If you want to purchase a purebred or specially mixed dog, like an English Goldendoodle or an American Bulldog, you are going to be making a substantial investment in the dog. As such, you want to make sure that you do your research so that you end up with a dog that really fits in with your family.
Don't Buy & Ship Online
Do not work exclusively online. When you work with a breeder online only, you can't really verify that anything the breeder is telling you is accurate. It is more than okay to find the breeder online, you just need to plan to actually visit the breeder in person and choose your puppy in person.
Visit the Breeder On-Site
You should always visit the breeder's home. You don't want to purchase a puppy from a puppy mill. You want to purchase a puppy from someone who treats the parents in a humane manner and who takes proper and loving care of the puppies. You can't tell this by just connecting with the breeder online. Go to their house before you sign any agreements to purchase the puppy and check out the conditions for yourself in person.
Learn the Puppy's Personality
Many people fall into the trap of just looking at pictures of the puppy and picking out which one they want from there. This is not the way to go. Visit the breeder in person, and spend time playing with the puppies. Each puppy is going to have a unique personality and disposition; you want to find the one that clicks and works for you and your family, which you can't do just by looking at some pictures.
Get Medical Information
Finally, make sure to get medical information about the parents of the puppy that you want to get. This will give you a good idea of your puppy's potential medical future. You should also get any medical information for your puppy, such as the day they were born and what vaccines they have. Don't take the puppy away before it is at least two months old; your puppy needs their mom when they are that young.
If you want to purchase a purebred dog, don't just buy the dog online and have it shipped to you. Work with a local breeder whose home you can visit and make sure that the dogs are being treated humanely and the breeder is not running a puppy mill. Once the puppies arrive, don't pick out your dog from the pictures, visit in person and learn the puppy's personality and choose the one that will work with your family. Be sure to get medical information about the parents and about any shots that your puppy got before you took the dog home.