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Old 20.01.2015, 23:58
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Buying Chihuahua in CH - question about place and prices

Isabel, I will second Sean's comment - the first thing you have to do is take the SKN Theory course.

This is one of two courses mandated by federal law. The theory course is required of all first time dog owners in Switzerland. 'First time owner' generally is defined as not having had a dog registered in your name on the ANIS database.

For foreigners who have owned dogs in their own names in other countries, you need to contact the cantonal veterinäramt with proof of previous ownership for a ruling as to whether you might be granted an exception, or not. The SKN Theory course must be done before you aquire your dog.

I strongly recommend you take the SKN Theory class even in granted an exception, as there is important information (including where to find a pup, what the legalities are, etc.) that you will need. The course is 2 sessions, ca. 150-200.

The reason this is always brought up is not only that it is the law, but that no decent breeder will sell you a pup, no decent rescue will allow you to adopt one of their dogs until you have taken the course.

Once you have your pup, the second course required is the SKN practical. This is usually 4-5 sessions, again ca. 150-200, and must be done within 12 months of acquiring the dog.

There are countless threads discussing the SKN classes - just search the Pets section.

From an SKG/FCI breeder, expect to pay from CHF1500-4000.

The place to start is with the breed club of the SKG, for Chis this is the Zwerghundclub:

You need to contact the Zuchtwart, the person who keeps track of planned litters, or contact the breeders directly.

Do be aware that a good breeder will want to know quite a bit about you, to ensure that his/her pup is in good hands. And be aware that most good breeders have waiting lists, sometimes months, sometimes a year or more. Finding a puppy is all about establishing a relationship with a breeder.

One more thing to be aware of: Chihuahuas are, tragically, one of the breeds that are often puppy farmed. Yes, even here in Switzerland. This is a despicable industry - the dogs endure horrific abuse, the pups often sickly or genetically compromised. Because Chis are so popular and command high prices these vile battery farmers churn them out by the thousands.

When you buy from a battery farmer you condemn more dogs to this hell on earth.

So - do your due diligence on breeders, make sure you understand what makes a good breeder, and carefully assess the breeders you are considering - just as they will be assessing you.


Perhaps as a fall-out from their popularity Chis land in rescues here in Switzerland with some regularity (getting back to that 'are you ready for a 15+year commitment' thing). If you feel you are up to giving a rescue dog the forever home he so deserves, please do consider rescue. The national database of homeless animals is here, you can filter on size, gender, age, canton, etc:

As of today, there are 38 small dogs - of all sorts - listed on the database. Browse a bit, see if anyone tugs at your heartstrings.

The adoption fee for a rescue dog in Switzerland will vary widely - as an example, I have paid adoption fees from CHF 400 to CHF 1000 for the various members of the Muttley Crew.


But from a breeder or a rescue, the important thing is that you go in hand-on-heart ready to make that 15+ year commitment. Towards that end, do a bit of soul searching to determine what you can, and cannot, offer a dog - and then look for a dog whose needs mesh with yours and that of your whole family, who fits your lifestyle - and to whom you can make an absolute commitment for the next 15+ years, no matter what else happens in your life.



You can read more about the federal dog regulations, as well as expectations of dog owners, on the BLV's website, Meinheimtier:

And the Zug Hundegesetz, including the revision proposed that is not yet in force, is summarized here:


Wishing you all the best as you search for your new furry friend.

Last edited by meloncollie; 21.01.2015 at 00:18.
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