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Breeder Spotlight: Charming Chihuahuas and Their Dedicated Breeder

Oct 4 

Written By TellTail

Thank you, Britanie Rains, of Salem’s Finest Chihuahuas in Oregon, for sharing your words of wisdom with the TellTail community.

Britanie's breeder spotlight highlights her deep passion for Chihuahuas, her meticulous application process, and her commitment to fostering a supportive Chihuahua community while offering valuable advice for aspiring breeders.





What is so special about Chihuahuas?

Chihuahuas are the perfect companions! They are tiny dogs with a huge personality! They are a “graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with a saucy expression,” quoted by the Chihuahua Club of America.

Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm, and a big-dog attitude. They range in size from 2-6 lbs on average for breed standard but can be larger. There is no such thing as a teacup! They are considered a toy breed already and the smallest breed in the world.

Chihuahuas make wonderful pets for people of any age and can live in all size homes from apartment living to the great outdoors in Alaska! They make wonderful therapy dogs as well as emotional service animals. They do very well in pairs and especially enjoy the company of their own breed.

They come in two coat varieties- long and smooth. The colors and patterns available in this breed include chocolates, dilutes, black tris, brindles, merles, and spotted on white to name a few. Merle is recognized by the AKC parent club of America. Chihuahuas can have an open Molera on the top of their head making them extra delicate.

What questions do you ask your potential buyers? 

We require a puppy application that can be submitted directly off of our website.

The first set of questions on our application asks for typical information such as names of applicants, contact information, and veterinarian information if applicable.

We ask what experience the applicant may have with the breed. If they aren’t experienced Chihuahua owners, then we will send them an email containing relevant information with videos and articles for them to review to ensure they are well-educated about the breed before obtaining one from us.

We breed for health and temperament, but any small breed dog has special considerations. We want to know more about each family/individual who applies for our puppies, so we ask if they work or go to school full-time and what kind of time they will have available to dedicate to the animal they are wanting to adopt.

Some families would be best matched with a laid-back puppy versus a more active one so we do try to review the lifestyle of the applicant to the puppy they are wanting.

Why do you love being a dog breeder?

I love the bond that I have with my dogs, and I especially love the process of being a puppy “midwoof.”

I have whelped more litters than I can count over the duration of my career as a dog breeder and I have taken my passion of whelping and shared it with others who want to learn from me.

My process is special and self-taught. I love watching my program grow into the next generation.

I take great pride in the health and foundation of my program and I encourage my buyers to keep in touch with me and send “pupdates.” I can’t keep all of the dogs we create so it’s critical that my clients inform me about any health concerns that may arise over their lifetime so I can make imperial decisions moving forward.

I have met families all over the US who have chosen me as their breeder. I have also been able to connect most of these families together in a safe space where they can communicate with one another, and share photos, milestones, training tips or questions, and any concerns. We are the SFC family! We bring families together one Chihuahua at a time!


What challenges do you face as a dog breeder?

I think one of my biggest challenges as a dog breeder is the sacrifices a dog breeder makes in their own personal lives because they are on call 24/7 taking care of their dogs and puppies on the ground. There is always a litter that needs tending to or a new litter arriving. Plus the breeder support we provide to all of our existing clients who keep in touch. I often miss out on scheduled family dinners because I am busy whelping a litter that is arriving early! I lose sleep hovering over a puppy who might be showing signs that he may not be thriving.

Dog breeding is a unique industry that not many understand unless you are in it, doing it or have done it. It can be lonely and hard.

Being a dog breeder isn’t just a 9-5 job M-F. It’s full-time, at home, around the clock always in your face. There is no separation of personal life and dog breeding life. You will truly feel like you invested your “blood, sweat, and tears”, into your program but it is a true “labor of love.” I love what I do and I am good at it. The life of a dog breeder isn’t for everyone, but it is for me.

What advice do you have for aspiring breeders?

  • Read, read and read! You will never know everything there is to know and your experience will not be like it says in a textbook! 

  • Join groups for your specific breed to learn more about the breed. Join groups for whelping and rearing pups. Join groups to learn the best strategies for raising your litters. 

  • Ask questions. Take notes. 

  • Find a Veterinarian who will support you and your intentions in your breeding program. 

  • I suggest finding a mentor but please be respectful of people’s time. 

  • Every experience you encounter will be a lesson of some kind. You will have a lot of flawless encounters but every now and then you will have a challenging client or animal. Be aware of where you may need to make modifications. Be ready to grow and make changes. 

  • Health test. This doesn’t just mean doing an Embark panel. I mean really do the suggested health tests for the breed you are working with. Do it all. Go above and beyond and you will shine. Your clients will love all the effort you put into your breeding foundation. 

  • The internet can be mean and outright offensive, especially to dog breeders. Develop thick skin. You will need it.

Mentorship & Education Breeder Intros


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Brit at westminister .jpg
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