How not to buy a chihuahua puppy
Once you have made the decision to buy a chihuahua puppy, the next step is to decide where you are going to get your puppy from. The options are numerous and sometimes confusing. Most people turn their attention online and start their puppy search with the phrase ‘chihuahua puppies for sale’. But how do you know the results that come up aren’t a puppy farm (mill in the US) or an unscrupulous back-street breeder.
Chihuahua puppies can command a high price tag and are a target breed for the unscrupulous breeders. They often come across as very plausible, some have very slick boutique websites, often charging thousands for unspecified dogs. By buying a puppy-farm chihuahua you are accidentally furthering the suffering of breeding bitches.
Here are 10 Tips to Help you Spot a Puppy-Farm Chihuahua
You purchase your puppy through the website without seeing it
You should never be expected to pay for your puppy until you have seen it. Even a reserve deposit. The chances are you will not receive the puppy you think you have ‘purchased’, just the nearest one that fits the look of the puppy in the photo. This is a clear indicator that the site is a front for a farm and your chi will be a puppy-farm chihuahua.
The breeder is out of town
Puppy farms are less likely to be situated in a built-up area as the noise and odour is likely to attract attention.
You are taken to a ‘Viewing area’
One website we looked at made a point of telling you how you could bond with your puppy in a customer viewing area. But you should always be able to meet the parents of your chihuahua puppy. If they can’t show you the parents and where the puppy is kept then don’t buy the puppy. This can be easier said than done when you have a tiny cute puppy in your hands. The breeders know this and put you under pressure with sales talk. Red flag puppy-farm chihuahua.
The breeder is a regular advertiser
Anyone who has multiple litters for sale all year round is less likely to be a hobby breeder or a registered breeder. You may also find they have a large selection of different dog breeds for sale at the same time. Look through other breed listings to see if their name comes up again.
Not vaccinated, wormed, micro-chipped or insured.
It is all about profit so the puppies will not have had their shots or likely to be micro-chipped. The breeder should microchip the puppies and then transfer the details to your address. Some breeders insure your puppy free of charge for a short time period. It is now law in the UK for all dogs to be micro-chipped.
They don’t ask you any details about yourself.
A responsible breeder should care where the puppies are going and should ask you a lot of questions before agreeing to sell you a chihuahua puppy. I have a friend who will simply refuse to sell a puppy if she is unsure of the buyer.
No contract in place.
Again, a responsible breeder may ask you to sign a contract to stipulate the conditions of sale and most importantly that compels buyers to return the puppy if they want to give it up, rather than surrender it to a shelter.
Happy to sell them below 8 weeks old
Selling the puppies before they are ready to leave their mum increases the profit, but is bad for the puppy. Recent changes to the UK law stipulate it is, or soon will be, illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks either to the end user or a third party like a pet shop.
Make outlandish claims about colour, size and temperament.
You cannot guarantee the colour of a chihuahua, they can and do change colour when their adult coat comes through. Minnie was blue as a puppy and is now fawn merle. With size, even if the parents of the puppy have been marketed as teacup or small, that does not mean the puppy is going to be small and temperament comes down to life experience and genetics.
Can’t give you the name of their vet.
It might seem an odd thing to do, asking for the name of their vet and we are not suggesting you interrogate the vet, but a responsible breeder won’t mind you asking and will have a local vet that can be looked up and a quick confirmation made.
Trust your instincts
As ever with these things a lot of this comes down to common sense and intuition. If it looks like a fish, smells like a fish, then it’s a fish.
If you come across a farm or bad breeder it might be tempting to buy the dog anyway to rescue him. This is understandable but sadly creates a continuous market. You could also be buying a host of health issues and vet bills as these puppies will be in poor health and inbred. Report them to the local authorities if you are worried.
Changes to UK law
In the UK, the law has been tightened on breeders and sellers and if they have more than 3 litters for sale a year then they must be registered with the local authority and will be inspected. Ask to see their registration papers.
You can find out more about the new laws from the .Gov website.
Is a chihuahua the right dog for you. 7 Myths about Owning a Chihuahua Busted
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