Take the time to research a breeder: With today's technology and the internet it makes it very easy for puppy mills and unethical breeders to sell their puppies. They are able to create an untrue image of their home or facility through their website. Many times the pictures used are stolen off other breeder's websites. I read over and over again how someone bought a puppy online only to find out that the seller misrepresented where the puppy came from. Breeders DO NOT sell their puppies to pet stores or brokers to sell unless they are a puppy mill. However brokers and pet stores tell you that they have hand selected their breeders that they purchase their puppies from when in fact they come from mills. Even if that site or store front has good reviews do not be fooled. Anyone can go on and write a really nice review and it is a common practice for store owners to fill the reviews with positive ones. Another selling practice is to state the puppy has papers and is "registered and has a champion in background". This still does not mean that they did not come from a puppy mill just means that the puppy mill managed to buy a dog from someone not screening their buyers that at some point had a champion. Don't be fooled by the price either. There is a company that is constantly changing names on the internet and they post beautiful pictures of puppies that are most definitely altered. The price is high for these puppies however research has shown that they are being shipped from mills in other countries and buyers have no idea. Most of the dogs were very sick and in no way looked like the puppy they thought they were getting. Even if the seller offers a health guarantee that does not guarantee they will honor it. My goal in writing this is not to scare anyone away from buying a puppy but to encourage you to do your homework and research before you make a life long purchase.
Listed below are some things to consider when selecting a breeder:
Has the breeder done the recommended health testing recommended by the parent club?
Is the breeder aware of the genetic health concerns within the breed?
Be cautious of breeders that have puppies available all the time or have several breed types.
Are they knowledgeable about the breed and the potential health concerns that are inherent to a specific breed?
Do they offer a resource of information on training and care for your new puppy?
Are age appropriate vaccines and wormings done?
Can they provide references?
Are they willing to let you into their home to see how their dogs and puppies are cared for?
Are their dogs registered with American Kennel Club?
Vaccinations: Vaccinations for puppies are spread over three sessions. The first occurs at 7-9 weeks, the second is generally recommended to be given at 10-12 weeks and the third at around 13-15 weeks of age. Some vets will recommend only two sets of vaccines depending on the age of the last vaccine. Please be aware that your puppy is not fully immunized until all three vaccinations have been given. We provide the first vaccinations (canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, respiratory disease caused by canine adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza and parvovirus infections) for our puppies. I encourage the puppy owners to have subsequent vaccinations given by a licensed Veterinarian on a schedule they recommend.
Even though all puppies need to be socialized at an early age, it is best to avoid taking your pet to the park, walks in the neighborhood, or around other unknown pets until it has been fully vaccinated and has a fully developed immune system (16 weeks of age). Until your new puppy has a full set of vaccinations, its immune system is not properly equipped to handle diseases. Your puppy could easily get worms, parvovirus, or Coccidia from contaminated feces or ground. I have made every effort to insure that your puppy will not be exposed to any disease. Unfortunately, these diseases can live in stray animal feces and on the ground for many days, even years and can be easily transmitted to a puppy.
Deposits: If you are interested in a puppy that we have, you may put a deposit of $500 down to hold it for you. Deposits are non-refundable and show true intentions of purchase. Once you have notified us that you want the puppy I will place the puppy on hold for 72 hours until the deposit is received. Balance is to be paid by postal money order or cash. No checks accepted.
Health Guarantee: The breeder guarantees the puppy to be free of any life threatening hereditary defects until the puppy reaches the age of 1 year old. The breeder also guarantees the puppy against the following infections for a period of 14 days: parvovirus, distemper and rabies. All puppies are sold with a health certificate signed by our Veterinarian documenting the soundness of the puppy. At time of health certificate a stool sample is checked to confirm puppy is free of parasites. Please request a copy of our contract which explains in detail our entire health guarantee.
Price of a puppy: Our pet puppy price range is $3,000 to $4,000 which is determined by several factors. When we breed a litter it is with the goal of producing our next show puppy. This is always done with careful consideration as to which stud dog to use to compliment the female and produce a litter that meets the standard set by AKC and produces a puppy with the look, temperament, and health that we strive to produce . The costs that are incurred are the expenses to train, handle and finish a chihuahua which can average $3,000 - $5,000 per dog, plus the costs to health test, stud dog fees and travel for each litter and then the actual litter costs. A majority of our chihuahuas are born via c-section which can range from $1,200 during office hours to $4,000 after hours. The stud fees when selecting a male range from $500 to $1,000 plus the travel expense. Then you have the many hours it takes to care for a new litter. Many litters have puppies a tiny one that requires round the clock tube feeding. Once the puppies are 8 weeks old they are taken to our local vet for health checks, health certificates and their first vaccines. All of this adds up and many litters only have 2-3 puppies if we are lucky. I have had many c-sections for only one puppy. I spend everything I make on my litters on my dogs! So you ask why we choose to breed chihuahuas and the answer is for the love of the breed! There is nothing more rewarding then getting updates and photos from families that are raving about how much they love their pet. Several years back I was contacted by someone looking to buy a puppy and at that time I did not have anything available. She found a puppy from a person who was selling them for $500 each and she purchased one but the puppy ended up being very sick. She reached out to me after spending close to $1,000 on vet bills trying to save this puppy that was clearly not doing well. The breeder of the puppy would not return any of her calls and the puppy ended up passing shortly after I had made arrangements for the puppy to be transported to the Mia Foundation for special care. I am not saying that you can't get a health puppy for less but make sure you research the person you are getting the puppy from.
Chihuahua Breed Standard: A graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy expression, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Size, Proportion, Substance Weight – A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds.
Proportion – The body is off-square; hence, slightly longer when measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, than height at the withers. Somewhat shorter bodies are preferred in males.
Disqualification – Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Head - A well rounded "apple dome" skull, with or without molera. Expression – Saucy.
Eyes - Full, round, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. Light eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible. Blue eyes or a difference in the color of the iris in the two eyes, or two different colors within one iris should be considered a serious fault.
Ears – Large, erect type ears, held more upright when alert, but flaring to the sides at a 45 degree angle when in repose, giving breadth between the ears.
Stop – Well defined. When viewed in profile, it forms a near 90 degree angle where muzzle joins skull.
Muzzle – Moderately short, slightly pointed.
Cheeks and jaws lean.
Nose – Self-colored in blond types, or black. In moles, blues, and chocolates, they are self-colored. In blond types, pink noses permissible.
Bite – Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault. A missing tooth or two is permissible.
Disqualifications – Broken down or cropped ears.
Neck, Topline, Body Neck – Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders.
Topline – Level. Body – Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much "barrel-shaped").
Tail – Moderately long, carried sickle either up or out, or in a loop over the back with tip just touching the back. (Never tucked between legs.)
Disqualifications – Docked tail, bobtail.
Forequarters Shoulders – Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that set well under, giving free movement at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and soundness, sloping into a level back (never down or low). This gives a well developed chest and strength of forequarters.
Feet – A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Dewclaws may be removed.
Pasterns – Strong, hindquarters, muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy.
Angulation – Should equal that of forequarters. The feet are as in front. Dewclaws may be removed.
Coat In the Smooth Coats, the coat should be of soft texture, close and glossy. (Heavier coats with undercoats permissible.) Coat placed well over body with ruff on neck preferred, and more scanty on head and ears. Hair on tail preferred furry. In Long Coats, the coat should be of a soft texture, either flat or slightly wavy, with undercoat preferred.
Ears – Fringed.
Tail – Full and long (as a plume).
Feathering on feet and legs, pants on hind legs and large ruff on the neck desired and preferred. (The Chihuahua should be groomed only to create a neat appearance.)
Disqualification – In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Color Any color - Solid, marked or splashed.
Gait The Chihuahua should move swiftly with a firm, sturdy action, with good reach in front equal to the drive from the rear. From the rear, the hocks remain parallel to each other, and the foot fall of the rear legs follows directly behind that of the forelegs. The legs, both front and rear, will tend to converge slightly toward a central line of gravity as speed increases. The side view shows good, strong drive in the rear and plenty of reach in the front, with head carried high. The topline should remain firm and the backline level as the dog moves.
Temperament Alert, projecting the ‘terrier-like’ attitudes of self importance, confidence, self-reliance.
Disqualifications Any dog over 6 pounds in weight. Broken down or cropped ears. Docked tail, bobtail. In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Approved August 12, 2008
Effective October 1, 2008
Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycemia: Toy breeds have such a small fat reserve around their liver which can cause them to have low blood sugar. This symptom can occur at any time. Symptoms: Sudden lethargy, lack of coordination (stumbling, falling, staggering), followed by seizures, coma and death if not treated immediately. Although you should always consult your veterinarian for the proper treatment of your Chihuahua, you can use (i.e. Nutri-Cal, Nutri-Stat, Vitacal, Karo Syrup, honey, sugar water) to boost the blood sugar level if warning signs start or have caught you off guard. The Nutri-Cal supplement is essential for any pet owner's medicine chest. It is specially formulated to give your pet the nutrition it needs and fast. It has been known to bring a puppy suffering from low blood sugar immediately out of the beginning stages of a coma. It also has high potency vitamins, minerals, fats, and carbohydrates which your puppy needs. Because it is high in vitamin B, Nutri-Cal can actually stimulate your pet to start eating right again. When taking your tiny puppy home, especially those weighing less than a pound and a half ask your breeder for a tube of Nutri-Cal. It can very easily save his life. It costs less than $5.00, much less than an emergency trip to the vet. Nutri-Cal is especially beneficial for pets that are stressed due to a change in environment, a new home, shipping or recovering from an illness or injury. It is also specially formulated to be gentle on sensitive digestive tracts. For very severe cases of low blood sugar, your veterinarian may need to give your puppy an IV of a sugar solution. Always when in doubt call your VETERINARIAN
Teacup Chihuahuas: I seem to receive many emails asking for “teacup Chihuahuas”. There really is no such thing as a tea-cup Chihuahua. The word tea-cup has been used for years as a selling tactic by people to make their dogs sound more rare, or better then another person's so they can ask outrageously high prices for them. In reality these puppies are not tiny and will grow to larger sizes. Some people have become very good at this, making themselves sound reputable, and their dogs very desirable. The average Chihuahua breeder gets small Chihuahuas, so in reality, they are rather common, but the reputable breeders advertise them as "small" and not using some bogus term such as "Teacup". The tiny Chihuahuas definitely require more care from birth to keep them growing strong and healthy. The term “survival of the fittest” comes into play and many times these tiny Chihuahuas require additional supplements from the breeder. The Chihuahua standard itself lists 2 to 6lbs as being the recognized weight for a Chihuahua, so anything in that weight range is fairly common. Any breeder that advertises and promotes their dogs as being "teacups" is not the right breeder to purchase a dog from because they have the wrong motives. Please take great caution when buying a tiny Chihuahua from a breeder that advertises “teacups” to make sure they are reputable and the puppy is healthy. You should always receive a health certificate from the breeders vet upon purchase (it is the law in Florida) and make sure that when you take the puppy in for your vet check upon purchase that there is a refund policy of the puppy is found to be unhealthy. There are only two recognized varieties of the Chihuahua, which are the Long Coat and Short Coat Chihuahua. There is no such thing as Toy, Miniature, or Standard Chihuahuas. The terms Toy, Miniature and Standard are the sizes of Poodles, not Chihuahuas!!
Soft Spot or Fontanel: There is an opening in the skull of a Chihuahua, a hole, a molera. This opening is in the center of the Chihuahua's forehead. The molera can be very tiny to very large. The edges of the molera can be round and smooth or even jagged. The molera was once considered to be a "mark of being purebred." However, there are many Chihuahuas that have been well bred and they have little or no molera! There is only one molera on a Chihuahua because if there is more than one molera this isn't normal. The Chihuahua's molera or fontanel, is considered a breed characteristic and not a defect. Most Chihuahuas have a molera- a soft spot on the top of their head which is similar to the soft spot that human babies are born with. Most moleras in Chihuahuas do shrink as they mature but it doesn't always close completely. It can be between a nickel and dime size but the molera can vary in shape and size. The molera shouldn't be any larger than the size of your thumb print, and there shouldn't be any swelling, bulging or throbbing. The molera isn't going to be a problem as long as you are gentle when petting and handling your Chihuahua's head. It is very unfortunate, that there are many lay people and some Veterinarians that are not familiar with the Chihuahua breed and they have tried to link the very presence of a molera with condition known as hydrocephalus ~ "water head" or water on the brain. There is also a term of open fontanel. (Open fontanels allow the skull to give during the birth to some degree so the puppy can pass through the birth canal. Generally this opening quickly closes up and calcifies to make a strong skull.) This has caused many people who aren't familiar with the Chihuahua breed and the molera, serious concern and undo worry. The truth is that a domed head with a molera present doesn't predispose the Chihuahua to this condition.
Recommended dog food: We are currently feeding our puppies Royal Canin Small Puppy and our adults Royal Canin Small Adult.