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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
These are lighter, are these worth a look? Both are girls, 8 weeks old. They won't be able to come home for 2 more weeks. They are charting to be in the 5 1/2 to 6 pound range.
Puppy 1 This little girl is white with cream fawn spots, she has both eye and ear patches and has good spotting. She has a great coat. I can not tell if her nose is blue or black but she does carry chocolate from her sire and blue from her mother so will be able to produce every color




Puppy 2 She is cream/fawn. I believe she is irish marked with one eye/ear patch. She is very light so it is hard to tell. I also believe she is a merle. I can not tell if her nose is blue or black but she carries both chocolate and blue so will produce all colors


 

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You really take your chances with a puppy. Some turn out, some don't. Truly, ALLLLLL puppies are cute. :)

If it were me, I'd be looking at the parents first and the puppies second. What do the parents look like? Stacked photos? Any grandparents you can view? What about grown pups from earlier litters? Relatives? If you like the parents, you will likely be pleased with how your puppy turns out.

What about health testing? Are the parents lines clean of LP? Legg Perthes? PRA? Personally I'd want to see, at the very minimum, OFA hips and knees on a breeding/showing prospect. A CERF (for eyes) would be great to have as well.

Look at the pedigree. Is it a hodge podge of kennels? Is there some line breeding? How many dogs were shown? A champion 3 or 4 generations back doesn't mean much. I'd want to see a strong pedigree with some good strong dogs on both sire and dams side.

Look at the breeder. Do they show? Health test? Belong to any local clubs? Are they 'involved' in the dog world? Or are they off in their own little world just churning out puppies and calling them 'showable'.

Do they require a co-ownership? What questions are they asking YOU. A top notch show breeder isn't going to just hand over a nice quality show dog to anyone. You will be interrogated. References checked. You probably won't get a female. You may have limited registration until the breeder revokes it and gives you full ownership. There may be strings attached. Research the breeder as well.

Have you gotten a referral to a local show breeder? The internet can portray any kennel as 'repubable' and clever photographers can make any puppy look cute. I would start by contacting the CCA (chi club of america) and looking at their referrals in your area. Then maybe contact a local all breed club and get more referrals. Toy dog clubs can also help you out as they will all know each other. Don't go by pics on the computer. It's an easy way to get taken.

Find a breeder who is willing to mentor you. Someone who wants to help you out. That's really invaluable. Cultivate a relationship with this person. They may not have your puppy right now. But perhaps 6 months from now, something will come along. Don't be in a hurry.

Good luck. :)
 

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It's definitely hard to to pick a pup for show. I would definitely skip the second. You want to find a pup that has nice black pigment. And #2 looks to have light pigment. #1 is questionable in that department as well though looks better than #2. The build for #1 looks ok. Something looks off with her head though....could be the pic.

This is the pic I went to see Lulu on. I wasn't expecting much with her but I liked the look of her face in the pic (that's all I could really see LOL) so I thought it was worth a peek. If a pup sticks out at you for one reason or another...I'd go look. Granted it depends on how far away they are. Getting a pup from a pet breeder is tricky & so far I've lucked out with Lulu as she still looks good. She is from a pet breeder who gets the majority of her dogs from show breeders. She doesn't know the technicalities of show quality and as Kristi pointed out probably wouldn't know if she had a really nice show quality pup! She just knows the basics of the standard so it was actually quite stressful depending on myself to know what I was looking at since I am still learning myself!

I would definitely look at parents & grandparents. Possibly go take a peek at girl #1. Check her mouth & ask or look at the parents mouth as well. Dark pigment is really important though as it makes their features "pop" & just gives them a pretty/attractive look. #1 is definitely the best choice for a show pup out of these two but as Tracy said puppies change so much so it's hard to pick one to show not knowing if they'll mature out even if they're nice puppies.

Good luck in your search!! :)

Oh & the pic of Lulu that made me want to go see her:
 

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I don't know a thing about show dogs..but those pups are pretty darn cute...hard to resist getting both I'm sure :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It looks like the breeder shows in a limited way, but all her dogs are out of champion lines.
This is the dad, he's a champion out of a champion.

This is the mom, doesn't look as if she herself was shown


She also has this little girl, same dad, different mom





Mom for lastest pup

 

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Dad is pretty. Is he a merle? The latest pup looks nice but the fact she has a merle dad (or a dilute at least if he's blue) & dilute mum make me nervous. And again...the black pigment isn't there. Very cute girl though!
 

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I don't think any of the pups look show quality. The first's head lacks type, and looks at though it's bite is going to go incredibly undershot sooner than later, if it's not already. A bad bite WILL NOT SHOW for you. Judges won't look at the dog no matter how perfect it is, if it was a bad bite. She also has no neck, and her tailset is going to drop as she ages. She has a flat/terrier front which means she will move incorrectly for the breed, and point blank has an incorrect front assembly.

The second has a better tail set but also has no neck, and no pigment. IMO a merle is a no-go even if it's a hidden merle. Later, when you are looking for a boy, people won't let you breed to their males, some won't even talk to you. Immediate bad name. not to mention that breeding a merle is a complicated process in which you need to have a true understanding of genetics, the lines, and what to breed to and what not to breed to. Pups almost always go oversize, lack type, and are just very seldom seen to do well in the show ring. She also has too much hock. Her muzzle lacks a definitive stop, and her ear-set is high/incorrect.

The 3rd, smooth coat puppy, is a bad choice too...especially if you are thinking of breeding. Split-faced dogs have a higher incidence of puppies with problems like deafness in one ear, puppies born not fully developed, and you will NEVER get rid of the split face. If I ever chose to breed my Bryco I would be looking at the same problems, but, less so, because he has pigment on both sides of his face, where this puppy does NOT have pigment on her one side, around the eye, ear, etc. which means there is a higher chance of problems. She also lacks pigment -- unpigmented dogs don't do well in the ring.

You may have a tough time finding a decent girl to show to start. I got a great boy to show and finish the championship on, but still, the quality of girls available to me is lacking...I have a very tiny female that is also very pretty and showy, and a decent sized female that lacks head type. You may want to look for a boy, as they tend to be more readily available.
 

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Forgot to say -- both bitches will likely go oversize, too...at most you want them charting at 5 lbs, and even then, chances are very good that they will go oversize. IMO I do NOT agree with even breeding an over-size bitch. Puppies inherit 50% of their genes from their momma. So, IMO, you are playing roulette with size when you breed an over-sized bitch.
 

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You really take your chances with a puppy. Some turn out, some don't. Truly, ALLLLLL puppies are cute. :)

What about health testing? Are the parents lines clean of LP? Legg Perthes? PRA? Personally I'd want to see, at the very minimum, OFA hips and knees on a breeding/showing prospect. A CERF (for eyes) would be great to have as well.
Tracy the only health tests recommended for Chihuahuas are CERF (eyes), OFA Patellas and OFA cardiac. Generally chihuahuas do not have hip problems, legg calve perthes or PRA, so, the testing is not recommended or required for them.

EDITED TO ADD: just realized CERF covers PRA testing :)
 

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Tracy the only health tests recommended for Chihuahuas are CERF (eyes), OFA Patellas and OFA cardiac. Generally chihuahuas do not have hip problems, legg calve perthes or PRA, so, the testing is not recommended or required for them.
Dang, is that right?! Thanks for pointing that out Kristi. I know personally of two chi's with PRA and our eye specialist said he's seeing more and more PRA in chi's. I know of at least two other chi's with Legg Perthes as well. Perhaps they were just the luck of the draw. I haven't heard of cardiac problems within our breed, have you? I know cavaliers have terrible mitral valve problems and I agree with their recommendations. I guess it just comes down to TRUSTING your breeder to know her lines and what's behind them and to be TRUTHFUL in her ethics. That's a tall order. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much Kristi. It seems right now there is no show boys out there. Only these four girls. I'll keep looking. But I really love the look of the first little girl I posted, the chocolate tri. Maybe not to show, but she sure is cute. lol
 

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I will always give my honest opinion -- the YOUNGER a puppy is, the harder you have to be on it. Because there are more things that can go wrong. I got REALLY lucky with Bryco...it doesn't often happen like that. But, lol, if you find a good one I will for sure let you know! The merle thing sucks -- it shouldn't be such a problem or prejudice, but, it is, and it's there. Bryco's breeder has a merle line and a merle free line and I even ran into problems just because of that, he is merle free, but he COMES from a breeder that breeds merles, and a few people wrote me off because of that!

Every dog is going to have its faults but you want dogs that also have something that really stands out, grabs at you, and everyone else too. You will be like me in that you will be a no-one and showing against at least some some-one's, and so your dog really does need to be nicer, and of course, better trained, cleaner, etc. Its a lot of fun but a lot of work too.

I know Birdie's breeder has some nice boys right now, they are young though, I think 10-11 weeks...she's in Texas. There are a couple good breeders down there, but, it depends on your budget and if you are willing to have a pup shipped. Are you only looking local?
 

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Dang, is that right?! Thanks for pointing that out Kristi. I know personally of two chi's with PRA and our eye specialist said he's seeing more and more PRA in chi's. I know of at least two other chi's with Legg Perthes as well. Perhaps they were just the luck of the draw. I haven't heard of cardiac problems within our breed, have you? I know cavaliers have terrible mitral valve problems and I agree with their recommendations. I guess it just comes down to TRUSTING your breeder to know her lines and what's behind them and to be TRUTHFUL in her ethics. That's a tall order. :)
The CERF test includes screening for PRA. Any eye abnormalities are noted/indicated. They dilate the eyes and look in them with several different instruments in a dark room. Just checked/realized that.

Cardiac problems are huge in a few show lines -- they based the required CHIC testing on problems known in show lines. Which makes sense, as most people will be getting their breeding stock from those lines. It's estimated that for every AKC chihuahua breeder out there that is also showing, there are 3 affected dogs per breeding program with luxating patellas, that are IN the programs. Some breeders had much higher incidences. Patellas are a polygenic threshold trait -- I am guessing as a nurse you know what that means, but it basically means all dogs carry some number of the genes necessary to produce the problem, some more than others. If 10 is the magic number required for a puppy to express the problem, and a dam had "4" and the sire had "8", well, there ya go..puppies with LP from two 0,0 parents. Some breeding pairs are incapable of reproducing the problem in an expressed state, but their puppies will inherit a higher number of the gene than their parents and be more likely themselves to reproduce it even if they themselves are basically incapable of expressing it. It's a really sucky thing to deal with, and some 0,0 dogs will throw bad patellas every time because their number is so high. So more than just knowing an individual dog's score, knowing the family history is important too. A dog with the fewest affected relatives likely will be the least likely to reproduce the problem. But the key is knowing about the relatives, and that's hard when many breeders are secretive about it.


Following that, heart murmurs and other cardiac abnormalities followed a close 2nd. CERF testing was implemented because believe it or not there are more problems w/ eyes than you'd think or ever know about, including PRA, cataracts, etc. Even "floaties" in the eye can cause a failed test score (eye boogars), tipped tear ducts, etc are all noted. Bryco and Leah have had the test and both passed, TBH I was shocked Bryco passed lol. The test is only valid for 1 year, and must be repeated annually. So it's a continual screening process.

Legg calve perthes is incredibly uncommon in chihuahuas--the only incidences I know of come from the Misty Meadows European line's dogs that are here. Hips are generally sound. Still, if I had a sire I intended to stud out, or use extensively in my program, I'd shell out the extra $500 for those tests, for my own peace of mind.
 

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I don't know anything about showing/breeding etc., so I cannot give you my opinions on what I think about them in regards to that. But, I do think they are all SUPER cute. I especially love the SC. I just love that patch on her eye! :) If the three of these are not good show quality, maybe you can get one to just have and not show, because they're just so cuuuuuuuuuuute! :) It'd be hard for me to pass all three of them up!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kristi, you really know your stuff! I used to breed Persians so I knew a lot about them, but haven't even started looking at the necessities for chis. Just saw that first dog and thought about showing. I've been thinking about showing off and on for about a year now, she just brought it back up to my mind. I'll keep an eye out for dogs around here for now. Money's not tight but I'm not rolling in it either. If I can't find one around here, I let you know.
 

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Showing adds up too but is def cheaper w/ a better dog :) take your time and keep asking and you will find something :) I definitely recommend reading the illustrated standard on the Chihuahua Club of America's website...it will help you know what to look for, for sure. There are some faults that don't seem to matter too much -- I finished Bryco pretty quickly with a tight/curled tail. I thought it would make it so I couldn't finish him, but it didn't seem to hurt him at all...but things like a bad bite, a flat front, funky movement...all will repeatedly kick you in the butt. It gets harder to find a dog the more you know, but you can also be happier with your choices. Every dog has merits, but do they have ENOUGH merits to be a show dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Southern CA Chi club is having a Fun Match next month that I'm going to go to just to see what goes on at a show and maybe meet people. I would love to bring a dog with me just to walk around with, but I have no dogs that are anywhere near the standard and won't get me laughed out of there. lol
 

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The Southern CA Chi club is having a Fun Match next month that I'm going to go to just to see what goes on at a show and maybe meet people. I would love to bring a dog with me just to walk around with, but I have no dogs that are anywhere near the standard and won't get me laughed out of there. lol
That's not true -- just say you do chi rescue and are interested in showing if anyone asks. But, technically unentered dogs aren't allowed on the show grounds...doesn't mean people don't do it, but the technicality is there.
 
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