Getting a Puppy From a Breeder?
There should be no shame if you decide to buy a full bred Chihuahua instead of a rescue. I know the arguments and I realize that there are dogs and cats everywhere that need homes.
Going to a rescue organization and shelters are to be commended. However, many may decide to bring a new puppy into their homes also. There is no reason to feel guilty. Humans have a long history of breeding dogs with love, ethics, and concern for the health and welfare of their dogs.
BUT, if this is what you decide, I beg you to be very careful, puppy mills are very aware of all the publicity and have gotten extremely clever about disguising themselves as being a “responsible breeder”. Puppy mills continue to exist as long as people keep buying from them. It can be very easy to get a puppy unknowingly from a puppy mill if you don’t know the right questions to ask.
I want to help you be certain that your hard earned cash goes to a breeder who has put his/her heart into producing healthy dogs that are representatives of the breed. I have a list of responsible breeders that I know do just that and they take their responsibility very seriously.
If you decide to look for a breeder on your own, here are 10 questions that you should ask before you buy.
- How many litters a year do you breed?
- Can you tell me all about this dog’s personality?
- May I see the puppies family?
- May I test this puppies temperament?
- May I have a copy of the puppies schedule and records?
- What kind of health guarantee do you offer?
- Is this puppy eligible for full or limited AKC registration?
- Will I receive a registration application when I buy?
- What dog clubs do you belong to and recommend?
- May I call or E-mail you for advice after we get home?
How Many Litters a Year Do You Breed?
The best breeders specialize in only one or two breeds and never breed more puppies than they have the time and capabilities to care for individually.
Can You Tell Me All About This Dog’s Personality?
Good breeders know all about their individual puppies and can tell you what position in the litter they were born. They can tell you how the puppy was socialized.
May I See the Puppies Family?
Never buy a puppy that the breeder can’t show you at least the mother or the Dam as they are called in the dog breeding world. The sire or the puppies father may not live with the family, but you should at least be able to see a picture. Hopefully, you can also meet an aunt or an older brother or sister from a previous litter. For this reason, always find a breeder near you or be willing and able to travel to the breeders home. Most responsible breeders won’t ship a dog. But, if they do, make sure you are able to travel there first to meet the breeder and the puppy first hand.
May I Test The Puppies Temperament?
If the puppy is a few weeks old the breeder should be willing to let you take the puppy away from the litter, maybe to another room to test its temperament. Do that by watching the puppy’s reaction to its surroundings. Are they curious or fearful? Try to coach the puppy to come to you. If they do it shows that they enjoy being in the company of humans and that they like you. Are they playful and energetic or do they appear to be lethargic?
May I Have a Copy of the Chihuahua’s Schedule and Records?
The breeder should be able to give you a copy of the puppies feeding schedule and health record. If they can’t give you a written schedule, make sure they can give it to you verbally. Be sure to write it down. When you get the puppy home never change their food or schedule suddenly. Your veterinarian will need to know the vaccinations the puppy has had and when so they can set up a schedule for you to continue the right vaccinations at the right age.
What Kind of Health Guarantee Do You Offer?
Most responsible breeders will offer some type of health guarantee and will insist that you take the puppy to your own veterinarian within a certain amount of time after you take them home.
Is This Puppy Eligible for Full or Limited AKC Registration?
You should receive a filled-out and signed registration application. There will also be a section for you to fill out. Send it along with the required fee as soon as you can. You will not own a registered puppy until you get the certificate in the mail. A full registration is for dogs intended for show. a limited registration is for puppies intended to be a pet only.
Will I Receive a Registration Application When I Buy?
It is possible that (though unlikely) that the breeder may not have the registration ready to go. In that case be careful. If you trust the breeder and decide to take the puppy anyway, be sure that they give you a bill of sale signed by the breeder. It should include the dog’s breed, date of birth, sex, color, and the registered names and AKC numbers of the sire and dam. It should also include the full name and address of the breeder.
What Dog Clubs Do You Belong to and Recommend?
Not all breeders, but most are members of the Chihuahua Club of America and perhaps a local all-breed dog club. But this is not a requirement. Don’t pass up a puppy that you have fallen in love with because the breeder is not a “joiner”.
May I Call or E-Mail You for Advice After We Get Home?
A good breeder will be questioning you too. A breeder that loves the breed and their dogs will do all they can to make sure that the puppies go to good homes. They also care about their health and well-being after they are adopted and will be more than happy to give you advice on the breed, their health, and training.
You can also get that here.
Do not be timid about asking these questions. A good breeder will expect you to ask questions and will ask you many questions too. A good breeder will make sure that you and your family have the time, circumstances and ability to make a good home for this puppy. They want to make sure that their puppies have good homes and happy lives.