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Discussion Starter #1
I don't think "experienced" is exactly the word I'm looking for, but I'll go with it. Although I would love responses from anyone, "experienced" or not, I just threw that in there because I figured they might know a bit more about the breeding aspect. This is not a debate thread or anything similar! I promise.

Chip is a rescue chihuahua, but I think I would like my next chihuahua (I want another sometime in the next 18 months) to come from a breeder so that I know it's history, know the parents, etc. Because I have never purchased from a breeder, I don't know what I should expect, what questions I should ask, what I should be looking for in a puppy, etc. I have several questions that I'm hoping you all can answer!

1. What qualities should I be looking for in a breeder?
2. Does the amount of litters they have per year count as a factor? If so, what's a good amount (I know opinions vary)?
3. Am I allowed to ask to see the parents? Should I expect to see the parents?
4. Is health testing something I should look for? What about AKC?
5. Are pet quality usually cheaper?
6. Are certain colors more expensive than others? Will breeders be suspicious of me or less likely to sell to me if I say I only want certain colors? I really loves merles, blues, chocolates, and chocolate-tris, and don't really want to deviate from those colors. Would a breeder be willing to put me on a list for a color, or does that not happen?
7. Do breeders mind if you say you prefer a male? I would prefer to have two male dogs.
8. What sort of things would make a breeder not sell me a dog? If you do not have a fenced-in yard, will breeders say no? Chip's rescue said I was an exception to their fence-only rule, but I'm afraid by the time I can get a second chihuahua, I will be in an apartment and not a house.
9. How much should I expect to pay?
10. Will breeders still sell if I don't want to neuter before the puppy reaches sexual maturity?
11. Should I expect the puppy to come dewormed and with its first round of shots?
12. What things should I avoid or look forward to in contracts?
13. Can long-hairs and short-hairs be born in the same litter? Do long-haired puppies appear short-haired at first?

I would love some answers!
 

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I am not a breeder, but I did quite a bit of research when I was searching for a puppy so I can answer a few of your questions:

3. Am I allowed to ask to see the parents? Should I expect to see the parents?

Yes, it is normal to ask to see the parents and any reputable breeder should not have a problem with you seeing the parents and where they keep their dogs.

4. Is health testing something I should look for? What about AKC?
The AKC website can help you find breeders that have AKC registered dogs, and will also tell you if they health test their dogs.
Here is the link: American Kennel Club - Breeder Referral Search
They also have a page describing a responsible breeder:
American Kennel Club - Facts and Stats



7. Do breeders mind if you say you prefer a male? I would prefer to have two male dogs.
No, when I was looking for a second dog all of the breeders I contacted asked me what I was looking for specifically. Some might ask you what exactly you are looking for (color, gender, coat length, etc) and can notify you if and when they have something available.


11. Should I expect the puppy to come dewormed and with its first round of shots?

Yes.

13. Can long-hairs and short-hairs be born in the same litter? Do long-haired puppies appear short-haired at first?

Yes, they can be born in the same litter. I believe an experienced breeder can determine coat length at 3-4 weeks.. I am not completely sure about that though :)
 

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These are all strictly my opinion of course, and mine was a trial and error - these are more so the answers to the questions I wish i'd have asked.

1. What qualities should I be looking for in a breeder? You need to find someone interested in bettering the breed and keeping it healthy, rather than turning a buck. Just because they can produce a cute baby doesn't mean it's best for all parties
2. Does the amount of litters they have per year count as a factor? If so, what's a good amount (I know opinions vary)?
3. Am I allowed to ask to see the parents? Should I expect to see the parents? I would be leery of anyone not willing to show parents
4. Is health testing something I should look for? What about AKC? Some things come "guaranteed" depending breeder to breeder etc. Some will include knees, or eyes which I personally think it's a good sign. Godrics breeder just told me to take him, and if I have a problem take him to the vet....I was thinking "ummm....okkkkay?"
5. Are pet quality usually cheaper? I think that depends by the breeder as well. Most often I see "pets" cheaper than those for show, just in my "shopping"
6. Are certain colors more expensive than others? Will breeders be suspicious of me or less likely to sell to me if I say I only want certain colors? I really loves merles, blues, chocolates, and chocolate-tris, and don't really want to deviate from those colors. Would a breeder be willing to put me on a list for a color, or does that not happen? Every breeder is difference, but take this as a warning, those colors can be "dangerous" to get as it's a dilute color and if bred improperly can cause health problems. I'm in no way trying to discourage you from getting one (I have a blue myself) but be sure you find a reputable breeder.
7. Do breeders mind if you say you prefer a male? I would prefer to have two male dogs. I can't imagine they would, it's not like having a baby where you have no say-so. When we got our girl we were dead set on NO BOYS but when I saw Godric my heart melted and all my previous bias against boy dogs set to the wayside, he is my heart dog
8. What sort of things would make a breeder not sell me a dog? If you do not have a fenced-in yard, will breeders say no? Chip's rescue said I was an exception to their fence-only rule, but I'm afraid by the time I can get a second chihuahua, I will be in an apartment and not a house. A good breeder will want to know their offspring will be taken care of. I personally don't have a fenced in yard, I do have a fenced patio and we take plenty of walks - I wish I had a yard of course, but a smaller living space is ideal for a chihuahua given that they're given plenty of stimulation and exercise
9. How much should I expect to pay? All depends on your region. When I pull up the classifieds here I see chihuahuas anywhere from $50-$5000 and a lot of that has to do with bloodlines, etc. I will say that I paid under $200 for each of mine, neither to standard and neither from an actual "show breeder" my girl was an accident and the boy was the result of a breeder trying to turn a buck
10. Will breeders still sell if I don't want to neuter before the puppy reaches sexual maturity? That's tough and depends on the breeder. Many require you to in a binding contract, which i'm assuming is to prevent accidental breeding as to not thin out the line
11. Should I expect the puppy to come dewormed and with its first round of shots? I think it's fair to assume this, any reputable breeder putting that much care and effort into protecting the chihuahua line i'm sure has taken the necessary steps to getting you on your way.
12. What things should I avoid or look forward to in contracts?
13. Can long-hairs and short-hairs be born in the same litter? Do long-haired puppies appear short-haired at first? Yes, you can get both except under certain circumstances, I want to say something like LCLC only makes LC? Something to that effect anyway, I may be wrong also. And as far as being able to tell, usually you can, and certainly by time you'll be picking them up for sure.


I would love some answers!

Hope that helps, i'm not a breeder, but those as questions I wish i'd have had answers to before jumping headfirst into buying my first chi. Most of my knowledge has come strictly from this forum and the wonderful people here, hope others can be of more help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks you two...I've been doing some research but I don't exactly know where to start.

Another question I thought of...Chip is a bigger chihuahua, and I'd like my next one to be about the same size...preferably no smaller than 6 or 7 lbs., but 9-10 lbs. would be best. I know that this is larger than breed standard, so would I have to try and find a larger adult or are there some people who breed for larger chis?
 

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You can find some larger Chi's from reputable breeders who breed for breed standard ;-)
 

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I would not get a Merle at all. The Kennel clubs in many countries have done alot of research and decided no longer to register them as they carry genetic defects, as nice as the merle pattern may look, it can often come at the price eye and ear problems, the worst of wich being of deafness and blindness. This affects not only the homozygous merle coding but also the heterozygous merle coding - i.e. ALL MERLES ARE PRONE. It has also been established that the Merle colouring is not native to the chihuahua breed and was introduced in the last few decades from breeding in dachsunds and other breeds and falsifying registration, so essentially, whatever you pay for a merle chihuahua, you are essentially geting a mixed breed, and I don't think any good breder with ethical principles would breed Merles they are a detriment to the breed and are harmfull tothe gene pool, they can not be registered either, another reason why good breeders will not breed them.

As for dilute colours- blue and chocolate- any everthing on theses spectrums, including those termed silver, blue choc, lilac, blue fawn etc - these puppies can all get colour dilution allopacia- this means that when dilute colours are bred together, the pups can get abnormal hair follicles, and get baldness that is incurable, so that pretty or unusual coloured fur you picked/ paid for will not grow any way! Reputable breeders will never charge more for any colour, good breeders breed to try and better the breed and be as colseto the chihuahua standard as possible and have optimum health, the do not breed to acheive certain coloured dogs. There are no "rare colours", the only thing that seems rare in chihuahuas these days is good conformation to the breed standard, so if you want something rare and special look for that.

What Amandarose said about lc and sc is correct. Long coat is recessive so only LCLC homozygous genes make it. There are no medim coats, just long coat and short coats, In the USA they can be bred together so you can get litters with a mix in. When they are born you can not tell immediately if it will be a long or smooth coat, but by the time a puppy should go to its home ( minimum 12 weeks) it will be apparent which coat it has.

As for price, I am not in the US so I do not know what is normal, but good breeders that are not in it forthe money will not charge the earth. Most of the ones on classifieds that are thousands of dollars are not good pupppies and are usually that inflated price because people state that they are rare because of their colour/ size or bacause they are "teacup chihuahuas" - discount these adds immediately. They usually do not have good bloodlines and anre just byb or puppy farm dogs.

The classifieds are not the best place to look, if you contact the chihuahua club of your country or area they should be able to give you details of good breeders in your area who have litters. Or alternatively, pop down to a dog show near you and chat to some breeders, ask arround.

I'm sorry if I sounded harsh I just want ot be of some guidance. xx good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not harsh at all- I have slowly been learning about merles and had came to the same conclusion. I find them to be really adorable, but unless I find one through a rescue, I won't be purchasing one. At this point, I am considering throwing out the idea of buying one from a breeder altogether.

My current chihuahua is a chocolate, and I think I know what you mean about the alopecia- Chip's stomach and the inside of his legs are bare of fur. I do adore all the dilutes, but because of the possible alopecia I would, again, only adopt one through an adoption agency.

Thank you so much for your answer- it was very helpful. :)
 

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HollieC, I couldn't agree more on the merle and blue opinions. Way, way too many micropthalmic/deaf dogs out there, and not enough experienced dog owners willing to adopt them.
 

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Chip's stomach and the inside of his legs are bare of fur. I do adore all the dilutes, but because of the possible alopecia I would, again, only adopt one through an adoption agency.
That isn't alopecia, that's just chihuahua pattern baldness.

As my vet put it to me, if it's on the underside of the chihuahua, it's fine. If it's on top that is when you need to be concerned.

Both Gretel and Godric are baldies on their tummys and chests, especially during summer.

Just continue with your research and one will come your way. I rushed into both of mine and thank goodness they're both healthy and fine - but I do have to prepare for health concerns down the line, especially with Godric who already has shown me how sensitive his digestive system is, infinitely more so than Gretel. Whether that is to do with breeding or not who knows, but I know he drains my pocketbook every month for his spendy food and supplements.
 
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