- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


New dog owner in need of suggestions

November 2nd, 2006, 06:08 PM
Hello. I have seen an ad placed on my workplace intranet for shih tzus. They are asking 600.00.
Ive been informed by the poster that they are not 'professional' breeders but im quite positive its not a puppy mill either. I have absolutely no clue what to look for in terms of whether or not the puppy will be healthy and stay obedient. Maybe someone here can offer suggestions for me as far as what to ask the breeder and what sort of answers i should be looking for. I know NOT to buy a pup from the pet store so i figured that this is an excellent opportunity, but i dont want to make a mistake. Ive seen dogs who are outright defiant and extremly hyper and dont want to end up in the same situation.
any help would be appreciated.

November 2nd, 2006, 06:29 PM
Personally, I wouldn't buy a dog off the internet without some serious - and I do mean SERIOUS - references.

While $600 is not a bad price for a registered puppy of any breed - you need to do quite a bit more research. You need to find out everything you can about genetic issues in the breed and what tests can be run to see that bad genetics are not passed from generation to generation. Some issues can be very expensive to fix and some can be life threatening.

You also want to make sure that both parents have been shown. While dog shows may be looked at as "beauty shows" - they are very important in making sure that dogs meet the standard set for by the breed club - both in looks and temperment. Sure would hate to pay $600 for a shih tzu that looked like a poodle! :eek:

November 2nd, 2006, 06:31 PM
I would definately stay away from buying any puppy off the internet.
A respectable breeder will want to know who he or she is going to be adopting their puppies too - I am not an expert but these are just some of the things that I have learned are major factors in choosing a puppy from a breeder.

Both parents should be champions, not their grandparents, or their grandparents.

The parents should also have all the hip and eye clearances etc, and be of sound health.

Both parents should be registered with the AKC or CKC as well as the above

A good breeder will not be breeding for profit, and will not have more than one or two litters a year.

Most breeders will have a non breeding contract - especially if the dogs they produce are only pet quality

It is best to be really careful when choosing a breeder - it may take longer and you may have to wait longer for a puppy - but it is so worth it to get the right dog.

Also have you checked petfinder for Shiht tus or tried looking up Shih tu rescue.

Good luck - hope you get your dream doggie

November 3rd, 2006, 08:02 AM
There are HUNDREDS of Shih Tzus on that are desperately in need of a forever home. Please consider adopting.

November 3rd, 2006, 10:15 AM
These breeders are probably well-meaning, but nevertheless I am sure they are poor breeders. A good breeder wouldn't be advertising on the company intranet, they would have homes lined up before the puppies are born.

If you want to be sure, though, here are some good questions to ask:

1. What kind of health tests have you done on the parents?

Good answers: We've had their eyes CERFed and their hips OFAed. (These are genetic tests that check the genetic health of the dog.)

Bad answer: They've been to the vet and he says they're healthy.

2. What are your breeding goals?

Good answers: To improve the shih tzu's classic head while maintaining Maizy's superb topline. (Not that specific answer, of course, but something like it!)

Bad answers: Because Maizy is so sweet, to show the kids the miracle of birth, because all our neighbors/friends/relatives want a sweet dog like Maizy.

3. What kind of dog events do your dogs compete in? What titles have they earned?

Good answers: Maizy is an AKC champion who took Best of Show three times running in the Yadda Yadda Yadda Tournament. She also competes in Agility competitions.

Bad answer: Well, she's AKC registered and we took her to Petco to have her picture taken with Santa . . . (Any purebred can be AKC registered, it does not mean the dog is a good or healthy example of the breed. Ditto with the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club. On a sidenote, if a breeder in the USA says their dog is CKC registered, they might mean the Continental Kennel Club. A Continental Kennel Club registration is not worth the paper it's printed on, it's primarily used by subpar breeders and puppy mills.)

Just because a dog is a wonderful pet does NOT mean it should be bred. So many animals are put to sleep not just because of puppy millers, but because well meaning people do irresponsible things. Only dogs who are EXCEPTIONAL in terms of health and conformation should be bred . . . I suggest that you go to a shih tzu rescue or use to search for shih tzus.

Please, if this woman turns out to be breeding a dog who doesn't have any special qualifications besides being purebred, DO NOT get a puppy from her. It will only encourage her to breed her dog again and again to produce more "cute puppies" without health testing. Also, the lack of health testing means there's a good chance that the puppy will eventually develop problems like luxating patella.

November 3rd, 2006, 11:19 AM
Hello. I have seen an ad placed on my workplace intranet for shih tzus. They are asking 600.00.
Ive been informed by the poster that they are not 'professional' breeders but im quite positive its not a puppy mill either.

if they are not "professional" breeders they shouldn't be breeding dogs at ALL. sorry, but I would never buy a dog from anyone other than a reputable PROFESSIONAL breeder. (ideally, I'd opt to rescue or adopt from a shelter, but if you must buy a dog, take some time to research the breed, and the PROFESSIONAL breeders.)

I have absolutely no clue what to look for in terms of whether or not the puppy will be healthy and stay obedient.

stay obedient? obedience must be trained, and the skills you train should be used regularly.

Ive seen dogs who are outright defiant and extremly hyper and dont want to end up in the same situation.

defiant & hyper dogs are generally those who do not receive proper training and adequate exercise.

November 13th, 2006, 03:12 PM
Well, guys thank you so much for the replies, however after going to see the pup and family we've actually commited to buying. The family seemed very nice honest and caring. They're taking good care of the puppy and the mother of the puppies seemed to be a very happy dog as well. Of course, i didnt see the father but i still feel comfortable with the purchase even with my little experience.
They are providing de-worming and first shots and are letting us take the pup (havnt decided on a name yet) when they begin eating on their own..... apparently when theyre 7 weeks old, which is just over a week away.

I truly hope we didnt make a mistake but i really feel comfortable with this situation and dont see any mistreatment or negligence on the breeders part. Hopefully, things work out and we'll have a happy, healthy puppy for years to come.... cant wait to post some pictures of him!!!

November 13th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Just be careful. Any guarantee they have is probably a load of bull.:shrug:

Angies Man
November 14th, 2006, 06:26 PM
Just be careful. Any guarantee they have is probably a load of bull.:shrug:

most any guarantee assumes that by the time anything goes wrong, you'll be too bonded to your 'baby' to ever ask for your money back (and return your pup.)

7 weeks is too young, btw. I wouldn't bring home a pup much before 10 weeks, and would prefer 12 to 14. It is an important socialization time for puppies--they learn a lot from their moms and are more likely to be mouthy or snappish the earlier you bring them home. It's also tough for Vets to diagnose any defects in a very young pup.

You want to meet both the mom and dad--and judge how they greet you. Are they hyper? Barky? Not quick to come and meet your? Or are they calm, quiet, and calm--aloof is okay, unfriendly isn't--and are good indications of the emotional wiring your pup is likely born with. You should google puppy behavior judging before you pick a puppy to bring home.

Pups get temporary immunity from their mom's milk, btw. So first shots at 7 weeks (when the pups are first weaned) are probably pretty useless. If you're bringing your pup home at 7 weeks, you can probably wait two weeks for shots.

I'm not going to tell you that buying from a backyard breeder is a terrible thing (tho, from experience I have my opinion about it) but not having a pedigree and a record of the health testing of the mom and dad makes the proposition a real crap shoot, imho. I think $600 is too much for a byb puppy--you could probably find one from an established breeder for not much more than that. Most established breeders are pretty careful about choosing a suitable pair to breed--and can provide a pedigree that lists the breeding background for generations back. Protects against inbreeding.

One of the themes you will hear repeated on this forum (besides choosing to adopt rescue pets) is that there's a lot more to breeding quality dogs than putting a receptive female together with a willing male.

You should take the pup to a Veterinarian immediately for a checkup. Take a stool sample for a worms and parasite check. Ask them to check the eyes and ears (you should smell the ears--if they're stinky the pup has an ear infection.) And a neurological exam--modern vets know how.

Read through the pet food section in this forum. Superior quality foods nourish superior quality pets.

And, you should keep your dog from exposure to other dogs until the puppy shots are complete. You need to worry about parvovirus in particular, which can be very expensive to treat and is often quite deadly.

I love having a puppy--it's a treat for me to watch them grow, reveal their quirks and dispositions, and to build a routine and a relationship. Good luck to you and your new pup. :dog:

November 14th, 2006, 06:30 PM
You Dont Sound Like You Are To Sure About Your Decision//////why Didnt You Get To See Dad???