Remember that old song, "How Much is that Doggy in the Window?" Well it really does ring true. When you purchase a puppy from a pet store, what you are buying is a substandard specimen of whatever breed you can name. The 'real' breeder would NEVER, under ANY circumstances, sell pups to a pet shop. Puppy store "stock" is purchased from brokers who, in turn, acquire pups from puppy mills. These puppy mills exist all over the country, but seem to be concentrated in the midwest (Kansas, Missouri, etc.) Pennsylvania and Florida. Puppy stores also obtain "purebred" stock from local backyard "breeders" who think they can make money by breeding dogs. None of these sources test their breeding stock for genetic, inheritable defects. Some of these sources keep their breeding stock in seriously inhumane conditions. ALL of these sources often produce not only substandard specimens of various breeds, but outright SICK pups, and often pups that are behaviorally compromised beyond help. Recently in another State, an 18 wheeler was relieved (by the local Humane society) of its cargo of dozens upon dozens of pups intended for northeast pet shops. These pups were malnourished and dehydrated. More than a dozen of them were suffering from the Parvo virus, which is SO contagious that you can actually carry it into your home on your shoes! This means that all the remaining pups had been exposed to, and probably would develop, Parvo. This virus is almost always a death sentence for a puppy. What about AKC papers??? They mean NOTHING. The AKC is a REGISTRY. They do not (for the most part) inspect the premises of "breeders" nor do they examine pedigrees. Simply because a pup as "AKC papers" does not mean he is the product of careful, genetically planned breeding! Also, do NOT be fooled by stores that tell you pups come from "local" breeders. NO breeder with any integrity would EVER sell pups to a pet store.
Now to the price end of this deal: the pet store pays approximately $90 per pup (maybe more or less in some cases) and YOU pay $1200! You're lining the pockets of miscreants who deal in living flesh, agony and heartache when you purchase that pup from a pet store. Don't do it! If you want to make a statement regarding this low life endeavor of trading life for bucks, don't even go INTO a store that sells puppies!
AND, if you want to find the "perfect" puppy for yourself and your family, call the AKC in Manhattan and ask for the name and address of the breed club's corresponding secretary. He or she will be more than happy to send you a list of REAL breeders, those who show in Conformation, do Field Trials, Obedience, Agility etc. with their dogs. You'll have to pass an interview and you may even have to wait a while for you pup, but the end result will be a true purebred, bred to the standard and genetically cleared of any known inheritable disease or dysfunction. The pup will also have been carefully socialized to humans and "home" conditions and might even be housebroken when you get it. What's more, the good breeder will always guaranty to take the pup back at any time in its lifetime, should it be necessary for you to surrender it (from illness, divorce, etc.)
Remember: puppy store owners are trading on YOUR lack of knowledge, YOUR trust, YOUR emotional response to the little faces, YOUR wallet, and THE DOGS'LIVES. Help us, the professionals in the dog community, shut down the puppy mills and backyard breeders. You'll be glad you did, and so will the dogs who live out their lives in misery in such places.