Chihuahua Breeding article I wrote
I write articles for The Chihuahua Connection magazine.
The Joys And Heartbreaks of Breeding
The ever popular Chihuahua has recently become a fashion statement and even at times an “accessory.” Unscrupulous and greedy people are cashing in by breeding as many pups as possible as fast as they can breed them. What will happen when the fad dies and the pups are dumped for the next craze? Our shelters and rescues will be filled with frightened pups shivering in wire pens and crates. What will happen to all the Chihuahuas in puppy mills when there ceases to be the demand? Even well meaning breeders may not realize that their pups often are sold to other breeders who want to grab a piece of the action at the cost of the dogs.
The problems created by over breeding is gut-wrenching. The Chihuahua, the smallest and most vulnerable of dogs is a prime target for abuse and neglect. There will be more and more born with congenital defects, which in turn makes them more disposable.
A responsible breeder knows the breed well and will breed to produce better dogs. They will never breed every heat cycle to produce quantity while neglecting the health of the bitch. They will breed to produce only healthy and defect free dogs. They will sell only to those who have been screened and who agree to return the pup if ever it is unwanted. They will never sell wholesale to pet stores.
Many people do not want a show dog, and they deserve to get a healthy, happy pet. The breeder described above is more likely to produce such a pet. If you are looking for a Chihuahua puppy, it is well worth your while to do your research. Visit the breeder and ask a lot of questions. See for yourself how the dogs are treated and socialized. My Chihuahuas love company and will share “their” couch with anyone who visits.
When prospective buyers talk to me about my pups and my prices, some say, “Oh, I can find a pup for ½ of your price.” I tell them. “yes, you sure can, but you do get what you pay for.” My dogs get only the best of veterinary care. They have the best food money can buy. I have beautiful whelping boxes, outside yards with carpeted sunning decks, soft fake fur blankets, central air conditioning in the summer; heat on 72 at all times in the winter. I love my dogs as much as if they were my children. They give unconditional love to me and they trust me to always have their best interest at heart. I cannot let them down. There is no expense too great in the care of my dogs.
If you choose to breed your Chihuahua, please do your homework and be prepared for the heartbreak that goes hand in hand with it. Are you prepared for that tiny premature puppy that is too small and weak to nurse? Do you have the supplies on hand to face what might happen? Do you have the knowledge and skills to tube feed a 2 oz. pup every 2 hours around the clock until it can nurse or until it dies in your hands from a bowel obstruction or pneumonia?
We just had the cutest little pup that did just that. She lived 2 weeks and was doing so well and she was loved beyond words. She had been for 3 vet visits and checked out fine each time. Through no fault of ours, her bowel telescoped and our vet could not help her because of her tiny size. We held her and cried until she gasped her last breath. Are you prepared to have your heart torn out of your chest from the grief. and helplessness? Are you prepared for how you will be beat yourself up for all the “what ifs” that will haunt you?”
A very tiny pup that I delivered 13 years ago at 1.75 oz., could not nurse so I dropper fed her and took her to the vet in the morning. He felt she would nurse as she got stronger so I kept dropper feeding and trying to attach her to a nipple. When she was 6 oz. my vet found a cleft palate and advised that we put her down. I said, “No Way!” I had set my alarm and fed her every 2 hours and she had gone on my private duty job with me every day. She was a part of me. When she was big enough, 14 oz. I took her to Angell’s Memorial Hospital in Boston MA. for surgery. They closed the hard palate, but the soft palate failed. They suggested putting her down and I would have none of it. A month later she had a second surgery on the soft palate and it also failed. I had to work 70 hours a week to pay off the $2500.00 vet bills. You might say, “Why even try to save a defective pup?” My heart told me to do all I could possibly do. I loved that dog as deeply as she needed me. Peanut lived 7 ½ years and enjoyed life to the maximum. She tipped the scales at 2 pounds and yet, she was the boss of my other dogs. I still miss her. She taught me to find the value in every living creature. She taught me unconditional love and she taught me to pray on my face before God. Would I do it again? Most likely. So much love and so much heart break all rolled in together. I would never breed a defective dog, but if I got a defective pup, my heart tells me I would save it and love it for as long as it lived and enjoyed life.
Some breeders sell pups only with spay/neuter contracts because they say they want to improve the breed. If someone hadn’t been willing to sell my girls to me and mentor me, I wouldn’t have my wonderful Chihuahua family. And those breeders with their limited contracts wouldn’t be in business if someone had not helped them get started. Educating others and screening your pup’s new owners is key to preventing the problems I spoke about earlier. I do not show my dogs even though I have some gorgeous girls. My time is better spent on the couch surrounded by my sweet babies.
If you are ever in Sidney, Maine, please give us a call and come see the YankeeBelle Chihuahuas. It is well worth your time. We love company and you will leave as a friend.
Mom to Chi girls:
Peaches, Foxy, Meggie, Goldie, Grace, Skyla, Hope, Sidney, Tulla, Emma and Bella.
AND 2 boys:
Tigger and Maximillion