Upon getting in contact with a reputable Shih Tzu breeder on the phone, they’re a litany of questions that you can ask, which will reveal a lot of information that you’d need to make a decision on choosing the right breeder.
I know you probably already have a few questions of your own. But here are a few other questions you should ask that would tell you a lot about the quality of the breeder.
Before you visit the breeder ask him or her questions such as:
How much time elapses before you breed another litter?
The best hobby breeders rarely breed more than a litter every year. For-profit breeders and commercial breeders will have Shih Tzu puppies available all of the time. This is because they’ll regularly breed 6, 7, 8, or more litters per year.
Have you been breeding Shih Tzu’s long?
Although new Shih Tzu breeders could be great, there is no comparison to a well-seasoned breeder that has experience and knowledge on their side. Due to the breeders experience and knowledge, the puppies may be healthier and a lot better pets.
Do you belong to a national or local dog club?
This is a trick question in a way. Because it lets you know how committed the breeder is to learning about the Shih Tzu and breeding them in an organized and ethical way.
Do you show your dogs in dog shows? If yes, how many of them have won awards or are champions?
It’s no secret that breeders whose dogs win awards in dog shows are producing top notch pets.
If you choose a Shih Tzu puppy whose parents are champions, there is no doubt that you’re getting a puppy from breeders that really understands the breed and knows how a Shih Tzu should look and act.
Where are the puppies raised?
Contrary to what people believe, Shih Tzu’s are not kennel dogs. Good breeders raise they’re Shih Tzu’s inside of the home. This is crucial because it allows the dogs to be part of the family from the very start.
When can I come to see the litter or the parents of the litter?
The answer to this question will definitely be yes. Because the good breeders always want to meet you and interview you.
If for some reason a breeder does not want to show you the parents. I suggest you start looking for another reputable Shih Tzu breeder. This behavior is considered a red flag. There is no reason why a breeder should not want you to see the parents of the litter.
The breeder may be trying to hide the fact that the dog does not look or act like a Shih Tzu would.
However, the father of the litter may not be available for you to see on the breeder’s property. But the mother would. In fact, the breeder should have pictures of the father as well as his pedigree.
In addition, many breeders will ship Shih Tzu puppies to you; however, unless you’re talking about shipping an older dog, this is not a good idea.
The younger puppies are more heat intolerant and sensitive, and could go through a lot of stress on a long plane trip.
The experience could cause your new Shih Tzu puppy to develop future behavioral problems such as separation anxiety as well as fearfulness.
When will you have Shih Tzu puppies available?
A good reputable Shih Tzu breeder usually do not have puppies readily available due their lack of constant breeding.
Therefore, if you find a good reputable Shih Tzu breeder, chances are you’ll have to go on a waiting list. However, because hobby breeders are not in it for profit, they’ll be glad to give you a referral to someone else that may have puppies at the time.
Be careful, you do not want to look impatient. Most people that are impatient and want a Shih Tzu right now are usually impulse buyers. You do not want to come off as an impulse buyer to a breeder.
If you seem like you’re in the market for a Shih Tzu just for the hell of it, the breeder may not refer you to anybody.
Good hobby breeders are all about placing their Shih Tzu’s into homes that would care and love the dogs. However, impulse buyers may want the dogs now and regret them later and most likely will end up in a shelter.
Another important question that you should ask is how much is the Shih Tzu puppy going to cost. Do not ask this question until you visit the breeder.
You do not want the breeder to think that you’re only interested in a good deal and not a good dog.