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My wife and I are purchasing an AKC Chihuahua that is being...

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Question by Duncan
Submitted on 9/9/2003
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Chihuahuas Breed-FAQ
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My wife and I are purchasing an AKC Chihuahua that is being flown (with the present owner) from Texas to NYC (where we will pick her up).  Are there any general problems that can result from the puppy being on an airplane (ie - high altitudes, pressure changes) and, as the puppy will be 7 weeks when we get her, is this too young?

Answer by Chimama
Submitted on 9/10/2003
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I would be concerned that a puppy is being sold to you when you have never seen it, and that the puppy is only 7 weeks old.  Sight unseen can be a disaster.

Most reputable breeders want to meet you first and see if you are good enough to become the owner of one of their dogs.  This isn't an insult to you, it's a sign that the breeder takes the welfare of their dogs seriously and is willing to lose a sale if they are not comfortable that their pups will be cared for.  Both breeders I purchased my 'babies' from expected me to spend at least an hour with the litter, while I was sizing up the pups the breeder was sizing me up, asking all sorts of questions as to where puppy would sleep, what I was expecting from puppy, was I fully aware of the responsibilities of puppy, etc.

Seven weeks is a bit young, especially to be so far away from its home and dam (mother dog).  What if puppy gets sick, will breeder exchange or refund your money?  

Please reconsider, and see if you cannot find a breeder near you where you can see the pups, their parents and perhaps siblings from previous litters.  The parents will tell you a lot about what the dog will grow up to be, friendly and playful, or snarly and nasty, or timid and cowering.

Further up in this FAQ are organizations which can help you find a reputable breeder near you, I encourage you to investigate them first.  Chihuahuas are wonderful dogs, but they bond to one or two people and spend their entire lives adoring 'their humans'.  If the fit is wrong, you are both in for a long unhappy time of it.


Answer by Kristen
Submitted on 9/21/2003
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Chimama is absolutely right. In additon to what she said, Chihuahuas are also a very sensitive and fragile breed. Ever seen a chihuahua puppy shake? Chances are of you've been to a pet store u have. They do that because they are very weak and need sugar to stop the shaking. What does this have to do with taking a plane trip? probably nothing but the fact that chihuahua will be so incredibly young and small and weak a plane ride will be not only traumatizing but high altitudes and pressure changes probably wont be good for the puppy's health. I hope u reconsider


Answer by Chimama
Submitted on 10/8/2003
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Chihuahuas are indeed sensitive and somewhat fragile, but the vast majority do not suffer from either hypo or hyperglycemia, and I agree that a long plane ride is not going to do it any good.  If it's lucky enough to be riding in a crate in the passenger compartment, it will be there for the entire trip plus the time it is at the airports before and after the flight.  It might have to be sedated (not a good idea for any of the Toy breeds).  It could indeed be a problem if puppy isn't able to eat when it got hungry, chihuahuas don't have a lot of reserves to draw on.  I would never suggest that being shipped in cargo is appropriate, they are much too sensitive to temperature.  In either case, they can't hold their waste very long, poor miserable puppy locked in a crate with soiled bedding, not a good way to meet your new parents, now is it?

My main concern remains that the puppy will not be 'the right puppy for you', and that you are getting it sight unseen, without any chance to observe it, its litter mates or its parents first.  


Answer by Bug-a-Chi
Submitted on 8/8/2005
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Dear Duncan,

I just received my new baby via plane ride this past week. He flew solo. I couldn't fly back to meet the breeder or the litter, but I did exchange a lot of email and phone calls with the breeder.

The breeder sent me pictures of my new little baby before I moved forward with having him sent out.

Upon arrival he was a bit nervous since he had been in his crate for almost 12 hours, but with a little love and a 1/2 tea spoon of Kero Syrup he is just fine.

Somehow he was able to hold off going to the bathroom the whole time, so you can imagine the he really had to go when he got to my house. I ended up giving him a little soft food to loosen up his poop and it worked out great.

He fits right in here at our house and has found his favorite toys and foods. Not to mention sleeping spots. We look forward to a long healthy life together.

By the sounds of it, your breeder is going to bring your puppy on the plane herself. That is a good thing. The only thing that I would suggest is that you talk with the breeder to see if you could at least wait another couple of weeks before making this big trip.

With these little babies you want them to be a little older and stronger than bigger breeds of dogs.

I hope that when you get your new little baby that you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed ours.



Answer by Holly
Submitted on 5/13/2007
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Chihuahaus are NOT a weak and fragile breed!  To say they shake due to weakness or low blood sugar is rediculous and this woman doesn't know what she is talking about.  Good grief, before you post KNOW the facts!  Chis shake because they are happy,cold,excited,cold...


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