There are so many reasons to add a Chihuahua to your family. But before you do, we have 7 things you should know about Chihuahuas (the good and the bad).
We know it can be easy to see a great little (or big) dog in a movie or at the park and immediately want to add one to your family. But, remember, every breed has it’s pros and cons. Chihuahuas are the second-most-euthanized dog in shelters in the United States due to their abundant population, and unfortunately, less abundant homes. We hope that you are able to add a Chihuahua to your family, but before you do, here are seven things that we think you should know about Chihuahuas:
1. These little dogs always want to be on you, or at the very least, touching you.
It’s a rare Chihuahua that ends up independent. Most of these little guys will follow you from place to place and insist on lying in your lap. If you take them off of your lap they will persistently get back on. They are ridiculous cuddle bugs!
2. Chihuahuas are always cold.
They are great desert dogs, but in the air-conditioned house they need a blanket. If you live in a cold climate you will need to provide your Chihuahua with a heating pad to keep their shivering to a minimum. They will also require a warm ensemble of coats and clothing. In fact, they might need their own closet.
3. Chihuahuas are high maintenance!
Owning a Chihuahua means you will be an overworked bodyguard. They are subject to birds of prey so you must always accompany them outside and stay with them. If you have large dogs as well, you will need to protect them from being run over so you might need to carry your Chihuahua to a safe area. Don’t think you are off the hook for indoor care either! Chihuahuas can break a leg just jumping off a sofa. Our entire house has been adjusted for our little Chihuahuas’ safety. They have stairs and safe houses (tiny kennels) everywhere. However, Chihuahuas are helpful in assisting you with your bodyguard job, because they are smart enough to know their small size means they need protection.
4. Chihuahuas can be nervous little dogs so they tend to bark at every sound.
If you want to keep your sanity, training to keep barking at a minimum is a must. Chihuahua’s respond great to positive reinforcement training, but getting upset with them will actually make barking worse. Seek out a trainer who understands this if you need assistance. Be sure to say “no” to any trainer who recommends you use any type of training collar to solve this behavior problem. These types of training devices have been banned in many places across Europe as they’ve been shown to create neurosis and other problems in dogs.
5. Chihuahuas have been known to guard the person they have chosen.
Yes, that means they can sometimes go so far as to bite others that come close. This behavior can be easily changed if you start early on with a puppy. It’s much more difficult to change with an adult dog that has already established this naughty habit, but it can be done. Again, if you are struggling with this behavior problem, we recommend you seek out a positive trainer to assist you with solving this problem. A good trainer will know about this Chihuahua problem and have multiple, positive solutions.
6. Chihuahuas are prone to hypoglycemia.
This condition is easily prevented with regular feeding. We take special care to not let our Chihuahuas go very long without eating at least a small snack. Especially in the morning when they have fasted all night; your Chihuahua will need a little something first thing when you get up. Breakfast in bed you human slave to the all-mighty Chihuahua. If you want more tips, we recommend reading our article How to Care for Your Chihuahua.
7. Chihuahuas have a propensity to duck and back up from hands.
This one is actually very common for most small breeds. In addition to the duck and backup routine, when they are puppies they sometimes scream when you pick them up. What’s that about? The first time we encountered the scream we thought we hurt our little guy, so we quickly let go.
Even as a puppy Chihuahuas are smart enough to get what they want. “I scream, the stupid human let’s me go and I go do what I want, when I want, and where I want.” Brilliant aren’t they? Once we figured that sneaky trick out we held on to our little screaming pint-sized beast and she very quickly learned that her screaming temper-tantrum would no longer work. However, it did not stop her from trying the tactic on others.
You can change the ducking and backing up from your hand, and stop the screaming, so don’t despair! That’s just the puppy stuff. Remember the number one thing you should know about Chihuahuas on this list? Chihuahuas are ridiculous cuddle bugs!
Do you have anything else you feel it is important to know about Chihuahuas? Let us know in the comments!