Chihuahuas are small in stature but big on personality. Their portability has made the breed the dog of choice for urban hipsters and Hollywood starlets alike. But suburbanites take heed — Beverly Hills Chihuahua is not a documentary. Chihuahua’s don’t need bling and caviar, they’ll be happy in any location as long as they’re given the love and affection they deserve.
Warning: “Teacup” sized Chis (weighing 2-3 pounds) are at a greater risk for health problems due to their fragile frame.
Because of their size, Chihuahuas don’t require a ton of exercise. A short daily jaunt around the block will help to socialize your Chi. Chihuahua’s hate the cold so be sure to keep them warm in cooler climates.
You won’t find too much hair around the house — Chi’s are small and don’t have a lot to lose.
Barking and Volume:
Though Chi’s have a reputation for being yappy and edgy around strangers, they’re generally less high-strung around their family members.
You can teach a Chihuahua almost anything if you can make it clear that you’re the boss (a patient one, of course). These sassy little dogs seem to know the persuasive power of their cuteness and may try to sway you into playing instead of training. Be patient with them. Start a swift and persistent training program at a young age. A puppy class can be helpful.
Health Factors: As with other toy breeds, Chihuahuas are susceptible to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), collapsing trachea (use a harness instead of a leash to minimize), soft spots on their skulls at birth (moleras), weak knees and heart issues. Their health problems are usually genetic or related to their small size.
*A reputable breeder can minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming:Home grooming is adequate.
Training: Basic training. A puppy class will do.
Shorthaired breeds benefit from a weekly brushing to keep their coat slick. Longhaired breeds benefit from a brushing twice a week to keep hair matt and tangle free. Whether you have a shorthaired Chi or the longhaired variety, grooming won’t be too demanding. You may need to step up your brushing in the spring and fall when they shed more than usual.
Chihuahuas can be “high strung” and this can lead to growling or aggressive barking at approaching strangers. Because young children are less inhibited to approach dogs, it’s not a good idea to have Chis around toddlers or younger children who tend to play rough. Though tough in spirit, a tiny-sized Chi can get seriously injured by a small child.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
Chihuahuas are typically wary of other dogs and can appear skittish or feisty around them. Often described as having terrier-like qualities, Chis are alert and spunky but may take awhile to warm up to other dogs. They tend to get along nicely with other Chis, however.
Friendliness: Towards People
Some Chihuahuas seem to love everyone around them while others, not so much. Factors like genetic temperament of parents and early training will determine this. Chis are not considered the most social dogs but they are affectionate toward their parents. They can seem neurotic if left alone for too long.
BE PREPARED FOR: Consciously watching where you step and sit to make sure you don’t crush your pup as well as getting lots of adoration from passers-by.