Our Breeding Philosophy
Every breeder does things differently. Be sure to ask about the parents, why the choice was made to breed those two dogs together, the different temperaments in the litter, and why the breeder might think that the particular puppy might meet the needs of your family. Ask the breeder why they breed Chihuahuas and what their goals are for their program.
I cannot explain to you nor will I critique another breeder’s program. I can only tell you what is true about MY program.
In short, my breeding goal is to breed healthy Chihuahuas with a sassy playful terrier like temperament that look like the Chihuahua standard describes, that excel in the show ring and delight in the home.
1. My Chihuahuas are shown in AKC Conformation events, and may also be shown in performance events or other conformation venues such as ICE and IABCA. We are considering also showing UKC. Since the year I began breeding, I have had at least one if not two dogs in the Top 20 Chihuahuas in the USA every year. In 2016 I had the #1 Smooth Chihuahua and the #3 Longcoat Chihuahua.
2. It is important to me that my Chihuahuas conform to the AKC Chihuahua standard. I know the standard, and I breed for it. I do not try to breed what people refer to as “teacup” or tinies. In fact I would much prefer NOT to have them! The word “teacup” is not a word associated with the AKC standard. Neither is “micro.” Read the AKC Standard here. Read the Chihuahua Club of America’s thoughts on teacups here: Chihuahua Club of America Statement on Teacups Read my article on tinies here. Also, if you are looking for an "applehead" or a "deerhead," just know that the AKC Chihuahua calls for a "well rounded apple dome skull." Legitimate breeders do not go around talking about applehead or deerhead - apple heads are correct, deer heads are incorrect heads.
3. My dogs are tested for patellas, heart and eyes as suggested by The Chihuahua Club of America, of which I am a member. I used to have testing done only for myself and not send it in, but a friend of mine made the point that long after we are gone from this world that the results of our testing can be viewed on the CHIC website by looking up a dog if you send in the results. That made sense to me. If I have a dog that does not pass health testing, they are spayed/neutered and placed as a pet rather than staying in my program. If you do not buy a dog from me, and you have someone tell you their dogs are “health tested” you can look them up on this site here at http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/ My dogs have the little purple box at the top right of each page that lists their CHIC number and their OFA numbers. You can put that CHIC number in on the website above and see my dogs are really there. Any other breeder claiming testing should be able to do the same. We also EMBARK test our males - so far all have been clear of the 165 genetic issues that EMBARK tests for. Note: due to COVID many people have been holding their applications for OFA - I have a stack. If they have not sent them in yet, you can ask to see the application. You can look at the OFA website to see what this application looks like.
4. Each breeding is carefully planned. I do not just throw two dogs together and hope for the best. I have been involved in AKC activities for 42 years. I waited a long time before starting my breeding program and I had a very clear picture of how I wanted to proceed with it. Every dog in my program is there for a purpose. Every breeding I do has a reason. I can tell you what I like about my program, and I can tell you what I am trying to improve.
5. My puppies are born and raised in my home and are part of my family. They grow up with my 5 kids loving on them in a stimulating environment. They begin a deworming program at 2 weeks and a vaccination program at 5 weeks. We do not vaccinate against lepto as side effects in our breed outweigh the benefit for vaccinating at least in our area. We do not vaccinate for corona as most do not feel it is effective.
6. I begin to make the decision of show quality vs pet quality at 8 weeks, but no puppy is placed until at least 10 to 12 weeks. A smaller puppy or a puppy I am continuing to evaluate for show will stay longer. People often worry “Will an older puppy or an adult bond with me?” Absolutely, yes. One of the most closely bonded dogs I ever had was 5 years old when I met her! We went on to get 2 obedience titles and she was nationally ranked in both.
7. Any puppy that I do not decide to be show/breeding quality will be sold on Limited Registration. This means you can enter AKC events and that you have all the privileges of an AKC registered dog EXCEPT show and breeding. No exceptions. I do not sell "breeding" dogs to people who don't show.
8. Regarding price. You will find Chihuahuas on Craigslist for $50 and fancy websites where “micro” Chihuahuas are sold for $3500-5000. Most hobby breeders sell show puppies for $2000-$3500, and pet puppies for $1500-2500. The most I have ever paid for a show Chihuahua was $7500. The least I have ever paid for a show quality Chihuahua was $800 (from a breeder who I had bought from before, who knew I was going to finish the dog’s championship.) Price does not indicate quality, but a caring breeder who is in it for the right reasons who has carefully chosen sire & dam, who has breeding goals, who has taken care of their puppies the right way from day one is worth their weight in gold. In many ways in this breed “You get what you pay for,” unless you happen to have stumbled upon one of the $3500 or more “micro” Chihuahua sites. Ask questions. If it keeps coming back to the dollar, it’s not a hobby breeder. That said, a breeder who is doing everything right has a LOT of expenses, and they shouldn’t be (and aren’t) selling $50 (or even $500) puppies.
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