CHIMERA SHIH TZU FAQ
Chimera Shih Tzu Policies & ContractS
- View our PAYMENTS PAGE
- We accept cash in person as well as secure payments through the Zelle app or on GoodDog.com
- We ask for a $500 non-refundable reservation fee to secure the puppy of your choice until they are 10 weeks old, then the remaining balance must be paid.
- We prefer the remaining balance in cash at pickup.
- If your puppy will be transported via flight nanny or other, we ask for payment IN FULL through Gooddog.com 2 weeks before they travel.
- We do not typically accept Venmo, PayPal, checks, or money orders.
- Zelle may be used – ChimeraShihTzu@gmail.com
- Puppies may be pickup up between 9 and 12 weeks old.
- We do not allow visits to our home, for the safety of our dogs and family.
- Pregnant/nursing moms & puppies do not leave our home until their vet visit, and then to their families. (Except for early socialization *no outside contact* car rides).
- There are no puppy visits until they are vet cleared and going home to their family. However, we do have regular outings with our other dogs you can come meet us, meet the dads, and meet the moms taking a break from motherhood. When they aren’t being a mom, they are our babies!
- Puppies are socialized, started on potty training, dewormed, vaccinated, microchipped, come with pet registration papers, veterinarian cleared, and lots more.
- Puppies go home on Limited/Pet registration
- We do not offer phone calls due to difficulties hearing.
- We welcome texts and messages.
- Chimera Shih Tzu Facebook page, message us here.
- Email us Chimerashihtzu@gmail.com
- You can also reach us on GoodDog.com
- We ask you to provide your full name, address, phone number, and email address for our records..
- View the Pet Home contract on our website.
How do I reserve a puppy?
- First, look over our website & Facebook page to learn a bit about us. Are you sure you’re ready for a Shih Tzu? This is a 15+ year commitment!! Your family is on board? Grooming? Vet Care? Training? Any questions?
- Apply on our Good Dog page so we know what you’re looking for.
- Contact us to discuss availability and the perfect puppy for you.
- Once agreed upon, place a $500 nonrefundable reservation fee on your puppy. The remaining balance is due in cash at time of pickup, or before transportation.
- Join the Chimera Shih Tzu Family Group on Facebook for ongoing support and socialize with the other families.
- Once your puppy is 9 weeks old, you can pickup in Englewood Florida or arrange transport.
- Congrats on your new puppy!!!
How can I contact you?
We welcome texts and messages.
Chimera Shih Tzu Facebook page, message us here.
Email us Chimerashihtzu@gmail.com
You can also reach us on GoodDog.com
We do not offer phone calls due to difficulty hearing.
Why Shih Tzu?
Why?? Because they are #1!! Truly the best dogs I have ever come across. Shih Tzus have the purest hearts of anyone I’ve ever known. We love, and choose to raise Shih Tzus because:
- They fit into nearly every home, every family.
- They adore children.
- They adore strangers, meeting new people.
- They are so friendly and outgoing.
- They are low energy, just like us.
- They are silly, goofy, playful in just the right dose.
- They are a very quiet breed, compared to others.
- They are small, compact, hardy, athletic, easy to travel with.
- They are long lived with relatively few health problems.
- They’re absolutely adorable and I cannot resist their sweet faces!!
- They are naturally amazing with autistic individuals.
- They are therapeutic for those with physical and mental disabilities.
- They are very healing for individuals with trauma or PTSD. My veteran husband didn’t think he liked little dogs or floofy dogs but he has grown to *need* our Shih Tzu for their therapeutic comfort.
- They can make excellent Therapy Dogs.
- Some Shih Tzu can make excellent Service Dogs.
- They are great for many different family dynamics including young families, children, and elderly retired individuals or couples.
- They can handle anything from apartment living to farm living!
- They are physically versatile in their activity levels. They can snuggle all day or they can go hiking & run an agility course.
- Their looks is customizable, you can groom them a variety of different ways to suit their living environments and your preferences.
- They are happy to snuggle on the couch or run an agility course. Really, they fit in anywhere!!
- They are very low key and not prone to destruction.
- They are not prone to aggression as a breed.
- They are great with other pets, other dogs & cats.
- They are easy going, low maintainance – except grooming
- I would rather shave my dog once every month or two than have dog hair everywhere!! I’ve also developed dog allergies over the years and Shih Tzus do not bother my allergies or eczema.
- They excell as companions to people in wheelchairs, limited physical abilities, or physically frail. Where a larger dog could knock people down and a daschund would have more limited physical abilities, having trouble hopping up into someone’s lap due to their long backs.
- They are difficult to find in rescue, meaning they are staying in their homes and fit right into a new home if needed.
- They are highly sought after. Everyone loves Shih Tzus. There won’t suddenly be a mass dumping of Shih Tzu.
- I feel I am capable of supporting the owners of our puppies, as well as the dogs themselves, for their entire lives. Grooming, vet care, training, behavior. There is nothing extreme or potentially dangerous. This is a breed I am comfortable taking back any of our dogs at any time in their life for any reason.
My opinions and perspective above come from having owned, rescued, fostered, loved, and met many breeds of dogs in our lives. They are all my favorite in one way or another. We just LOVE dogs!! However, there are none as overall perfect as a Shih Tzu.
Since I was a little girl I planned on breeding dogs. Always. It’s always been in my stars and dreams. Early in our marriage, when David had just joined the Air Force, we purchased a Weimaraner as a companion. A year later we were given a 2nd Weimaraner from a coworker of a neighbor that couldn’t keep the fiesty active puppy he had just bought. As the girls matured, it was decided Daisy would not be bred due to a genetic condition with her fur. Nala was a prime example of the breed and I planned to breed her after her 2nd birthday and testing. Then we got orders overseas to Germany and I found out I was pregnant. Breeding plans were put on hold because the responsibility needed my full attention, which I couldn’t give as a new mother myself, and then when we arrived in Germany I decided to spay Nala immediately. There was no way I could breed her within the next 4 years while we were stationed in Europe. How could I possibly support the families and puppies for the rest of their lives when I would be returning to the United States after 4 years? Once the 4 years was up and we get back home, stateside, Nala would be 6 years old. Too risky to breed at that age. So both our girls were spayed, no puppies, no breeding, and we had time to consider the longterm responsibilities and consequences of breeding.
I read somewhere that up to 90% of Weimaraners are rehomed or displaced at some point in their life. Only a small few are lucky enough to spend their whole life with one family until their elderly bodies need rest. Daisy and Nala were that lucky. But how could I bring dogs into the world that would be tossed around like that? I could take them back, but how many?? Weimaraners are NOT an easy or small spaced breed.
We continued on with life, exploring other breeds through shelters, rescues, friends, neighbors, and social connections. We fostered dozens of English Mastiffs. Another breed we absolutely adore! We adopted a health compromised senior Mastiff and loved her until her last day. They are also not a breed for everyone. They are large, powerful, can in some cases be dog aggressive, cat aggressive, or even human aggressive. They surely shouldn’t be! But it happens. They can also be inadvertently dangerous untrained as they drag their unprepared owner across a parking lot in excitement of seeing a doggo friend. We enjoyed several years of saving, loving, training, and caring for these majestic and wonderful dogs. But again, the responsibility of bringing them into the world… with such heartbreakingly short lifespans and being given up by people that can’t handle or control them? It’s not the place in the world that was meant for me.
Eventually, when all our big athletic rowdy dogs passed away from old age ailments, my autistic kids were missing that friendship they had with our dogs. We thought long and hard, choosing a Shih Tzu for my youngest son Ryan. He is autistic, barely speaks, has substantial sensory seeking & sensory avoidance. He has trouble reading body language and does not know when a dog is warning him, or how to react in that moment. He gets overwhelmed and struggles with give & take communication that training takes. He needed an easy care dog. One that is quiet/not too barky, too high pitched, or too loud. He needed a dog that didn’t have a great need for training like a Mastiff or exercise and brain games like a Weimaraner. He craves running his fingers through soft fluffy fur, it is very calming to him and helps him greatly with his anxiety and daily stressors. He needed a happy go lucky dog, one that has basically no “job” to do other than be his friend. Not a hunting dog, not a protective dog, not a herding dog, just a friend.
The Shih Tzu was the perfect fit. Our entire family fell head over heels in LOVE! We needed more!! We couldn’t get enough of the Shih Tzus. My daughter and myself both have chronic health conditions causing pain and fatigue. We just don’t have all the energy we used to. The Shih Tzus thought that was even better because they could snuggle with us all day and all night in bed or on the couch. These little angels didn’t ask anything else of us, just to be there. We are all autistic and while I was initially trying to fit a dog for my son’s more pronounced needs, I quickly realized this was what we all needed, all along. I’d met other people’s Shih Tzus, and enjoyed them, but never felt the love like I did when getting our own. I was also intimidated by the grooming needs, which I have since conquered.
One of our Shih Tzus, Kikimora, naturally fit the role of my own personal Service Dog. Ofcourse we did training and worked on public access skills and disability related trained tasks. I just don’t remember deciding she would be a Service Dog, though. She just naturally started helping me where I needed it. She knew what I needed, she sensed it, and she quietly placed herself to aid me. I get teary eyed just trying to explain how much Kikimora means to me. She has traveled through airports, flown across the country, gone to grocery stores, shopping, house hunting, driving cross country, and never misses a beat. Never stressed, just always up for anything! I think she’s happiest when she’s shopping (as a pet) and gets to meet all the new people. Then I think she’s happiest at home snuggling. Happiest hiking or swimming at the lake. I worried about the 24 hour drive we had to do, but again she was at her happies! Snugged right into my lap, shared my meals, bounced around for potty breaks, happily hopped back in the car and took her place in my lap with a big smile. Really?!?! Is there anything this dog can’t handle? She LOVES life and loves living it! She lifts my spirit and soothes my soul.
This is a breed that brings us so much joy, physical and emotional happiness. They fit into our lifestyle. I feel like anyone, really mos4 anyone that wanted to, could love and provide a happy home for a tzu. Their needs aren’t as high demand or specialized as other breeds. This means they are less likely to be rehomed or returned, and if they are they are welcome to snuggle up with me! I feel Shih Tzu are a breed I can responsibly place in homes and provide lifelong support to the owners and the dogs.
This is a breed that had brought so much joy to our hearts. They are absolutely perfect for us, especially at this time in our life (and forward). I don’t know how it worked out, but we needed Shih Tzus in our life and they showed up. This is an experience I hope to offer to other families. To fill that Tzu sized void they didn’t even know was there.
How much are your puppies?
Our puppies start at $2,000-2,500. We spare no expense and continually invest into our dogs and their puppies. We love them so much and want them all to live long, happy, healthy lives with much success. We want them to be a blessing to their families, and loved as we love them. We go to great lengths to provide healthy, balanced, well socialized dogs with the best head start on life. We do everything from early neurological stimulation, early car rides to prevent car sickness & anxiety later in life, we have genetic tested all of our adult dogs through EMBARK including breed results, ensuring you are getting exactly the dog you expect and have paid for. We include pet registration with our base pricing, no breeding rights included.
AKC & CKC Shih Tzus
- AKC or CKC Shih Tzu with AKC pet registration $2,000-$2,500
- Certain colors such as blue, lavender, and dobie are additional $500
What is included in your puppy price?
All our puppies come with:
- Lifetime Breeder Support
- 1 Year Congenital Health Guarantee
- Veterinarian Health Check
- Florida Veterinarian Health Certificate
- Registration Papers with Limited (Pet) Registration
- Embark DNA breed certificate of parents
- Vaccines up to date
- Dewormed up to date, negative fecal test from veterinarian
- Educational materials to help you get started with your new pup
- Puppy Gift Pack of Goodies
- Puppies have been raised & socialized in home among our family, loved beyond measure, and raised in a clean living environment.
- Puppies are weaned onto the raw food their parents eat, for ultimate nutrition and easy digestibility. Then they are transitioned to dry dog food for families that prefer commerial dog food.
- Puppies go home with Purina Pro Plan Focus – Puppy formula, dry dog food.
- Puppies have been introduced to the crate.
- Puppies have been using potty pads, but will require ongoing training and supervision at this age.
- Puppies have been introduced to car rides at an early age to help prevent car sickness and anxieties later in life.
- Puppies have been introduced to grooming and grooming tools to help acclimate them.
- Puppies nails are trimmed multiple times before they go home.
- Puppies receive sanitary trims before they go home.
- Puppies have been introduced and socialized to other dogs.
- Puppies have been exposed to toys and will take familiar toys home with them.
- Puppies have been exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, textures, and experiences during the critical early developmental stage.
- Welcome Back Policy. Chimera Shih Tzu puppies and dogs are always welcome back home here, at any point in their lives if you cannot keep them (no refunds but they can come home, never to a shelter!)y can come home, never to a shelter!)
Can we visit? Can we meet the puppies?
Our dogs love making new friends! They would be so glad to meet you. However, their safety (from theft), health (young immune systems), and our family’s safety and security are our top priorities. Please be understanding in our responsibility to keep our pets and our family safe in this different world we live in. Its not like it used to be! While COVID is ofcourse a concern, there are even scarier threats that face breeders & their beloved dogs. Deadly infections like parvo and distemper are a deadly to young puppies. Also, theives checking out dog breeders to return and steal the beloved family pets and/or litters is becoming more common.
Here’s the quick rundown:
- We do not invite visitors to our family’s home.
- We will meet in a public place for puppy pickups. We can bring mom & dad at this time.
- Mom’s & babies don’t leave the house until after 8-10 weeks except to see the veterinarian & short drives to get them used to the car.
- Puppy families are welcome to meet us at the veterinary clinic for a short visit outside after the puppies’ appointment. We do need to be respectful of the veterinary clinic and limit the number of people inside the patient room, but I am happy to turn on the air conditioner in my mini van and let y’all snuggle your babies. I’ll bring hand sanitizer for you to use before touching the delicate littles. They should be ready to go home within a week or two after seeing the vet, at 10 weeks old.
- If you want to meet dads and future moms to help you plan your future addition, we will make periodic meet the Chimera Shih Tzu Trips! When we are planning a public trip out, we will post on our Facebook page so you can plan ahead. We may go to the beach, a grassy public park, a trail, or a pet store, to give you a chance to meet the parents in person and get to know us as breeders/people. Again, these visits will only be for dads and moms that are NOT pregnant or nursing. As with most things in our life, the dogs come first. Their needs are prioritized above our convenience or desires. We just love them too much to put them in harms way.
- While in person visits are limited, we love & live for our dogs. If you ever want pictures or videos, just ask! Or follow our FB page where we will keep posting our adventures.
Why we have these rules:
To keep our family and dogs safe, we do not invite guests to the house. My husband is 20 years active duty military, just retired, so his thinking is family safety with such a variety of strangers wanting to visit the dogs. There could be disturbed people or people with bad intentions and he feels it isn’t worth the safety risk after all he has seen. He has been to the middle east during conflict 3x so unfortunately he has seen more than anyone would ever want to.
I’ve also heard from many other breeders that some people will pretend to be interested in puppies to scope out the home and then come back to steal the dogs and or puppies! An awful, terrifying thought. I simply cannot risk losing my babies (the adult dogs in our home are MY babies) OR fearing the harm that could come to them.
There is additional concern of bringing people from other households around mommas and young babies with such delicate immune systems. Since our dogs all live in the home with us, it would be hard to have a sepatate “guest” area where the dogs don’t go. We don’t have a breeding kennel or breeding building or anything like that. Just our family home: living room, bedroom, dining room, covered patio & yard, ect where we all spend time together. The mommas with babies are actually on the floor against my side of the bed so I can reach down to snuggle and comfort them any time they need it. They also come out in the living room with us for some special quiet time and yummy treats while the other dogs stayed in my bedroom (on my bed) and playing out on the covered patio. We have multiple dog doors so they can run in and out to play wherever we they want. We couldn’t live with anything happening to the puppies because we were too carefree with visits.
For the risk of disease spread we do not take pregnant or nursing moms out of the house (except to the veterinarian) and we don’t take babies out until they are headed to their new home, or fully vaccinated (except to the veterinarian). Except for rides around in the car during early developmental period to reduce the incidence of car sickness or anxities later in life. The pups do not leave the car, to avoid being exposed to bacteria or viruses.
We do have some other sweet pie Shih tzus, future mommas and the daddies, that would love to meet you if you’re willing to meet at a public place during our scheduled outings. They love making new friends and are always excited about a car ride 🙂
Ofcourse we don’t think our amazing puppy families are any concern at all, I hope you all don’t take offense, we only want to explain why it’s our family’s policy in order to protect our dogs and our own children. I truly wish it wasn’t necessary to be so cautious in this day and age.
Picking up your puppy
View our PICKING UP YOUR PUPPY Page
When you pickup your puppy, we are happy to meet you at a public location within 30 minutes of our home in Port Charlotte/Englewood, FL. I have disabling chronic pain and unfortunately cannot travel far.
If picking up your puppy in person, we prefer cash payment in full at time of pickup. This can be a lot to withdraw from an ATM at once, so plan ahead! We can provide a signed receipt to show proof that you paid
If you are flying to pickup your puppy or sending a flight nanny, I am happy to meet at the Fort Myers Airport, which is just over an hour from my home (without traffic). That puts me on the road for atleast 3 hours, round trip.
If puppy is flying, I will provide, at no additional cost:
- An airline approved soft carrier for in cabin travel if needed (some flight nannies use their own, in which case I won’t send one)
- A blanket
- Potty pads
- Food for several days
- Chicken foot to chew
- Toy to entertain
- Veterinary Inspection (Health Certificate)
- Vaccine Record
- As well as all the usual goodies we send home
If transporting or hiring a pet nanny, please discuss payment options and ensure payment is completed in full 2 weeks prior to puppy’s travel.
Do you ship / transport / deliver?
We do not personally travel very far, due to disability. We can travel about 30 minutes from home to meet with a family picking up their puppy. Or, we can meet you or your flight nanny at the Fort Myers Airport.
We are happy to guide you in arranging your own flight to come out to this paradise where you can book a hotel or AirBNB for the weekend, have a nice beach vacation, and take your puppy home on the plane with you. I’ll provide everything needed for puppy for this travel. All you need is to add a “carry on pet” or “in cabin pet” on an airline that does NOT require rabies vaccination. The babies are too young for rabies vaccines. Last I checked, I believe there was only 1 airline that required minimum 16 weeks old and rabies (Delta Airlines). I can help you through this, if you plan to fly to pickup your pup.
If you want to fly in, turn around and fly right back home, I can meet you at the Fort Myers Florida Airport with your puppy. I will have everything he or she will need for travel home. Just make sure you have an in cabin pet included on your flight.
Stay to Play:
I suggest visiting local beaches. If you are near Fort Myers, which is an hour south of us, the Sanibel Island is a very popular destination for tourists and shells. Some great restaurants with great drinks.Venice Beach is about 45 minutes north of us, popular tourist & locals spot for finding fossilized shark teeth on the beach! Check out Shark Frenzy. There’s a restaurant at the pier also.In the middle, close to us, is Manasota Key Beach, our favorite beach for finding fossilized shark teeth, fossilized stingray teeth (mouthplates), fossilized pufferfish teeth (mouth plates), and various fossilized bones and fragments. Englewood Beach has a nice parking lot, facilities, beach store across the street, and several restaurants, some with live music and outdoor seating that is pet friendly.
If you would like to hire a flight nanny that will do the flying for you, with your puppy in their lap or at their feet, we can help you arrange this.
We recommend Lori Your Personal Flight Nanny. Typically $550-$650 with a CONFIRMED SEAT. A very affordable price! A confirmed seat is important because most flight nannies travel on standby, which means your flight could be delayed at the last minute, multiple times. Lori loves the babies and will take great care of them while she does the long traveling to your regional airport. She is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Contact Lori on Facebook – she is so sweet!
Pet Jet Pals – Flight nanny delivery service that flies in the US in cabin with a personal nanny. Most trips are $500-550. USDA Licensed and Insured. A group of over 300 flight nannies to accomodate your pet’s travel needs. They do offer both STANDBY and CONFIRMED SEATS. Petjetpals.com
Pups on the Fly – Flight nanny delivery service that flies nationwide with a personal nanny. USDA Licensed. They fly STANDBY. Fees start at $650. Pupsonthefly.com
No Puppies Left Behind. They are a family operated flight nanny service based out of Orlando, Florida. Their average fee is $789, but varies based on availability, advance or last minute scheduling, and the size of destination airport. Message No Puppies Left Behind on Facebook
NO CARGO FLIGHTS
Shih Tzu puppies are not allowed, and should NEVER, travel “cargo” on airplanes. This is where they put the hard plastic dog crates in the compartment underneath the plane. It’s not safe for short faced Shih Tzu and it’s absolutely terrifying, they can have trouble breathing with the air pressure changes, and the temperature fluctuations can be potentially dangerous as well. When flying a Shih Tzu, they really need to be in the passenger area, riding with someone.
Another option *may be* ground transport. This is the least ideal option. Businesses are changing so fast so we cannot predict costs or recommendations at this time, but we are happy to look into this for you and help you hire someone. If you choose this transport, ask how many dog cages would be transported together, is it an individual transport in a personal car or a large cargo van transporting multiple dogs? Are rescue dogs included? Are vaccinations required and verified?, are they USDA Licensed and Insured, and how long the puppy would be in that cage on the road. Some vans travel coast to coast. We do not feel it is fair to have a new puppy in a cage, in a van, with other barking and potentially sick dogs, for 3-5 days straight! That gives me anxiety just writing. There *may* be more private transport options depending on where you live and what your budget is.
In my personal experience, it was always fastest, cheapest, and least stressful to travel myself to the puppy to pickup. As a breeder, I prefer this option and would welcome the chance to meet you face to face. However, I also understand how unpredictable and terribly exhausting travel can be. We trust the flight nannies listed and are willing to work with you on options. Just let us know how we can help you plan or prepare. We are luckily in a very beautiful area in SW Florida to plan a trip!
How much do your dogs weigh? Do you predict, track, or guarantee weight?
We raise small standard Shih Tzus, on the lower end of the AKC Breed Standard, with several of our dogs weighing in just below the breed standard. I’m happy to get a current weight on any of my dogs upon request. I actually don’t keep track of how much everyone weighs, as long as they are healthy and fit. I judge each individual based on their own structure and body condition, not what the scale compares. Our breeding dogs all weigh between 6 & 12 lbs, except Kikimora & Nixie. They are our largest weighing 13 pounds. Kikimora is an imported line from Odessa Joy in the Ukraine, with international show dog champion parents. I typically want my dogs within AKC breed standard, which is 9-16 pounds, but size is not a sole driving factor for me personally. My dogs range on the smaller end, with most being right at 8 pounds, but I never sought out “small” or undersized Shih Tzus. I put more thought and concern into their general body structure (for healthy long lived dogs without joint or spine issues, breathing problems, or excessivly protruding eyes prone to injury) and their temperament. In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter the size of the dog (within breed standard) but it’s important that they are friendly, outgoing, and able to handle life’s daily stressors like traveling, grooming, and playing.
I joined a lot of grooming groups and across the board the #1 complained about dog from groomers was Shih tzus because they can be so difficult!! I’m shocked by that because mine will literally get bored and lay down on the table while I shave them. That’s what I mean by able to handle stress. I want them to handle travel, and vet visits, and visitors in the home, and exploring new places, storms and wind and thunder. Well balanced dogs, whether they are 6 or 8 or 16 pounds.
I do not guarantee or offer “tracking” weights. I can only guess the babies to be between the parents adult weight. I’ve heard from other breeders that use “tracking weights” that they aren’t accurate. They said they only use them because their customers want something to expect. That doesn’t sit right with me. I’d rather be honest and say I truly cannot predict if they will be between parents weight, a little under, or that one random that shoots up bigger than parents. Like my “little” brother that’s the size of the jolly green giant almost a foot taller than me!
If puppy parents want weights at certain ages to “track” on their own I can certainly provide the weights. I just don’t want to give a false sense of expectation when I don’t believe in the accuracy of it myself.
Registration Papers: What is limited vs full registration?
AKC has two different registration types, limited & full.
Limited Registration is also referred to as pet registration. The ‘Limited’ term is named as this registration limits the registration to the individual dog. A dog with Limited Registration cannot register litters, or produce registratable litters. Meaning, if you have a dog with Limited (Pet) Registration, you cannot breed that dog and register its puppies. Many, but not all, breeders that give Limited Registration on a dog will also require spay/neuter and a no breeding clause in their contract.
Full Registration is also referred to as breeding rights. When a dog has Full Registration, they can be bred to another dog with Full Registration from the same registry to register the litter of puppies, continuing the lineage and documented pedigrees.
In order to register a dog, both parents must have Full Registration through the same registry.
If you only want a pet and never intend to breed, then Limited Registration is perfect. You get all the perks of registration without the additional cost or responsibility of breeding rights.
If you want to breed your dog, even once, please be honest and up front about this so we can match you with the right puppy and also to make sure you are prepared for the responsibilities that come with breeding- even once.
How do I become a dog breeder?
This is a complex answer that goes far beyond the format of this FAQ. However, I wanted to address for those browsing and thinking in the early stages.
It is expensive to be a dog breeder. It’s probably even more expensive to be a Shih Tzu breeder. Shih Tzus are not a lot cost dog, to purchase or to maintain. They are a hearty breed and I have been very lucky with healthy dogs, but as a breed they are prone to accidents, injuries, and on occasion an assortment of health problems. When owning multiple dogs, costs of daily living can pile up quickly. Then if anyone becomes sick or injured, your financial reserves can run out quickly.
Some of the costs of owning and breeding Shih Tzus
- Initial purchase of quality dogs from healthy pedigrees
- Cost of breeding rights from breeder, if applicable
- Costs of standard veterinary care
- Costs of health testing
- Costs of grooming services, or grooming tools to groom at home
- Flea, tick, heartwork prevention, routine deworming medications
- Quality food for healthy adults, pregnant/nursing moms, and babies.
- Breeding related veterinary costs
- Emergency veterinary fund available, c sections can cost thousands of dollars!
- Website fees and or advertising costs
- Whelping kit with supplies, medications
- Whelping box
- Potty pads
- Indoor pen for puppies
- Toys and other socialization / sensory experience items for puppies
In addition to the financial responsbility of breeding, you’ll also need
- A breeder mentor familiar with the breed
- Reproductive knowledge
- General health knowledge
- Ability to assist mothers with whelping their litters, to know when there’s a problem
- Establish care with atleast two reliable, knowledgable, compassionate veterinarians
- Genetic testing on each dog
- Registration of dogs with breeding rights
- Understand the breed standard and general dog conformation
- Good judgement in choosing breeding partners. Really think about traits that complement each other, what strengths and faults each dog has, and how any particular pairing could help or excacerbate those traits.
- Develop a screening process, application, contract, policies, ect
- Professionalism in running your own business
- Knowledge and experience with the breed, to make sound breeding decisions and to support your puppy families
- Flexible work hours to ensure you will be home when mothers or sick dogs need you
- Time to devote to multiple dogs, infant puppies, socializing litters, answering messages, and supporting owners through challenges with their puppy
- Take every puppy to the veterinarian for a thorough health check, microchip, vaccines, deworming, fecal test, and statement or certificate of health before the puppy goes to their new home
- Register yourself as secondary/breeder on microchips so you can get your dogs back if anything happens to their family’s ability to care for them
- A health warranty, and the ability to reconcile any claims
- The ability to take back or rehome any dogs that cannot stay with their owners. Never allowing dogs from your program to go to shelters, rescues, or humane societies. The dogs you bring into the world are your responsibility, for life.
- The time to devote to your puppy families through any questions, concerns, or guidance they may need.
- A support system, within the shih tzu community, breeding community, local community, family and friends
- Dog experience and also continuing education. You don’t have to know everything, but must be willing to learn and seek out information
- Keep good records, breeding includes a lot of paperwork
What makes your program different?
- Our Priorities
- Our Experience
- Our Committment & Support
- Our Passion
- Our Continuing Education
- Our Time Investment in Your Puppy
- Our Dog’s Health- genetic testing & vet care
- Our Dog’s Temperament
- Understanding and Proritizing Genetics
As a family with several genetic & hereditary conditions, I have a different perspective on breeding. I really paid attention to how myself and my husband have affected our children, unknowingly. When we had kids so many years ago we were not diagnosed. Now it is clear that our children inherited Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome & Autism from us. The quirks we thought made us unique, showed up in our children. Our difficulties that we thought were personal, or struggles that we thought were from trauma, so much about ourselves we’ve been “working on” for a lifetime, showed up to haunt our children. While I hate to see them struggle, I can support them because I understand. They are fighting MY genetic battles.
Now, when we breed dogs we have even more to consider and do not “brush off” quirks, traits, and differences among individuals. When we evaluate should this mom or dad be a breeder. Which dog should we pair with this one? I believe we put a lot more thought, consideration, research, and responsibility into those decisions.
Service Dogs, Therapy Pets, & Autism Dogs
Our Continuing Education
At Chimera Shih Tzu, we love to learn! We are autistic and tend to hyperfocus on what’s important to us, commonly referred to as our ‘special interest’ in the autism community. Lucky for us, our dogs are our passion! We love spending time with them, communicating with them, and learning about them from all different perspectives and sources. We are never done learning.
We are AKC Bred for H.E.A.R.T. members and have access to a wealth of resources and education through the AKC. This is very valuable and useful.
We are GOOD DOG members, also giving us access to valuable resources and education.
We are enrolled in AVIDOG, have completed the ‘Your Litter A to Z’ course. We continue going through and pulling more snippets of information and knowledge to use for the benefit of your puppy.
We have a great relationship with our veterinarians, asking many questions with every appointment, gaining knowledge, experience, and insight to a better tomorrow for the Shih Tzu.
The American Shih Tzu Club has been a great learning resource.
Learning about genetics is important when creating life, or making pairing decisions that creates life. We have DNA tested all our dogs through Embark genetics testing. We watch their educational videos, listen to their Live Q&As and webinars. We read, read, and read again the genetics reports on our dogs then we contact the genetics veterinarians at Embark to discuss the results and make breeding plans.
We pick the brains of fellow dog breeders, Shih Tzu breeders, show dog handlers, professional dog trainers, service dog handlers, and veterinarians to help fill in any knowledge gaps.
We are members of many groups and communities on Facebook. We are in veterinarian advice groups to learn more about health and care. Genetics groups are great for learning. We are in cleft palate puppy groups. Although we have never had a cleft palate, we want to be prepared, and hopefully prevent this happening. We are in breeder and whelping groups to make sure we keep our mommas and babies safe and healthy. We are in Shih Tzu owner groups to see how others care for their babies, what their experiences are like, what troubles they run into, what Health issues they face, what training issues they struggle with, and and what their furry friends enjoy doing. This helps us care for our own tzus and also to anticipate what areas our go-home pups and families may need some support with. We are in Raw Feeding groups to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge in regards to health, nutrition, enrichment, and wellness. We are even in canine contract groups to see how other breeders write contracts, what problems they have had with those, what legal actions they have taken, and how that worked out. It’s important for us to know what difficulties could arise, and how we can prevent that from happening.
The health and longevity of our dogs and puppies we produce is at the top of our priorities. It’s the most heartbreaking experience to fall so deeply in love with a dog and then lose them, at any age! We wish they could live forever. So we make sure we are not intentionally breeding traits that would affect or shorten the lifespan of these wonderful furry friends.
Learning about genetics is important when creating life, or making pairing decisions that creates life. We have DNA tested all our dogs through Embark genetics testing. We watch their educational videos, listen to their Live Q&As and webinars. We read, read, and read again the genetics reports on our dogs then we contact the genetics veterinarians at Embark to discuss the results and make breeding plans.
We are expanding our health testing beyond genetics & veterinarian health checks. Our goal is to meet or exceed the OFA / CHIC requirements for Shih Tzus based on the recommendations from the American Shih Tzu Club.
How do I make a payment
We accept cash or Zelle payments. We also accept secure payments through Gooddog.com.
Zelle: ChimeraShihTzu@gmail.com, name may be Stephanie or David Matlock
Good Dog pay here.
Good Dog payment platform offers valuable protection and support. They fully back the transaction and will protect us both from scammers. .
We ask for a non-refundable $500 reservation fee to hold the puppy of your choice until 10 weeks old when full payment is due. This will be applied towards the total purchase price of puppy. The remaining balance is due no later than 10 weeks old, preferably in cash at pickup.
We do not accept PayPal or Vemno as they do not allow puppy sales in their User Agreement Protections. We do not accept checks or money orders.
What colors puppies do you have?
We chose our parent dogs carefully based on many factors combined. We are very pleased to have several well bred dogs with amazing temperaments and personalities that also have beautiful coats in desirable colors! We have a rainbow of Shih Tzu!
We produce puppies in nearly all colors and patterns, but we do pair our dogs for more than ‘just color’ so it could take time to find a puppy the exact color you want.
Fill out an application on our Good Dog profile and indicate what color you are waiting for.
We may have puppies in dark blue Shih Tzu (looks slate gray), sable blue Shih Tzu, lavender Shih Tzu, black and tan dobie marked Shih Tzu, black based sable Shih Tzu, black mask Shih Tzu, cream Shih Tzu, white Shih Tzu, red Shih Tzu, parti Shih Tzu, black and white Shih Tzu, liver Shih Tzu, chocolate Shih Tzu (Registered as liver, but a deep rich chocolate color), solid black Shih Tzu, and one of my personal favorites – brindle Shih Tzu! We even have a young lavender brindle Shih Tzu that we hope will be a wonderful mommy when she grows up. We have a variety of shades, colors, and patterns, but they all have the the most important inside – the heart of a Shih Tzu!
What age do they go home?
Typically 10 weeks. We love our puppies, want to spend as much time with them as we can, to prepare them for the world and make their transition to your home as smooth and easy as possible. Shih Tzu are a little more slow to develop and mature than some larger breeds. We don’t want to rush them out the door! We like to keep them a minimum of 10 weeks. We allow you a couple weeks cushion for pickup. We do not have set in stone go home days. We believe the best time for puppy to go home is up to the family, depending on their schedule and availability. We don’t want to send puppies home on a day or week that the family will not be available. It’s better to plan ahead and make sure you are available to feed, bond with, play with, and train your new puppy. Therefore, while we feel 10 weeks is ideal, we do allow 8 to 12 week old pickups after their vet visit and health certificate are complete. Please do plan to pickup your puppy by 12 weeks of age or contact us in advance to make other arrangements. Beyond 12 weeks old, there will be boarding fees, and or loss of deposit in order to place the pup in another home if you are unable to take your puppy home.
What do you feed your dogs?
Big surprise here. I’m a crazy dog lady!!! I will go to any lengths to provide my dogs the best I can. That means feeding them a raw diet. Specifically, I feed Prey Model Raw, a natural diet of raw meat, bones, and organs. When done correctly it is a very safe, healthy, easy to digest, and balanced diet. Much healthier for dogs than processed dry kibble cooked commercially with low quality ingredients. I’ve been feeding my pets a raw diet for about 15 years. I choose fresh, whole, premium meat cuts from the grocery store, restaurant supply store, and butcher. I never feed processed or commercially prepared Raw. I never feed old, rotten, questionable, or denatured meat that has been marked as not fit for human consumption.
My adult dogs will stay on a raw diet because it’s what I feel is best through research and years of experience. Their puppies will also wean directly to raw and eat alongside their mommas while they are still nursing.
If you have placed a reservation fee on a puppy, I am more than happy to transition them to Purina Pro Plan Focus Chicken for Puppies before you take them home. If you are going to feed them dry dog food, it is better for me to transition them here. I can make sure they have a slow transition, and that they continue to eat. They love the Raw diet so much it can be a challenge to get them to eat what must taste like a cracker diet! I don’t mind at all if families want to feed dry food. Infact I strongly encourage everyone to consider what is best for them, in terms of cost, convenience, and what they are comfortable feeding. I do want the pups and their families to have the greatest start, so I like to take care of the transition here allowing the families to jump straight into snuggles and play without any worries of puppy transitioning food. We will get that all taken care of! We just need enough notice with reservation fee on your pup to get them completely onto dry food.
If you choose to continue raw feeding, check out our BLOG for further reading, resources, and guides. You can make your own meals from grocery store meats and organs or you can purchase pre-made raw online to be delivered straight to your door. There’s even a freezer at Petsmart with pre-made raw patties you can feed.
When you pickup your puppy, they will come with a small batch of food, either a container of raw or a go home baggie of Purina Pro Plan Focus Chicken for Puppies.
References & Qualifications
We are members of the Good Dog community. View our profile here.
We are members of the AKC Bred for H.E.A.R.T. Program.
We completed the AVIDOG “Your Litter A to Z” educational course.
I co-founded the American Mini Pig Association as well as the 501c3 nonprofits American Mini Pig Rescue & American Mini Pig Education.You can see my picture and bio under About Us, I am listed as President and Co-Founder of AMPA. I am also President & Co-Founder of the American Mini Pig Rescue. I’m Vice President and Co-Founder of American Mini Pig Education.
Search American Mini Pig Rescue Advocates on Facebook
I have written several books on pet mini pig care, available on Amazon and on my online store www.AmericanMiniPigStore.com.
Search my name, Stephanie Matlock on Amazon to verify the mini pig care & training books I’ve co-written. I hope to also write books on Shih Tzu!
My dog breeding mentor is Carla Glutting in KY. Carla has owned Shih Tzus all her life. She has a lifetime of breeding experience with various animals while growing up on a farm and then running her own family farm. She currently breeds Shih Tzus and is a wealth of knowledge. I am blessed to own three of her beautiful babies. I have known Carla since 2014. I met her through pet pigs. When she was breeding mini pigs, I co-founded the American Mini Pig Association which included breeder membership and pet pig registry. She become one of the approved breeder members under our registry so I worked closely with Carla for several years on a business level, while our friendship had started a year or two prior to the launch of the business. She knows me personally, professionally, and has guided me in raising Shih Tzus, and entrusted me with three of her precious angels. I can provide Carla’s contact info upon request.
My dear friend Lolita is Morningstar’s Shih Tzu. Lolita I also met through pigs, as she was a fellow pet pig mom who became a pig rescue. She was an integral part of the 501c3 nonprofit that I co-founded, American Mini Pig Rescue, in support of rescues across the nation. Lolita’s family has become like-family to my own family but she also has known me almost 10 years on a personal and professional level. She has stayed in my home, met my dogs, and seen the care they receive. Message Morningstar’s Shih Tzu on Facebook to ask about us.
We have been a traveling military family for the past 20 years, only recently moving to Florida, but have always has pets, rescues, and fosters. You’re welcome to verify with veterinarians we have used in the past. Once we feel we have a chance to establish trust and earn it, we will ask our new Florida veterinarians for a letter of breeder recommendation to share here.
Armistead Avenue Veterinary Hospital (757) 723-8571
Warwick Animal Hospital (757) 595-3337
Western Prairie Veterinary Hospital 580-482-1738
All Pets Medical Center (580) 482-7387
Lawton Veterinary Hospital (580) 699-7387
Westgate Animal Clinic (402) 769-0377
Best Care Pet Hospital (402) 734-1494
Myakka River Animal Clinic (941) 488-1455
Choice Veterinary in Punta Gorda (941) 347-7212
We are honored to offer a $100 discount to:
- Active Duty and Retired military veterans
- Law Enforcement Officers
- Autism Families
- Previous Chimera Shih Tzu families – come back for your 2nd or 3rd pup for a discount. We highly value good families for our pups!