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Buying a Puppy
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"The person you buy your puppy from is 
more important than the puppy you buy."
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Quite a statement isn't it?  But it happens to be the truth.   Just 
about every day I get e-mails from people that have bought a 
puppy, took it home and now they have no idea how to care
for it.  I also get e-mails wanting to know how to house break
their puppy, how to keep their puppy from biting, their puppy's
sick and they don't know what's wrong with it, their puppy died
and now their "so called breeder" won't answer the phone.
They bought a so called "tea cup" and now the puppy's 10 
pounds. 

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There is NO such thing as a "tea cup" Yorkie.  These are just 
small Yorkies or runts of the litter.  Many of them have lots of 
health problems and some even loose their hair as they get older 
from thyroid and other problems.  I had one that weighed 1.6
pounds and it was a job and expense just keeping her alive. 
She lived to 13, but she looked like a hairless Crested for half
of her life. 
The perfect size Yorkie is between 4 and 7 pounds. 
You may want to read this on the YTCA web site.
http://ytca.org/faq.html
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If these people would have bought their puppy from a good 
breeder, they sure wouldn't have to go searching the internet
to learn how to care for it.  Their breeder would be right there
for them to answer any questions they have.   They would be 
guaranteed a healthy puppy and not one that had ring worms,
mange, coccidiosis, liver shunt, legs perthes or any of a hundred
and one other things that I've heard from people that have 
e-mailed me. 
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I'm going to give you my list of do's and don'ts.  This list is
JUST MY OPINION!  It's your money and you can do what
you want with it.  I'll still be here if/when you run into trouble
because you didn't read this before you bought your puppy. :)
For this article, I'm going to assume the breeder is a she. 
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I'll list the do's first. 
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1.  Do your homework!  Either visit the AKC web site or the YTCA
web site.  They have the Yorkie standard.  Just click on the links. 
You should NOT buy a Yorkie until you know what the standard is
for one and how to recognize a good puppy from a not so good 
puppy.   Join a Yorkie list and ask questions. 

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2.  Do go to dog shows in your area.  Talk to exhibitors but not 
until AFTER they're finished showing.  They're a nervous wreck
before they show and won't have time.  This would be a good
place to look for a good breeder, or at least get some more 
education.  Check out the breeder if you find one there.  Not all
show people are reputable.  Don't just assume that because they
show, they are good breeders. 

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3.  Do be prepared to wait a while to find the right puppy for
you.  Don't be in a hurry.  Most reputable breeders don't have
lots of puppies and sometimes you have to wait until they breed. 
You could be lucky too and catch them when they have a litter.

You are going to have this puppy for the next 15 years or so. 
Believe me, I know how much you want it and NOW!  But do 
you want to wind up with something that you will not be happy
with and have to be responsible for it for the next 15 years or
more?  Or, would you rather wait and have just what you want
and love it to pieces for the next 15 years or more?   Waiting a
few weeks or even months to find the right puppy will be well 
worth your wait. 

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4.  Do be prepared to be questioned by the breeder.  She'll want to
know all about you and your life style.  She birthed these puppies
and brought them into this world.  She worried about them and
took care of them for the fist months of their lives.  To her, they're
her babies and she loves them.  She wants only a good home
for them where they will be loved the same way she loves them. 
If you had put in all the worry, time, expense and love she has
with a litter, I'm sure you would feel the same way. 

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5.  Do check out the breeder.  Ask her for some names of people
that she sold puppies to.  If she says she doesn't have any names
then stay away.  All breeders of AKC dogs are required to
keep records of who they sell their puppies to.  Call AKC and the
animal shelter in the breeder's area and see if there have been
any complaints against them. 

Get the breeder's vet's name and call him.  Tell him you are
thinking about one of her puppies and ask him if he 
would recommend her as a breeder. 

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6.  Do get a good contract.  Make sure that there is nothing that
you disagree with in it.  There are many contracts with different
things in them.  When you find a breeder, bring her contract
home and study it before you buy the puppy.  If there is anything
you disagree with, talk to her about it and see if she will change
it.  If not, find another breeder.  There are a few good contracts
here
that you can use as a guide. Contracts

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7.  Do ask to see the sire and dam.  The dam should be there at
least.  Check to see if she has tits.  If she doesn't, then this is
not the dam of the puppy you are looking at.   Sometimes
disreputable breeders will bring out a small, pretty bitch and tell
you that this is the dam when in actuality, the real dam is huge, 
ugly and hidden in the back room.  If the dam is not owned by
the seller, then I'd question where the dam is and why she isn't
with her puppy.  Some sellers are brokers and buy litters to 
resell them.  Buying a puppy like this, you will have no idea
what your pup will look like or the size it will be when it is 
grown. 

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8.  Do get the papers when you buy the puppy.  Sometimes breeders
are lazy and AKC now has a time limit on when the puppies can
be registered.  I get e-mails about this a lot. They bought the 
puppy and the breeder promised to send them the papers later.
A year has gone by and they still don't have the papers.  Just
my opinion on this is that, in some cases, the puppy never had 
papers to began with and the breeder just wanted a big price for
her unregistered litter. 

9.  Do contact the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America if you can't
find a reputable breeder in your area.  Click on Breeder Contact 
and you will find a list of good breeders. Read the Yorkshire Terrier
Club of America's "Code of Ethics".  This is what all breeders
SHOULD live by. 

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Don'ts
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1.  Don't buy from places where you can't see the the dam or 
the home your puppy comes from.  These are usually 
puppy mill dogs and usually have a lot of health and mental 
problems.  They have not been socialized like a puppy raised
in a loving home.  By buying from these places, you are 
encouraging puppy mills to breed more puppies and causing
the moms and dads of these puppies more pain than you will
ever know.   If you want to know the real truth of puppy mills,
read Shirley Patterson's article.... "What is a puppy mill?"
Also visit Puppymils.com

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2.  Don't buy a puppy under 3 months old.  Some 
breeders want to get rid of their puppies as soon as possible as
it's less work and expense for them.  I don't recommend these 
breeders and here's why... 

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....A. Puppies are not ready to leave the mom before 3 months. 
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....B. They don't have at least 2 or 3 shots in them. Puppies can
die from the shots.  If it's had 2 already, the chances are it's 
not allergic to shots.  If you buy the puppy and have your vet
give it it's shots and the puppy dies, the breeder will not 
replace the puppy.  She will say it's your vets fault. 

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....C.  They're really not eating good on their own until 3 months 
and you could have lots of problems getting them to eat.  This 
could cause them to go hypoglycemic and they could die.  The
breeder will say it's your fault this time.   Read my puppy 
article to find out more about hypoglycemia. 

  ..D.  A 6 week old puppy can look small to you at the time, but
when it grows up, it could be a huge puppy when you wanted a
small one.  At 3 months, you can tell a little more about the 
puppy's size.  The rule of thumb, and it doesn't always work but
I've found it's close, is that you weigh a puppy at 16 weeks. 
Double it's weight and add half a pound.  You would know more 
about the puppy's eventual size at 12 weeks than at 6 weeks. 

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3.  DON'T BUY A DOG OFF THE INTERNET... unless you
can thoroughly check out the people you are buying from. 

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I get e-mails from people all the time that bought dogs off
the web.  They tell me their dogs have ring worm or their
dog died right after it was shipped to them and many other
things.  They try to contact the site's owner/breeder and they 
won't take their calls or they tell them it's their problem. 
On most of their contracts, it says that if you want to sue them, 
it has to be in their city.  It would cost you a fortune to sue them
and you would never recover what you spent.  Also, if you kept
the puppy, you could wind up with a vet bill that would equal
what you paid for the puppy or more. 

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Even if you did go to their city and won the suit, it wouldn't 
guarantee that you would get your settlement.  Winning a suit
doesn't mean that you automatically get paid.  You have to 
then take action to collect your settlement.  AKC will tell you
that they are only a registry and will not help you at all. 

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Now reputable breeders have this in their contract too.  The 
difference is that you will get a healthy puppy and a breeder
that will stand behind you and there will be no need for a suit. 
There are disreputable buyers as well as breeders and 
reputable breeders need to be protected too.  This is why it is
important to find out all the information you can about the 
breeder you are thinking of buying from. 

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4.  Don't let a flashy web site lead you into thinking this must be
a good breeder.  Check out web sites with other web site owners. 
If you want to find out if a site is owned by a reputable breeder
or not, just e-mail other site's owners.  I'm on many Yorkie list 
and I know a few of the sites and the people who own them. 
So do many other site owners on the web.  They probably won't
give you any details, but will tell you if they know that person
and they believe them to be reputable.  If you get a glowing
recommendation from 3 other people, you know you've hit the
jackpot.  If you get just one, "I don't recommend this person",
or "no comment "then I would look for another breeder. 

5.  Don't buy a puppy that doesn't have it's ears standing.  This
is nothing but a lazy breeder and if they're lax about this, than
the chances are they'll be lax about other things as well.  I start
training my puppies ears to stand at 4 weeks and by 6 weeks they
are already standing.  This is the breeders responsibility, not the
buyers.   They can sometimes go down again when they're
teething, although this is rare, then it will be up to you to get 
them to stand again.  Pups can get ear infections when ears are
left flopping and this is why I think it's important for me, as their
breeder, to get them standing before they go to their forever home. 

6.  Be real leery of the breeder that says they have the perfect puppy.
There is NO perfect puppy.  They all have faults and a good breeder
will be willing to tell you what they are along with the pups good
points.  A good breeder will be honest and open with you. 

7.  Don't buy a chocolate or any other color Yorkie except one that
will be blue and gold/tan when it's matured.  These are not quality 
Yorkies and do not meet the standard.  Some breeders claim these 
are rare Yorkies and sell them for lots of money.  I should hope 
they are very rare and that no one is breeding them because they are
incorrect. 
Read the YTCA's comments on this...
http://ytca.org/faq.html#B

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8.Don't buy 2 Yorkies together thinking they'll be company for 
each other when you're not home.  These are Terriers and they 
have the temperment of a Terrier.  If you want 2, be sure you also
buy 2 crates to separate them when you're gone.  You may think
they get along beautifully together until one day something snaps
in their brain and you come home to a bloody house and one of 
your precious babies is dead. 

Which puppy to buy

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People often ask me which is better, a male or female.  I'll
answer that question here.  Both are the same!  Neither is better
than the other.  It just depends on which is your preference.
Mine happens to be boys. 

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Who's easier to potty train?
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 I know some people say girls are easier, but actually I've 
found boys are.  Girls can walk and pee at the same time and
they're harder to catch than the boys. There's no doubt what
"he's" doing when he lifts his leg. :)  Don't expect any puppy
to be completely trained until they're over 5 months old. 
There will still be accidents until then. 

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Who's more loving? 
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Both are the same to the person they love.  I've found my boys
are overall sweeter natured than my girls.  Girls can get bitchy
as they get older.  Boys seem to be more happy go lucky, but
never keep two boys together if one is an Alpha male.  I have
one alpha that I can put with the females, but not with another
male.  Then I also have males that are not alpha and can run
together beautifully.  The same can apply to girls also.  It just
depends on the Yorkie's personality.  You probably won't be
able to tell this as a puppy though.

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How do I know which puppy to pick in a litter?
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If one runs and hides, he's what I call spooky and maybe hasn't
been properly socialized.  Chances are he will be a spooky puppy
all his life.  Some are just born with this nature too and there's
nothing you can do about it.  If you want a clinger, this will be
the puppy for you.   The happy, outgoing puppy is the puppy that
will fit in best in a family.  He'll be a happy go lucky little guy
with a great personality.  I would also pick the middle size 
puppy.  This would be my choice in a litter. 

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What about buying an older puppy?
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When I'm saying puppy here, I'm talking about one that
is up to a year old.

I have found that the older a puppy is, the more socialized it is. 
I would think nothing of buying a puppy that was up to a year
old and have done so.  I've even bought older ones than this.
I've heard people say that they want a young puppy so they can
bond with it.  In my experience, I've found that an older puppy
will bond much better and faster then a young one. 

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If you buy one that's older, don't let anyone handle that puppy
until you have had it for several days.  Yorkies bond very fast
when they are older.  That puppy will love you best all it's life.

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Now if you give that puppy away, it will bond with it's new 
owner the same way and when you go to visit, it won't think
of you as mommy anymore.  I've had this happen every time
I've sold an older puppy.  After a few weeks, they want nothing
to do with me anymore.  They're very clingy with the one they
belong to now.   It really hurts my feelings but I thank the
good Lord they are like this or I'd never be able to sell any
of them.  The same goes with the older ones I've bought.  After
a few days, they are mine totally.

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There can be lots of advantages to buying an older puppy.
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1. They are usually well on their way to being house trained.
2. They are finished with their puppy shots so your expenses
are less.
3. They bond faster.
4. They are easier to care for and you don't have to be quite
so worried about them like you would with a young puppy. 
5. You can pretty much tell what they're going to look like
and how large they will be. 
6. You can see what color their blue is breaking and how 
their gold is coming in on their heads.
7. You can tell what kind of coat they're going to have.

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What should I look for in a show puppy?
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Do not buy a puppy for show unless it is over 9 months old. 
Just because a puppy is beautiful at 3 months, does not mean
it will be show quality at 9 months.  Between 3 and 9 months
is when a Yorkie does most of it's growing.  Legs grow at 
different times, bite's can go off, short backs can turn into
long backs, testies can be retained on males and a bunch of 
different things can occur to make a puppy ineligible for show.

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If you don't know Yorkies, learn them before you spend 
thousand's of dollars on one.  Study movement and structure.
Attend as many shows as you can and ask questions.  If you
want a show dog, buy one from a show/breeder that will 
guarantee the dog as show quality. 

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I always say that if you are a newbie, buy from a breeder that
shows in your area.  You need a mentor, someone that will
help you in the ring.  Also, buying from someone that shows
in your area will more likely guarantee that you won't get
a horrible show dog.  The breeder will know that you are
going to be showing where they are and you will be telling
everyone that your dog is out of this breeder's kennel.  No
breeder wants to be embarrassed so you're more likely to
get something at least reasonably good.  This is just
"Cookie logic" and I've found that it's worked, over the
years, more times than not. 

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I recommend that your first show dog is a bitch.  If you 
can't finish it, it will probably still be good enough to breed.
By that time you will know more of what you are doing and 
what to look for in a show dog.  You can then breed your
bitch to a good show stud and hopefully get some show
puppies out of the breeding. 

Don't buy a male and think that you will be able to breed it
later and get a puppy back.   Most bitch owners will 
either have their own males or go to a top stud dog for 
service on their bitch. 

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To sum it up, take your time, do your homework and you will
have a companion that will be more precious than gold.  Good
luck in finding the perfect puppy for you. 

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For what to expect in the show ring, Click here. 


For an easy way to potty train your pup, Click here..

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