The RSPCA have released a Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide which provides some very good guidance on where to buy your puppy. Whilst buying a dog from the RSPCA or other shelters or rescue organisations is often saving that animal’s life, sometimes people are after a specific breed.
The RSPCA recommends only buying from reputable breeders who provide a high standard of care for all their dogs, so that you know your animal is not coming from a puppy-farm. Depending on the breed, you will want to talk with the breeder to see if they are taking steps to reduce the risks or incidence of inheritable disorders (eg hip dysplasia or heart valve defects).
The brochure also encourages early desexing of your new puppy, as part of responsible ownership.
So if you are looking to buy a puppy, please first of all see what’s available at your local pound, RSPCA or animal shelter. If you must purchase elsewhere, always look for a reputable breeder. And read the Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide.