Good and responsible chihuahua breeders do not refer to any of their chihuahuas as 'teacups or 'tiny toys'. YOu have to realize, the chihuahua is a tiny dog anyway. Anything over 6 lbs is over the breed standard, and 6 lbs is seriously tiny.
Here's the chihuahua club of america's official statement on 'teacups'
Now all of that said, if I were you, I'd start at that site with looking for a breeder. Unfortunately they don't have a list of CCA breeders, but there's a contact address for getting in touch with a breeder referrel person, or you can just 'contact them' and ask for breeders in your area.
You can of course look at chihuahua breeders on this site, but insist that any breeders offer health guarantees of at least 2 years on dogs they sell, a written contract, and do health testing like CERF for the eyes and OFA for knees and elbows.
Regarding what prices are 'normal'? Well you can pay probably $250 or $750 for a poorly bred 'teacup' or approximately the same amount from a responsible breeder that stands behind their breeding 100%, offers health guarantees and does real genetic testing on their breeding dogs.
Ask what other breeds of dogs they have for sale, ask to see what kind of testing they do, how often do they breed, how many litters a year, vet references. Run away from anyone who says their dogs are vet checked but that they do no testing because they'e never had any problems. This is meaningless, and basically means the day they took the dog to the vet it was healthy. It is NOT a guarantee of health. ALso you want to get your dog from someone who keeps puppies until they are at least 10+ weeks old, as chihuahuas are very fragile and need to be kept longer to prevent health issues.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 7/6/2005 7:25:49 PM*** Reason: add
Registration costs the breeder money, so registered dogs generally do cost more than unregistered dogs.
Unless you have wonderful visible contact with the breeder, there's possibly no telling if the dog will be healthy or not. However, if you get a dog from a *good* breeder who offers health guarantees, a written contract guaranteeing the health oftheir puppies, and who offers proof of health testing, OFA numbers, CERF numbers, etc.. that's at least a sign that the breeder is doing everything they can to ensure that their breeding stock is healthy, then ideally the puppies will have a better chance of being healthy their entire lives too. ANd if something *does* happen to the puppy and it does come up with health problems, you will either be reimbursed for your puppies cost, or hve the option of getting another puppy without any health problems.
How old are you? Do you have income? There are no teacup chihuahuas, only chihuahaus that come in a variety of sizes according to the breed standard. Refer to a chihuahua weight chart and view the breeding parents in order to know what size you might get. All in all your looking at $2k to purchase and properly care for your dog in the first year.
Better yet, adopt from a shelter... It is cheaper, the dogs are vaccinated and neutered for a couple hundred bucks.
Chihuahua Rescue & Transport has oodles & oodles of chis for adoption.
I somewhat disagree with someone else's post that the unethical breeders charge less for their dogs than the ethical breeders. At least in my breed, it is exactly the opposite especially when it comes to a pet quality dog. I don't know any ethical breeder (of my breed) that charges between $1000 to $2500 for a pet...a show dog, sure, but not a pet.
Isn't always true... but all the newspaper ads for what are most likely bybs are 400-600 for multiple breeds of dog, and to look at dogs from breeders who health test and show the same breeds are 800-1200.
Isn't a definate, cause there are plenty of crappy breeders raking it in, but I've seen plenty of crappy breeders selling more dogs by being a lower priced operation.
That's why I made sure I said for "my breed" Mafia cuz I really don't have a clue about other breeds and who is or isnt' ethical, the "standard" price, etc. Of course, we've all seen the "designer dogs" going for thousands, but I discounted them completely cuz we all know they shouldn't even be called breeders....they're just money hungry pigs who only see dogs as uteruses and sperm machines