How to choose a puppy

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Have The Puppies Been Raised in the Home?

Puppies used to home activity will more easily adapt to new families and homes. Puppies require proper socialization by gentle handling, human contact, and a wide variety of noises and experiences, and should not be removed from their dam or litter mates before 8 weeks of age. HAVE THE PUPPIES' TEMPERAMENTS BEEN EVALUATED AND CAN THE BREEDER GUIDE YOU TO THE PUPPY THAT WILL BEST SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE?

A very shy puppy will not do well in a noisy household with small children, just as a very dominant puppy won't flourish in a sedate, senior citizen household. A caring breeder will know the puppies and be able to help you make a good match.

 HOW OFTEN IS THE DAM BRED? Breeding every heat cycle is too often and may indicate that profit is the primary motive for the breeding.

ARE THE PUPPY'S SIRE AND DAM AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO MEET?

 

DO THE PUPPIES SEEM HEALTHY, WITH NO DISCHARGE FROM EYES OR NOSE, NO LOOSE STOOLS, NO FOUL SMELLING EARS? ARE THEIR COATS SOFT, FULL, AND CLEAN? DO THEY HAVE PLENTY OF ENERGY WHEN AWAKE YET CALM DOWN EASILY WHEN GENTLY STROKED?

If the puppy is in good weight, a slight, clear nasal discharge may be due to pinched nostrils, quite common during the teething phase. They generally open as the puppy matures. Small umbilical hernias almost always close with age.

 DOES THE BREEDER ADVISE YOU TO HAVE THE PUPPY CHECKED BY A VETERINARIAN WITHIN 2 DAYS (48 HOURS) OF SALE, WITH ADDITIONAL TIME ALLOWED IF THE PUPPY IS SOLD ON A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, AND PROVIDE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO   

TAKE THE PUPPY BACK AND REPLACE IT IF IT IS FOUND TO BE UNFIT BY A VETERINARIAN? HAS THE PUPPY RECEIVED THE NECESSARY IMMUNIZATIONS AND BEEN CHECKED FOR PARASITES AND TREATED IF NECESSARY? An AKC Registration form should also be provided and clearly explained.

DOES THE BREEDER HAVE ONLY 1 OR AT MOST 2 BREEDS OF DOGS. If there are several breeds of dogs, the breeder may not devote the time it takes to become really knowledgeable about our breed.

WILL THE BREEDER BE AVAILABLE FOR THE LIFE OF THE DOG TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE? IS THIS SOMEONE YOU WOULD FEEL COMFORTABLE ASKING ANY TYPE OF QUESTION? If you feel intimidated or pressured, keep looking!

WILL THE BREEDER TAKE THE DOG BACK AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON, IF YOU CANNOT KEEP IT? This is the hallmark of responsible breeding (and the quickest, best way to make rescue obsolete). Responsible breeders also do not sell puppies to pet shops or commercial pet mill establishments, donate puppies for raffles or auctions.

The Shih Tzu's Changing Coat Colors

A good rule of thumb when choosing a Shih Tzu puppy is never to base your decision on color. That's because the breed is well known for changing coat colors as he enters adulthood. In fact, by the time your Shih Tzu celebrates his first birthday, he may be a completely different color than he was when you brought him home. For example, a puppy that has gold hair at birth may turn orange and one that is blue at birth can turn gray by his first birthday—and those born black may lighten over time. The only coat color that remains true is the black-and-white combination. What accounts for these shifts in shade? Very simply, it's a matter of genetics. Two distinct genes determine whether a Shih Tzu's coat will lighten or gray over time—and what his ultimate color will be. Fading: If a Shih Tzu carries the "G" gene, his coat will fade as he gets older. You will notice fading in puppies as young as a month old. Fading will continue until the dog reaches his first birthday. Graying: If a dog carries the Chinchilla gene (CH series) he is likely to change colors as well, but not in the same way as fading. Instead, the dog's coat will turn a rich, silver color. While it has not been proven, some breeders think that environmental factors such as climate, stress, and diet can trigger changes in coat color, too. The good news for those who plan to show their Shih Tzu is that any and all colors are equally valued and recognized by the AKC. And for those who just have a Shih Tzu as a family pet, what matters most is that you have a healthy, loving companion—no matter what his color.

The Problem of Popularity

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular AKC Breeds. Unscrupulous and ill informed breeders try to profit by this popularity by deceptive claims and elaborate websites. Beware of Breeders Who…… Advertise “rare” colors. There are no “rare” colored Yorkies. Solid brown, solid blue, “gold” or tri-colored Yorkies are mismarks. Reputable breeders do not breed for these colors. Such colors are a disqualification under the Breed Standard and cannot be shown in AKC shows. Advertise “teacup” or “miniature”. There are no size distinctions in Yorkies. Boast of Champion lines many generations back. Do not offer a written contract or guarantee.