Questions to ask to find a quality puppy from a Trustworthy breeder. Finding the right puppy takes time. Do your research!
1. Do you health test your Chihuahuas? RIGHT answer- You are looking for OFA paperwork on the PARENTS. NOT just a vet check up. Vet checks mean NOTHING/NADA more than a quick exam looking for obvious problems. Most genetic issues are only detected with proper testing. Ask to see the OFA patellas, heart and eyes. Do not take anyone's word. " I know my lines" is also not acceptable.
2. Where do your Chihuahuas live during the day and night? ASK to see their indoor and outdoor facilities. walk away if you are told no. RIGHT answer- All quality breeders keep their dogs inside with time outside to get sunshine and play. ALL dogs should be housed inside with temperature controlled environments with LOTS of human interaction.
3. Do you offer a health guarantee? RIGHT answer- You are looking for at LEAST a one month initially for diseases but TWO YEARS for genetic/congenital issues.
4. May we visit you? RIGHT answer- Most quality breeders breed their puppies from their personal home which means it's not like a store. Your breeder may only want serious buyers in their home but you should be able to FaceTime or Zoom live. Never send money to anyone until you see a puppy live or at least on Zoom/FaceTime. Do not be offended if you cannot visit while the puppies are young (under 8 weeks old). Dog diseases are carried on people and their clothing and until the puppies are vaccinated, breeders are very cautious.
5. Are your dogs AKC registered? May I get an AKC number for my puppy? RIGHT answer whether you WANT the papers or not is YES they could be. Please ask to see the parents AKC paperwork before purchasing the puppy. Even pet puppies on spay or neuter contracts will give you AKC paperwork for your puppy after proof of spaying or neutering. Walk away from people who are not willing to give you at least AKC limited registration papers after proof of spay or neuter. Many breeders like us require proof of spay or neuter before paperwork is issued. CKC and other registering "organizations" are for puppy mills and backyard breeders. If the parents are not AKC, back away slowly and politely. WHY AKC? AKC has a strong reputation in the USA for qualtiy registrations and field reps who visit breeders and expect quality care and proper measures in place.
6. What do you feed your adults? Any good quality food or feeding raw is acceptable. Grocery store or big box store food is usually lacking. A 20lb bag of food should cost at least $30 if it's quality. What do you feed your puppies? High quality puppy food for the first year is acceptable. We happen to like Royal Canin Chihuahua food.
7. How do you socialize your puppies? Using Puppy Culture method is best in our opinion. If they do not use Puppy Culture, at least find out if they clip toenails regularly, interact with the family, are exposed to different sights and sounds and have ample opportunity for play and use of toys and chewies. Usually, the breeder has enough on his or her plate that a 10-12 week old puppy is not leash trained or potty trained yet. Good breeders will at least start the potty/pad training and give you good advice.
8. What are your requirements for a home for one of your puppies? You should expect a rigorous questionnaire and phone call from a breeder. YOU should also ask many questions in return.
9. Do you show or are involved in the breed other than breeding? Do you rescue Chihuahuas? RIGHT answer is YES. Here at Impeccable Chihuahuas, we try to rescue at least one Chi at a time to rehabilitate and occasionally show in conformation when we have a great contender. We are members of the International Chihuahua Club as well.
10. How do you select where your puppies go? RIGHT answer- Trustworthy and quality breeders ask MANY questions to find the right homes. Quality breeders don't just sell to anyone and certainly not to puppy shops or pet shops. Expect to pay for quality and support from your breeder. MOST quality breeders will not sell to anyone with full breeding (full AKC rights).