Consider your purpose in obtaining a Chihuahua; pet, show dog, rescue dog, obedience dog, puppy or adult.
Do you have a preference on sex, color, type, price, long coat or smooth coat?
Are you knowledgeable of the breed characteristics? Obtain a copy of the AKC standard and study.
Discuss the pros and cons of owning a long coat or smooth coat, male or female, with a breeder.
Become knowledgeable in the breed by consulting the American Kennel Club, Chihuahua Club of America, the public library, dog magazines, and the Internet. Familiarize yourself with the proper care and environment for a Chihuahua.
Visit an AKC dog show to see various Chihuahua types and to meet breeders and ask questions.
Attend the Chihuahua Club of America’s National Specialty show held yearly in October or regional Chihuahua Specialty shows.
The AKC has videos about the Chihuahua which can be purchased.
Attempt to find a knowledgeable, reputable breeder. Breeders advertise in the newspaper, dog magazines and on the Internet. However, you must carefully screen breeders and it is best to personally visit their kennels. Many show breeders do not advertise because their long-standing reputation is sufficient.
References are beneficial and may include the breeder’s veterinarian and past customers. You may be asked for references.
View the dog on the breeder’s premises, observing the home, kennel, other dogs and the manner in which they are raised.
The puppy or dog should be active, energetic, alert, inquisitive and outgoing. Notice all the dogs in the litter. Observe the body type, size, movement and personality. The dog should move freely of its own volition. Ask questions.
If possible view the dog’s sire and dam, as this will give you some ideas as to how your dog will mature.
Chihuahuas should have healthy skin and clear eyes with a nice coat. It should be firm and solid of body. The dog should be clean and not foul-smelling. Stools should be firm and formed. A healthy puppy smells clean and is free of fleas, etc. It has clean ears and nose.
Purchase a Chihuahua that has been inspected by a veterinarian and may already have a health certificate which indicates vaccinates, worming, etc. and dates. This is important.
It is best not to purchase a dog sight unseen.
Know specifically the amount and feeding schedule as well as the diet that the dog is eating and follow the breeder and vet’s recommendations.
Most breeders will not sell a puppy until it is 10-12 weeks or older. It is best that the breeder provides a contract for seller and purchaser describing the dog, age, etc. and identifying parents, terms of sale, guarantees, vet record, etc. You should be given a copy and a receipt of payment. If this is an American Kennel Club registered dog, you should receive papers at the time of purchase and note breeder’s terms of the sale. Most breeders allow the purchaser to take the dog to a vet of their own choice within so many hours or days of purchase to be inspected on health.
Be sure to take the dog home in the safety of a dog carrier.
After you purchase your Chihuahua, feel free to call the breeder and/or consult your veterinarian when you have questions about the care, training and welfare of your Chihuahua.
Please realize that the Chihuahua Club of America (CCA) cannot recommend individual breeders, as there is no way that the Club can visit and inspect the dogs and kennels of our many members. We recommend that you work through secretaries of the Chihuahua Club of America Member clubs.