The Chihuahua Puppy…
He might just be the cutest thing ever. Now that you have decided he’s the right dog for you, let’s look at how to find the perfect Chiwawa puppy.
If you have decided to purchase a puppy rather than adopt a rescue dog, then the best place to go from here is to put together a list of reputable breeders in your area. I would skip the classified ads and seek breeder referrals through friends and local Clubs and other local breeders. Also, many veterinarians will have contact information for breeders they know to be honorable and professional.
Once you find a breeder in your area, make a list of questions to ask when you speak. These would include questions about general health and possible genetic issues. Something that is very important is if they have ever had a case of Parvo virus in their litters. Parvo is an awful virus that is deadly puppy killer and once active in a location the virus itself can remain dormant both inside and out for many months – no matter how clean an establishment is. Also you will want to ask your breeder about the parents of the puppy. Hopefully at least one of them will be available for you to see. You want to make sure there are no problems with the dogs knees, as these little dogs are prone to a condition known as “Patella Luxation”. Inquire about any signs of seizures, collapsed trachea, worming and any vaccinations. Ask if they are eating well and if there has been any vomiting or diarrhea (both signs of Parvo virus).
Now for the fun part! Let’s take a look at the puppies in our chihuahua puppy guide. Here’s what to look for in a healthy Chiwawa puppy:
- Eyes should be clean, shiny and clear.
- There should be no coughing, sneezing, wheezing or vomiting.
- They should be “roly-poly” – meaning, they should look well fed. Not fat or skinny. You should be able to feel their little ribs, but not see them. And they should not look bloated, as that may indicate worms.
- Nose should be moist (watch for sneezing or discharge)
- When awake, the puppy should appear playful and full of energy. (It is normal for puppies to sleep many hours a day, just the way a new baby does. However, when awake, they should want to play!)
- Whether long or smooth coat, it should be shiny and clean. No flea bites, ticks or goopy eyes – this would indicate lack of care and possible infection.
- Their little feet should be clean and not dirty, smelly or sticky.
- Inside the ears should be clean and not waxy or unusually smelly.
- Teeth should be white, gums should be pink.
- No signs of diarrhea, bottom clean.
Ask the breeder if they have any previous buyers as referrals you could speak with. Also find out if the breeder offers any type of guarantee on the puppies they sell.
What about “Smooth” or “Long” Coat?
Short hair Chihuahuas need very little grooming. Long coats need weekly brushing. Both need occasional bathing. The short hair variety sheds more than the long, but the long needs more brushing. So all in all, it’s down to your personal preference.
Should you choose a Male or Female?
Both Male and Female Chi’s can be fiercely loyal to their families. Males can be more difficult to housebreak as they have a desire to “mark” the house with their scent. This can be minimized by neutering early, between 4 and 6 months. Females tend to be more jealous between themselves and other dogs, but also seem much calmer.
How do you actually pick your Chihuahua puppy from a litter? Puppies all have different personalities. They have different levels of intelligence and temperament. The key is to find a puppy who has a personality and temperament that fits in with you and your life style. Your breeder will can be very helpful in helping you select a puppy that more or less dominant, submissive, independent or calm.
A puppy who is calm is likely going to be the easiest to train and fit into most home situations. Over independent or “leader-type” dogs can be a challenge to train. And very submissive puppies can be very fearful and passive.
Make the task of picking out your new puppy a project for everyone in the family. And ask your breeder for their opinion and advice. You will soon have the perfect new Chihuaha puppy for your home!