So you want to show/ breed Chihuahuas?
Dogs are classed by breeders as show, breeding and pet. However, how a breeder classifies
a pup is VERY subjective... one person's show dog is another person's pet. There is tremendous variation in Chihuahuas
being shown, bred and sold these days. Many people will sell you a "show prospect" that really should have been
a pet. Then you have wasted your money and get a broken heart to boot.
Don't buy anything until you have
seen a lot of Chihuahuas in the ring, over time, in various shows and, if possible, in different parts of the country. Then,
hopefully, you will have really gotten a clear picture in your mind what a really good Chihuahua looks like, what you personally
like and don't like, as well as what is winning/ losing and why. It is easy to spend big bucks and end up with mediocre
dogs... then you have to start all over again when you finally discover that what you got was not the quality you hoped for.
I'll say it again: don't buy anything until you have completed the following steps:
1.) Join an AKC
all-breed club and learn about dog showing in general. It costs almost nothing to join, is open to anyone interested in dogs
(even of you don't yet have a dog) and you will have fun, meet great contacts in the dog community (who can help you buy
a show dog in the future) and begin to demonstrate that you are serious about being an exhibitor/ breeder. Most reputable
breeder won't even consider selling a show or breeding prospect to someone who is not involved with the AKC in some way.
2.) Beg, borrow or steal the money, but make sure that you attend at least one National Chihuahua Specialty!
More than one if you can. They happen twice a year; once in Chicago in the Winter and then a Spring show in another location
that changes every year. Check out the Chihuahua Club of America website for more info. You will see hundreds of the best
Chihuahuas from all over the US and the world. There is NO BETTER WAY to learn the breed than sitting ringside at the National.
3.) Attend as many AKC shows (I would say at least ten) as you can in your area before you even think about
buying a dog to show. Sit ringside and watch Chihuahuas being shown. Try to figure out why a certain dog won and another
didn't. Watch how the judge works in the ring. Watch how the dogs are gaited and stacked. Talk to the exhibitors after
they finish showing. Get their opinion on the judging, and ask them to tell them what they think are their dog's best
and worst qualities. LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN.
4.) Visit the AKC website; there is a great deal of info on getting
started in showing.
5.) Visit the Chihuahua Club of America Website; download the written Chihuahua Standard
and the Illustrated Standard. Study them. Take a copy with you when you go to a show and watch Chihuahua judging. Compare
the Chihuahuas you see with the Standard.
6.) Buy and read several good books on Chihuahuas and showing dogs.
A must have: The New Chihuahua by Ruth Terry. Other excellent books are listed on my web site. Avoid books targeted to
pet buyers. The exception: Chihuahuas For Dummies is a GREAT book!
NOW that you completed these steps, you
may be ready to buy a show dog! If you find you are interested in showing and also breeding, BUY THE BEST BITCH YOU CAN AFFORD.
If you are interested in showing and not breeding, BUY THE BEST MALE YOU CAN AFFORD. Don't automatically equate cost
with quality, however. The most expensive Chihuahuas I've seen for sale on the internet are, without exception, the WORST
I've seen. The best dogs at the most reasonable prices will come from the reputable AKC show breeders. Never buy a "show
prospect" from a breeder who doesn't show (and win) in the AKC! Never buy a "show prospect" younger than
|Buy the stacking blocks we use here...