Tips For Buying A Chihuahua Puppy

chihuahua

There are many individuals out there that breed chihuahua carelessly for-profit only. I urge anyone interested in acquiring a chi to PLEASE go to a reputable and ethical breeder. 

Here are some tips to remember when buying a chihuahua for the first time.

A reputable breeder will:

Ask questions:  

Some may seem a bit personal, but remember: we love our dogs and want them to go to the best homes possible. We have done so very much more than simply pairing a male and female. If what is behind your prospective puppy does not concern you, then perhaps a hamster or another short-lived pet might be best for you. Fifteen years is a long time to live with an unhealthy or mean dog.

Answer your questions:  

He or she will be patient and willing to speak with you at a

time convenient to both parties. If the breeder states that no genetic/hereditary problems have ever plagued her lines, she is dishonest. 

Have nothing to hide: 

The breeder should allow you to see his / her chihuahuas and

where they are housed if separate from the home. The dogs should be clean, well kept, and appear healthy. The house may not be spotless, but the dogs should be. If the home stinks and the dogs are filthy, or the cages are disgusting – leave and leave quickly.

Stay in contact:  

He or she will be available for questions or concerns throughout the dog’s lifetime. The breeder should also offer to take the dog back if ever the buyer cannot keep the dog. The breeder is forever responsible for the dog she/he created.

Breeders that show their dogs are adhering to the written standard

Preferably Exhibit their dogs: Breeders that show their dogs are adhering to the written standard for the breed and judging their dogs accordingly. This means that a chihuahua will look like a chihuahua, and act like a chihuahua. Breeders that do not show are likely not very knowledgeable not only when it comes to how a chihuahua should look – but on important health and genetic matters as well and you may very well pay for their mistakes! There are exceptions of course, but if you want a chi that looks like a chi go to a show breeder. On the other hand, if the show breeder is more interested in ribbons and awards and her status than in her charges, seems uninterested in or brushes off your questions about training and other pet-related issues – go elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are those breeders/exhibitors who are more interested in winning than the well-being of their dogs.

A contract outlining what is expected

Contracts: A contract outlining what is expected of both parties at the time of purchase and beyond. Many breeders state that said pup should be seen by a veterinarian within a certain period after the puppy is obtained/purchased. Often general care is mentioned and what to expect if the dog becomes ill or dies or simply needs to be placed elsewhere. A breeder SHOULD ALWAYS take back (not necessarily buyback) one of his or her dogs if the situation arises.  

There should be a clause to this effect in the contract. The breeder brought the dog into this world and he/she should be responsible for the dog’s entire life. 

A good breeder will offer a refund

Stand Behind his or her dogs: A good breeder will offer a refund or replacement puppy should the puppy become ill, disabled, or die strictly due to a hereditary problem. Examples, crippling patellar luxation, hydrocephalus, epilepsy. This is an ethical breeder’s worst

nightmare and he or she should work with you and honor the contract.

Watch out for the following:

Again, ALL dogs deserve love. That is without question. The reason for this section is that too many breeders breed “purebred” dogs with no attention to the breed standard. This results in various terms used to describe dogs that are not much different than any dog you can find in a shelter. Terms such as “deer-head”, “rare” (typically referring to colors that are rare for a reason – such as blue which commonly comes with a condition known as “alopecia” which

results in hair loss and probable immune-related issues). 

Most exhibitors/breeders stay away from this color for that reason. Now we have merle in chihuahuas, which I believe came about due to the miniaturizing of the Australian shepherd. A mix. What is wrong with this? Breeding dogs should be a serious mission to preserve or better the breed. Breeders that intentionally breed chis that go against the standard are doing little more than breeding

glorified mongrels, which you can obtain from your local animal shelter and save a life! I recently received an email from one such breeder criticizing me for educating people about the term teacup. She uses the term. But it is not endorsed by reputable breeders, the CCA, or the AKC. I asked her why she used the term, and I’ve received no answer. Of course, the answer is money. 

I consider the term fraudulent because I have seen so many eight to ten-pound chihuahuas that were obtained from a “breeder” who sold them as teacups. And you better believe they paid for that term. Quite possibly more than they would have paid a responsible and ethical breeder/exhibitor! If they’d only done a bit more research.

Instead of patronizing these careless breeders, go to your local animal shelter and save a life. If you want a purebred chihuahua, do your homework or at the very least contact the breed

club, the CCA for breeder referrals. The link will be provided soon!

Stay away from individuals offering the following:

  • – Rare colors or patterns for higher prices.
  • – Guarantee of adult size (not possible!) An educated guess based on experience and one’s lines is all you can offer new owners! A guarantee is crazy and probably goes along with a “T-cup”. Hmmm, perhaps I should start up a new type of chi for financial gain…Nah, I’ll stick to the BREED STANDARD!
  • – Teacups, short hair, long-haired. These terms are not used in our breed. We have smooth coats and long coats. Again, teacup is not a recognized term. No knowledgeable breeder will use it.

A NOTE ON MERLES:   

There is much controversy over the merle pattern in chihuahuas. I will not go into detail about the genes responsible or the problems such as blindness, deafness, that can occur from two copies of the merle gene. What I will say is that I believe that the merle pattern was created very recently by crossing the chihuahua with another breed that is known for carrying this pattern, such as the dachshund. What this means is that the merle chihuahua is likely not a purebred. 

The debate over merles has become such a nasty, hateful ordeal. Although I have no interest in the pattern itself, I can understand that some breeders may like this look and want to incorporate it into their breeding program. It doesn’t matter now how or when the merling gene came into our breed. The CCA voted and the pattern is allowed.

So, bottom line, merle is now in our breed. Period. We can choose not to incorporate this pattern into our lines. Some breeders are working with merle yet keeping it separate and DNA’ing their dogs accordingly. I think this is the wisest action, but ultimately it is here regardless and non-merle breeders will need to be careful about using dogs from other breeders to prevent the hidden merle from entering their breeding program. Responsible merle breeders are out there thankfully. But the majority ARE pet breeders, puppy mills, back yard breeders, and the like. So be careful! If the merle pattern chihuahua appeals to you, find a responsible and careful breeder who does DNA testing. Here is a link to one such breeder. She does DNA testing on all dogs as well as general health clearances.

Poor Quality Breeders:

There are so very many sites on the internet by these breeders. These are typically the first to come up on search engines under general searches or sites dedicated to breeders – and lots of

them! They often have kennel names such as “Cuddly” or some other silly name and do not show their dogs or even care about the breed standard. Often these dogs barely resemble a chihuahua and the prices are astounding! They may love their dogs or they may just flat out rip folks off. They may not be serious about breeding, not study like they should, or keep up with the health issues about their breed. 

Better to search for personal breeder sites and ask breeders if they show in conformation. Showing is not elitist and is not a beauty

contest. Breeders who disregard this important element are often breeding indiscriminately and carelessly. 

Puppy Mills:

A puppy mill does not have to be huge (but many are) to be a puppy mill. These people offer many breeds and likely sell to pet stores. They breed for profit only and care nothing about the dogs. A person who breeds many breeds cannot possibly be taking the time necessary for continual education, socializing the puppies, and they most certainly do not exhibit their dogs. These places are only breeding for profit, and do not care if their charges have health problems or even if they resemble the breed. Many dogs from such places will have issues with house training, poor temperaments, and even crippling genetic defects such as luxating patellas. 

Remember – a person who loves his or her dogs will NEVER, EVER place them in a pet store to be sold. And if they don’t love them, why would they care if they are sound?

Backyard Breeders:

A backyard breeder is a person that has a couple of chis and decides to breed them perhaps for the fun of it or for the kids to see. The dogs are probably not breeding quality, the people know little about chihuahuas, and you will likely find their ad in the newspaper classifieds. Again, they usually know nothing about what is behind their dogs, whether they are sound, or if they even look like chihuahuas. While these folk are certainly not evil such as the puppy

millers and internet breeders, buying a puppy from BYB’s is not recommended.

Internet Breeders:

I have seen so many “internet breeders” promising a happy, well-adjusted pet with just the click of a button. The difference between the “Poor Quality” breeders above and the internet breeders is that the full intention of IB’s is to scam, while the PQB may love dogs but not know what they are doing. Internet breeders have photos of chihuahuas galore and for a reasonable price of only $1200!!! Or more!! It is sad, these sites have pathetic looking chis and some have hundreds! I have noticed some that even warn of puppy mills. Nice try. They ARE puppy mills.  

A reputable breeder won’t have dozens of puppies for sale at all times!

A reputable breeder does not have dozens of puppies available at all times. It would be impossible to properly care for, socialize, and evaluate dozens of puppies at a time. These are simply the internet version of puppy mills. Some reputable breeders may have but one or two litters a year – BUT they can and should refer you to another good breeder that does have puppies available. There are plenty

of good, ethical breeders out there! Please do not support these “internet breeders” as they are doing great harm to the world of purebred dogs.

Be careful of breeders who advertise show quality puppies! 

Be careful of breeders who advertise show quality puppies! A show prospect should be at least six months old. Unethical breeders might offer an 8 week-old pup as a show prospect. This is irresponsible and greedy – an eight-week-old pup can change

dramatically from eight weeks (or twelve) to six months and you will have paid a fortune for a pet! 

Educate yourself – go to dog shows and especially specialties 

know the difference between pet quality and show quality.

Mixed-breed producers:

The mixed-breed has become popular as a designer breed. Poos and puggles and on and on. This is sad. The animal shelters are full of mixed breed dogs and you won’t pay ridiculous prices. These are not breeds. They are mixes or mutts. It is irresponsible and dangerous to do this and those that continue to breed mixes are inconsiderate and simply out for profit. Don’t be a sucker. If you want to spend money on a dog- buy a purebred. Uneducated folks

throwing two breeds together are asking for trouble. All of our AKC recognized breeds were bred for a specific reason. For example, herding, hunting/retrieving, or simply companions. Many of

the breeds when crossed can produce horrible temperaments, deformed bites, and other health issues. The bottom line, it is stupid to buy a mixed breed dog.

Chi is a chi….six pound and under.

Run, if a breeder advertises teacup chihuahuas!

If a “breeder” advertises teacup chihuahuas – RUN! Why? Because there is no such thing as a teacup chihuahua. But the price the term commands is real enough!! A true breeder adheres to the written standard of the breed which states that a chihuahua is not to weigh over six pounds. That’s it. The word “teacup” was created by those less ethical and greedy to lure in prospective puppy buyers with very small dogs. Truth is, you can not breed for size. A very small chihuahua can occur in any litter and a large one can occur from two tiny parents. A very tiny chi that weighs less than three lbs. may not be healthy or may not live very long. 

A very rare teacup chihuahua? 

I know someone that saw a woman at a flea market carrying a puppy that appeared to be a terrier of some type. My friend approached the woman and asked her what kind of puppy she had. 

The woman replied, “a very rare teacup chihuahua”. Trying to keep a straight face, my friend asked politely, “how old is he? how much does he weigh?” The woman answered proudly,” three months and eight pounds”. There is a lesson or two to be learned here. Read and learn everything you can about your chosen breed before buying, and do not promote irresponsible breeders such as the one where that poor woman bought her puppy. 

For additional info regarding the term T-cup click here.

Please note: AKC is a registry and is in no way a guarantee of anything other than a purebred dog and registration form. “Papers” do not mean quality.

Pricing/Adoption fees:

You will find many variations in pricing for chihuahuas. There are internet sites as mentioned above that offer chis for outrageous prices. Many use gimmicks and false advertising. Most barely resemble a chihuahua! I can think of one in particular that states “For those who can afford the best”. This is simply a way to convince folks that her dogs are superior ONLY because they cost more. I’ve seen the dogs, most are not good representations of the breed.

People such as these do not have the breed’s best interest at heart and simply want the money. You also have the ads that advertise that celebrities own their dogs. Well, to put it bluntly, celebrities can be stupid too!

Be careful and ask questions. Be more intelligent and well-informed. There are always people ready to rip you off. Why not buy from a breeder with outrageous prices or the celebrity gimmick? Because money is the most important factor in their breeding practice and to make money breeding dogs you MUST be doing something wrong. Improper care, poor nutrition, filthy facilities, careless matings, the list goes on and on.

Some people ask me how much my chis are and when I tell them they say something along the lines of “I’m not wanting to spend that much”. That always baffles me because my adoption fees are VERY reasonable. I paid what I am asking now over ten years ago! These folks will likely go the newspaper classifieds route. And sadly, they will get what they pay for and then pay more in vet bills and/or have people ask them what kind of dog they have. Don’t go this route. You will be sorry in the end. Asking price for most reputable

breeders are not much more than your back-yard-breeder will ask and MUCH less than what the rip-off artists command.

Please, do your homework and find a responsible, ethical, show breeder. You will have years of love, lifetime support, and the pride of a beautiful, well-bred chihuahua!

Please help us protect purebred dogs, email this page to anyone

interested in buying a purebred! ANY BREED!

What You Should Know About Your Vet

You trust your veterinarian. But maybe you shouldn’t. Did you know that vets receive all of their nutritional training from pet food manufacturers? Vets are vital when it comes to surgery and drugs when necessary. But that is about it. Ever notice the display of Science Diet products at your vet’s office? Ask your vet about nutrition and he or she will without hesitation recommend a high quality or “premium” kibble. Kibble of all brands and types are slowly killing our dogs. 

Kibble is a convenience food and a very lucrative business. Unfortunately, it is garbage. Why is it that we humans believe we should eat fresh foods to be truly healthy yet don’t give a thought to our canine companion when we dish out that awful processed “food”? Sure, kibble is okay occasionally, kind of like fast food. But that is not what we are told. Rather we are taught to believe that processed dog food is the ONLY food our dogs should eat. Anything else will cause severe gastrointestinal issues and possibly death! Folks, nothing could be further from the truth. Dogs are carnivores and like any living creature, greatly benefit from REAL food! What an idea! Don’t feel bad, it has been ingrained in us since our childhood memories of Purina Puppy Chow commercials. We don’t go through several years of education or get paid to treat dogs – but vets do. And they are letting us down. The good news is that there are vets out there with brains. But they are few and far between.

If you truly love your dog, seek out a veterinarian who specializes in natural care. If you are a kibble-pushing veterinarian and are reading this, shame on you. Time to re-think your “kibble only” philosophy and do what is right. Granted, you will lose some financially, but didn’t you become a vet because you loved animals? A dog fed a varied diet consisting of raw meaty bones, organs, etc. won’t be sick all the time. You WILL see improvement in coat, dental health, vitality, and emotional health. 

So, I guess you do stand to lose money. But you can always make it up with all those unnecessary “booster” shots. You know, the ones that the AVMA stated are not necessary every year? The ones that have been proven to last the lifetime of any given dog? Hmmm…

Now, we do need vets. We do! But we need smart vets and vets who are not greedy. We need vets who will not push unnecessary vaccines and garbage kibble. Vets who are not in the pockets of pet food manufacturers. Think this all sounds a little far-fetched? It isn’t. Not at all. Go to my links page and peruse the various links on nutrition and vaccines.

Don’t do it for me – do it for your dog!