All dogs are not created equal. The health, temperament, and quality of your dog's life (and, by extension, yours!) can greatly depend on the source you get him/her from.
STEP 1: What dog should I get?
Start by researching the dog breeds -- check out the resources below!
STEP 2: Where should I buy my dog? What if I prefer to adopt one?
Buyer beware!! The following pages define, explain, and evaluate the most common sources for potential dog owners to seek out:
Here are some of the of the things to consider when you think of bringing a dog into your life:
This is a nifty tool from the Animal Planet Channel website.
Also from Animal Planet, this is an entertaining and educational show where each breed is featured. On this page you'll find video clips from different shows.
This page from the American Kennel Club is a trustworthy place to start researching the 160+ dog breeds to help you make an educated choice.
Note, however, that a breeder registered with the AKC does not necessarily fit the bill as a responsible breeder. No matter what breeder you are considering, please see the page on Dog Breeders to know how to screen breeders who are doing things right.