Tips Before Buying Any Wellbred Purebreed Dog/Cat:
1.Ask to see certificates for all health screenings done on the puppy's parents before breeding. Hip xray evaluation (OFA), eye exam findings by an animal ophthamologist (CERF), evaluation by vet of patellas, and any other vet certified tests performed. These will depend on the breed as each has their own concerns and some breeds more than others.
2.Ask for the name and number of a vet you can contact who cares for the breeder's dogs.
3. Ask for a pedigree of at least 4 generations. AKC and UKC require records, keep pedigrees and other information on file. Some "papers" require nothing but money from the breeder.
4.You should be given a contract with all information and requirements you both agree to. Most breeders will require you to neuter the dog by a certain age and will state in the papers that the dog come back to them, at any time, if you can no longer keep it. Most breeders will accept deposit and payment by check. Not too many I know take credit cards but some may.
5.All recognized breeds have a parent website under AKC. Much valuable information to know before you buy. Health concerns for that breed are usually discussed and you can contact responsible breeders through it. Probably the same for UKC. I don't register with UKC. Cat people also have registries but you will have to get that info yourself.
6.Visit the breeder's home and the animals if at all possible. Don't be surprised if you are asked more questions than you ask. You might be required to give a reference from a vet.
7.Go to dog/cat shows if at all possible. It is the best way to meet breeders and see your favored breed in a social situation.
8.READ, READ, READ before you pick a breed and buy.
This is a very long committment so know what you are doing. If you do not intend to show the dog/cat perhaps adopting from a purebreed rescue, start with http://www.petfinder.com
, is for you. Mixed breeds make great pets too and you will be saving a life.
Added: Most of the national breed clubs end with the term ......Club of AMERICA. Ex. Collie Club of America, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, etc. There are generally local clubs in each state as well. I am not too familiar with organizations outside the US but every country has their registries.