before taking it home.