HOW TO BUY A PUPPY
Although you may only want to buy a Chow for a pet, you will want to purchase the best specimen you can get. Chow puppies which are purchased from pet stores, from newspaper ads, and from flea markets are rarely good stock. Truly good Chows are in great demand and are not easy to come by, particularly not at a small price. A prospective puppy buyer should ask the seller for a pedigree. If the seller cannot produce the pedigree for the puppy, in all likelihood the puppy in question does not represent much quality. The buyer should likewise ask to see the AKC litter registration slip or the equivalent information in writing, that is, the puppy's sire and dam with their AKC registration numbers, etc.
The buyer should look at the puppy's pedigree to ascertain if there are any AKC champions among the puppy's ancestors. While champions in a pedigree are not a guarantee of quality, it is more likely that a puppy with a champion parent or several champion grandparents is a better specimen of the breed than a puppy with no champions or only a few in the fourth or fifth generations.
A reliable breeder should question the prospective buyer as to how the Chow puppy will be raised, housed, fed and cared for.
The puppy should not have excessively "watery" eyes which discharge onto the puppy's muzzle; the puppy should not have any signs of diarrhea or skin problems; the puppy should be clean and healthy looking, full of life, and above all, alert and interested in people, not shy and retiring or "spooky".
The prospective buyer should ask the seller for a written guarantee of the puppy's good health for forty-eight hours, for the AKC registration slip, and a pedigree. The puppy should be taken immediately after purchase to a veterinarian for a checkup at which time the veterinarian should ask for a stool sample of the puppy.
The prospective buyer might keep in mind as a good rule of thumb that a reputable Chow breeder will be most cooperative with the buyer in regard to the myriad questions that the buyer will have in regard to his puppy. If the prospective buyer is met with hostility or an unwillingness on the part of the seller to answer questions or contribute to the education of the buyer in regard to the Chow breed, the buyer might do well to look elsewhere for his Chow puppy.
The Chow Chow Club Inc. provides a health and pedigree research website dedicated to education of health issues, genetics, etc. on chow chows. The Chow Health website is a must for every serious buyer of chow chows.