Be prepared to answer questions for the breeder. This may be in the form of a questionnaire for you to fill out that will be followed up by a phone interview for further information. This exchange aids you both in making the right decision about placment of a puppy.
Why have you chosen a Shih Tzu to be a member of your family?
The breeder may want to know what characteristics of the Shih Tzu that attracts you to the breed. This allows them to help you in the choice of the puppy best suited for your lifestyle.
What are your expectations for this puppy?
Shih Tzu are companion dogs. They love to play with their toys, have lap time with their owners and are content to just hang out with the famliy. While they like to go on walks and run in the yard they aren't designed to be long distance runners.
Which do you prefer: male or female? why?
Some people have a preference of one sex over the other but most breeders will share that once a dog is desexed it really doesn't matter. Personality traits are much more important.
Have you had experience with a toy breed before?
This helps the breeder know exactly what instructions you will need in dealing with a tiny puppy. Many toy breeds may require additional care that larger breeds do not.
Have you owned other breeds of dogs? If so, what? Where are they now?
These questions help the breeder gage your previous experince in pet care. They want to know the puppy they place with you will have a long, happy, healthy life!
Are there other pets in the home now? Where did you get them from?
Some pets do not always get along with newcomers in their homes. The breeder may express concern over whether the pets will be compatible. They may also like to know where you have aquired these pets.
Are there children in the home? If yes, what ages?
Some breeders may choose not to place a tiny puppy with a family that has very young children. Puppies are like new babies and need to be protected while they grow. They may change their mind after meeting the children and seeing how well they take direction for interacting with the puppy.
Do you own your own home or have written permission from the landlord to have a pet in the home?
This is important for the breeder to know when considering your home for a puppy. The transition to a new home can be difficult enough without the puppy having to be up-rooted again if they are not allowed in the dwelling.
Does everyone in your family agree to have this puppy?
This should be important to the breeder to know that the puppy they are entrusting to you will be welcome by all family members. This can save a lot of heartache for all concerned if the puppy is not wanted by some of their new famliy. A puppy should never be given as a surprise as it may not be a welcome gift.
Do you have a fenced yard? If no, how do you plan to exercise the puppy?
A fenced yard is important for the puppy's safety as well as allowing them to exercise off lead. Walks on lead are okay as well but a secuered area is the best.
Will someone be home during the day to put the puppy out when needed? If no one is home, what arrangements have you made for the puppy to be put out during the day?
This is important so that the housetraining is consistant and successful as early as possible. The sooner the puppy has learned house manners the more freedom he can have in his new home.
Where do you plan to keep the puppy when you are not home?
It is important for the puppy to have his own place, either a crate or small secure area, so that he is safe when left alone. Puppies can have accidents or chew up items we value. They also should be protected from electrical cords and stairs until they have the skill to manuever them.
Do you have a vet? May I call them for a reference? Have you selected a groomer?
A responsible breeder will want
to know that you have made plans to provide the care your new puppy will need. You may also be asked to provide personal references.
Is there anything else you would like to share that will help me in my decision to place a puppy with you?
Do not be offended if the breeder rejects your request for a puppy. They may feel they have nothing to offer that fits your requirements or matches your lifestlye.