How to Find a Good Breeder
I often get e-mails from people looking for help in finding a puppy because they have had bad experiences in the past with puppies or dogs that they have purchased as a pet, so I feel it is important to have a page with info to help you determine whether the breeder you are looking to get a Chihuahua from is a responsible breeder. While all puppies are cute, this will be a life that will be with you for the next 12 to 15 years or more, so their future genetic health and temperament is very important!
A Good Breeder will:
Health test all individuals used for breeding
Be familiar with the health problems associated with the breed
Actively compete in competitive events such as conformation dog shows
Offer a written sales agreement and health guarantee
Register all dogs and puppies with either the American or Canadian Kennel Club
Have some sort of pre-screening process for puppies/dogs sold (they care where their puppies end up)
All pet puppies are sold already spayed/neutered or are sold on a spay/neuter contract and limited/non-breeding registration
Offers after sales assistance and is always willing to take the puppy/dog back should you ever have to place that dog in the future
Some people decide to purchase a puppy from a pet store, however those puppies either come from puppy mills, or they come from breeders also known as "back-yard breeders." Any good breeder that cares about the puppies they bring into the world would not broker their puppies to a pet shop as they would not know where those puppies would end up. I hear of many puppies who were bought from pet shops end up having health problems later on due to poor breeding and lack of health screening done on the parents. Also, puppies from a pet store will usually cost you much more then a puppy from a reputable breeder! Most puppies in Canadian pet shops are also not registered with the Canadian Kennel Club.
Another option that people look into is checking their local newspaper for puppies that are for sale, however, their are good breeders and less then good breeders in the newspaper. Before purchasing, be sure to ask the above questions to determine if they are responsible or not. A large number of puppies in the newspaper come from the "backyard breeder" which basically means a breeder that may mean well, but they just don't have a lot of knowledge about the breed, genetic health problems, and most of the time those puppies are not registered, so their is no guarantee that they are purebred and getting a puppy is a gamble when it comes to health.
Many people end up surfing the internet for Chihuahua breeders, however, another good method is to contact the national breed club and ask for breeder referrals. In Canada, you can visit the Canadian Kennel Club at www.ckc.ca and click on CKC resources.
Also, should a reputable breeder not have something that you are looking for either now or in the near future, many are willing to refer you to a good breeder that might have something available or up-coming.
Hope this helps, and good luck finding your puppy!
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