Should I buy this shih tzu from the flea market?

Question by Kim: Should I buy this shih tzu from the flea market?
I go to this flea market in georgia every couple of years. It’s called pendergrass flea market. well, they sell these dogs, that are just sooo cute! there is this shih tzu I am planning to buy. but I want to know if I should buy it. The breeder is certified to sell these dogs. The dogs come with a kit, that has medical information and etc. this is going to be my first dog, so I want it to be special, but I don’t know if I should.

Best answer:

Answer by Whitney
do your research on the breeder, see if he has references too. You want to make sure the dogs are cared for and not in a puppy mill way. If they allow them to constantly go potty in their kennels, potty training will be a huge challenge!

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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  • di says:

    If the information is more than just the vets puppy pack and actually has genetic information you could consider it.

  • letterstoheather says:

    You are taking a chance on buying from a backyard breeder or puppy mill….. buying these dogs could be risky because if they are puppy mill dogs, they can come with a variety of genetic problems and illnesses.

    Of course, a lot of people “save” dogs from these conditions, and it’s a nice thing to do… just be prepared for medical problems in the future… but i HOPE NOT for the sake of the poor, little dog.

  • •Poppy• H•S•L•A says:

    Heck, no. A certified breeder selling their dogs to anyone at a flea market *screams* puppy mill.

    Why not adopt a puppy instead?

  • Kay says:

    The breed itself isn’t a bad one, they shed everywhere though, and can develop breathing problems. Temperament wise I haven’t met a mean one, and they’re pretty low maintenance, aside from the grooming. Also, make sure the dog isn’t from a mill, puppy mill dogs have a horrible life, and their puppies get tons of diseases.

  • wishnuwelltoo says:

    When the dog gets sick, you need the breeders real contact information. When people buy some dogs from a flea market the dog gets sick and they are stuck with big vet bills and a breeder that just disappears. You really don’t know if these puppies come from a puppy mill if you buy them at a flea market. It is up to you, but I would pass on it.

  • spike missing debra m says:

    make sure the certification is legit, ask for some references-be careful, tho-this is the type of set-up tailor made for a ‘puppy mill’ operator… but if you’re into that breed, and the seller is on the ‘up-and’up’, go for it

  • Lilly says:

    You need to know how old they are because if they are 8 weeks or younger they might die. because they are away from their mom.

    if they are 9 weeks or older than it should be okay! But make a appointment with your vet so they can get shots.

  • ♥life is great in southampton uk says:

    honestly no a reputable accredited breeder would not be selling puppies at a flea market
    if you want a shih tzu find a reputable breeder

  • Maureen M says:

    You should understand that by paying this “breeder” for a puppy you are supporting the back yard breeding industry. A kit with medical information is not a health guarantee. You would be better off looking at shih tzu rescues for a dog that really needs a home.

  • Jan says:

    Why would you buy a pup from a dang breeder(if they were legit they’d be selling/displaying from their home,or place of business!) There are all kinds of pure bred pups at the shelters for adoption!Plus they’ve already seen a vet and been given their first shots,dewormed,etc.
    Buying a poor puppy from the flea market breeder is just begging for trouble,even if they come with a “kit”.Please use the good sense I know you have and give a “pound’ puppy a forever home.

  • mle says:

    Research the breeder. If they have lots of other dog breeds, it is likely that they have a puppy mill, since most reputable breeders DONT end up at flea markets.
    You should look into finding a better breeder in your area, and find out where friends of yours have gotten theirs.
    Do not get your first dog from there, since it will likely have some health issues which are harder to deal with. so no, dont get the puppy there.

  • Zoe says:

    no u should not because it could not have had all its shots and it could not lyke people 4rm abuse

  • betsy says:

    NO ALWAYS ADOPT!! there’s so many dogs out there that need a home! so please adopt!

  • Cornelius Q. Rockefeller III says:

    Here’s a hint: the only breeders that have to be certified are puppy mills.

    Puppy mills love to sell their dogs at flea markets. That way they can hide the horrible conditions of their kennels. It also keeps the buyer from knowing how to contact them later, when the puppy turns out to be a walking vet bill.

    If you want a Shih Tzu, try looking in a shelter. Go to to search for adoptable dogs in your area. You could also find a reputable breeder in your area through the American Shih Tzu Club.

  • Time2party says:

    I have shih tzu! :) She is 5 years old. She is my first dog ever. I got her when she was 6 weeks old. She brings me joy like most dogs do.

    Shih tzus don’t shed like most dogs do though because their fur is actually more like human hair. Cool huh?! :)

    If the dog isn’t house broken already, do it as soon as you get the dog! Something annoying my shih tzu does is this: she barks EVERYTIME she hears the doorbell or garage door, and she barks at most people and dogs she sees from a distance. So you should socialize your pet with many people and dogs when it is young. You should also train it to do simple commands such as- sit, lay, quiet, speak, watch me, and stay. Petsmart has a good dog training class you may wanna check out.

    If you are up for the responsibility of taking care of the dog then I say, go for it! :) Be patient while you’re training it. I think it’s worth it. Dogs can be fun and loving. Good luck!!! :)

  • dixieroselee says:

    Red-Flagging a Dog Breeder

    If you see these signs in your potential dog breeder … RUN!

    You think you’ve finally found a breeder for that puppy you want to share your life, but you want to be sure he’s a responsible breeder, so your new family member can have the best possible start in life. How will you know if he is a responsible breeder? What are the signs to watch out for? When should you take your money and run … in the opposite direction?

    Thanks to the help of the wonderful folks on the Dogs Forum, we’ve compiled quite a list of “flags” that should help you decide if the breeder you are talking is a good one or not. If you see these signs, it would be best to look elsewhere for a breeder:

    He won’t let you see the puppy’s parents (the father may not always on site, this is normal).
    He won’t let you see his breeding facility.
    He can not produce registration papers for the parents.
    He does not have the registration papers for the current litter of puppies.
    He has no pedigrees on either of the parents.
    None of his puppies come with guarantees.
    None of his dogs have been checked for genetic diseases.
    None of his dogs have been OFA’d.
    None of his dogs have been CERFed.
    He does not want to know if anything has happened to your dog (that came from him).
    He breeds a lot of unrecognized breeds – Cock-a-poos, Spoodles, Labradoodles and the like.
    No veterinary health checks of the puppies from birth.
    No mandatory spaying/neutering of pet quality animals.
    No mandatory vaccinations (at least basic ones), no de-worming.
    Breeding solely for “pet quality” means breeding for money – not for the betterment of anything.
    Does not breed to better the overall conformation or working style of the breed.
    Does not know the history of his chosen breed.
    His dogs appear to be in ill-health.
    He always has puppies for sale, sometimes two or three litters at a time.
    Does not have veterinary records for at least the mother on hand.
    His dogs have no titles, either showing, working, or sports, whatever the animals are being bred for.
    He won’t give references from owners of pups from previous litters.
    He doesn’t ask any questions about the environment you offer the pup, just wants to see the cheque (and prefers cash).
    The puppies are ready to go before they should be (under eight weeks of age).
    Advertises “rare” colors, sizes, etc (such as “rare” white Dobermans, or Great Danes, “king-sized” German Shepherds, etc.)
    Advertises or sells their pups for greatly reduced prices.
    Sells to pet stores, puppy brokers, wholesalers, etc.
    Breeds before the age of two.
    It is a long list, but considering the health and welfare of your newest family member, it is always better to be picky about who you buy from, than to end up with possibly insurmountable health problems a year or two later.
    The price of a purebred puppy depends on if you are buying a “show or working quality” puppy, or a “companion only” puppy. Quality, in every species, comes with a hefty price.

    What You Should be Getting for That Price

    At least a three generation pedigree (preferably more)
    Titled Champions (sporting, working, or Conformation titles) in the pedigree, within the first two generations listed (directly descended from)
    Hips and elbows on large breeds have been certified “Good” or “Excellent” by OFA on both parents
    Eyes have been CERFed free of genetic abnormalities
    A Guarantee that your dog is free for life from inheritable diseases and conditions
    A promise of a place to bring you dog back if you can not keep him or her any longer (more than a promise, usually a requirement)
    Any help you need to help you become a better dog owner. Every breed has it’s idiosyncrasies, and everybody needs help sometimes.
    Care and grooming information
    Sample of the currently fed food
    A good, even temperament
    A healthy, well-socialized dog who will adjust easily
    A mentor if you are planning to show, work, or breed your new dog
    The price of a purebred puppy should include all of these things. If it does not, you should be looking elsewhere. If you really want a healthy, happy, purebred dog, the price is worth it.

  • Divapom says:

    No, No and NO.
    No reputable breeder who cares about their dogs would ever sell their puppies at a swap meet. If they don’t care where they go, You can bet your life that they didn’t care enough about them to give them the best care in the selection of parents and care as babies.
    These swap meet breeders rely on the cuteness of puppies to make their money. ALL puppies are cute. If a Shih tzu is what you want, find a reputable breeder or rescue. Every dollar that swap meet person earns from selling his dogs is more incentive to continue to breed more substandard dogs.

  • mom24 says:

    Be careful!!!!
    I went to the flea market just last Sunday and bought our first puppy, a 3 month old chihuahua. Well, guess what? We now have a 700 dollar vet bill and a dead puppy. Turns out he had the parvo virus all along. We enjoyed him for 3 days before his symptoms showed. Our vet said he’d been exposed at least a week before we got him.
    Just check with the breeder. The breeder I bought from is licensed as well. So much for that!
    Pendergrass knows now as of today and should notify all puppy vendors.
    Just be careful. I don’t want the same hurt to be passed on to anyone else!!

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