Buying a dog isn't like buying a new shirt. Even if you are dead-set on getting a specific breed of dog, you should not rush into this kind of purchase. Although careful breeding makes each individual in a breed share a set of common traits, there are still subtle and not-so-subtle differences between individual dogs. In addition, some less scrupulous breeders have overbred and inbred many purebred dogs, creating lowquality specimens. You may think it's simply too time-consuming to work with a breeder — your kids want a puppy now! — but the research you do and time you spend to find the right puppy can spare you the heartbreak of bringing home the wrong one.