To tell you the truth...a dog is a really big commitment. I got mine when I was 21 (23 now) and there are certain things that you have to miss out on (good and bad). I wouldn't have wanted one at 19 (still having too much fun in college) but at 21 I had graduated, moved in with my GF (she was still in school), and so late nights out were generally behind me. But I know I would've regretted it later if I had missed those times earlier in my life.
It's also nice having an excuse to go home early when friends want to be out until 2 AM and you don't. But traveling is an issue as I have family in Europe and do need to go back there once in a while (plus while I'm young Europe is much more affordable than when I get a family). We are lucky and have family that took care of my boy for 10 days while we were gone, but if we didn't have that you'd have to consider an extra $200+ just to kennel him during the trip.
There are plenty of places in the United States where you can travel with a dog...but surprisingly a lot are also restrictive. Not all hotels/motels except dogs. I wouldn't take my dog on a trip to Las Vegas, New York City, Washington DC or anywhere that there is a lot of indoor sight seeing. Most National Parks are very restrictive about dogs, if they allow them its only in certain areas. Restaurants don't really allow dogs in (some with patios are fine) but those are closed in the winter months and personally I wouldn't drag my dog to a place just to leave him in a hotel room for hours at a time while I go sight seeing.
There are a lot of plusses and minuses to owning a dog while you're young (especially a puppy) but you really won't understand the "restrictions" it places on your life until you get one. I was a bit more set in my life, schedule wise and work wise before I got a dog and luckily there are two of us so if one person can't make it home for some reason the other person will surely be able to. But there are many times that I've done things where I wouldn't have been able to unless I had my GF home to watch my dog like last weekend I went to Chicago overnight for the Bears game and she was home with the dog, without her, would've had to figure out other arrangements.
Lots and lots to think about when it comes to a dog fitting into your life, sadly, most of it you'll only figure out when you have a dog lol.
Also...reputable breeders will allow you to see the dogs if you have a good relationship with them. I was just over at a friend of mines and got to play with their 6 week old puppies for a few hours, and I'm not even getting one. I will add though that I have been training with these people for over 2 years now and know them much better than just a few phone calls.
thank you for the reply,
I think that if i was in your situation, I would have made a similar decision,
but i think my college lifestyle and idea of travel is much different then what yours was, one of the reasons I think a dog would be an excellent companion for me at this time is because of all the things that I do now that would complement that. I don't stay out late all that often, and when I do, i don't often go places that a dog couldn't accompany me (close friends houses with a few really cool people, exploring the city, my house playing video games) as for travel, I would most likely be camping or staying in a cheap place, and the tourist attractions I would like to see are mainly outdoors(mt Rushmore, grand canyon)
I would love to save up and backpack around Europe, staying in youth hostels and that sort of thing.(it seems far fetched but this is what a dream about!) and I think that a dog would be a great protection for me, and also great company. I don't know how a dog would limit me in this situation though, something I should definitely research