Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is being posted in hopes of helping those red flags go up when you are speaking to unscrupulous breeders.

When looking for a breeder be sure to ask questions. If the breeder gets offended this is a red flag. A breeder should respect the fact that you care enough to ask questions. An educated buyer makes better parents for new puppies.

Click here to read a true story about how not to buy a Shih Tzu.

Example questions to ask;
1. How long have you been breeding? This is important because if this is a breeders first liter he may or may not stick around and be there for you when you may need advice.

2. Why do you breed? This is important because if a breeder is breeding because they need the money to pay bills it is very likely they are cutting cost on care of their dogs and your new puppy. It is also possible they do not love the dogs and treat them as such. The dogs are a business opportunity and nothing more.

3. Do you test your dogs? What do you do when a health issue may arise? It is important to know a breeder is not only testing but what the breeder would do if a situation arises. Life is never certain and an issue may arise, will the breeder back that puppy and either return your money or give you a new puppy?

4. How ofter do you breed your dam? If a breeder is breeding a dam everytime she comes in heat until she is 10 you may want to go somewhere else and not contribute to the suffering of this dam. This is a strong indication profit is their motive for breeding.

5. How and where are your puppies raised? The where is important because if the puppies are not in the home with the breeder can a close eye be kept on their development? The how is important because there are things a breeder needs to do to socialize the new puppies so when it is time for them to go in the ring or to their new homes they are not afraid and run to hide from everyday life.

6. Do you sell on spay/ neuter contracts? If a dog is not sold as a show/ breeding dog (these do go hand in hand) the breeder may be capitalizing on the fact that they can sell unaltered dogs for more money. Do you want to buy your pet from someone who will sell an unaltered dog to anyone who has enough money?

7. How many breeds of dogs do you breed? If a breeder has more than two breeds they may be in the BUSINESS of selling dogs.

8. What is your policy for taking puppies back? This is VERY important because there are breeders who stand behind their dogs. Believe it or not some breeders want you to be happy because if you are not happy their precious puppy will not be and could end up in a shelter or God only knows where.

9. Do you have a written guarantee/ contract?

10. Does the puppy come with a health certificate and up to date on all vaccines?

11. Does the puppy come with AKC papers? You can read about AKC papers at

Things to look for or take note of when talking to a breeder or looking at puppies;

1. Is the breeder knowledgeable about the breed?


3. Does he or she represnt their dogs honestly?

4. Do you feel like you can completely trust this breeder? You have to feel like you can trust this person with your child. This new puppy you are thinking about bringing home IS your new child and is a very serious commitment. There has to be trust between both buyer and breeder.

Written by: Leslie LeFave at or Tian Mi Shih Tzu

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