Saturday, August 27, 2011

Is a Chihuahua the right dog for you?

These comical little dogs are quite entertaining, quirky, eccentric, and have a personality like no other. However, this breed can have such extremes in personalities that it’s important to take this into consideration before deciding if these little bundles of feistiness are right for you. Chihuahuas can be placid, mellow, confident and eager to please. On the other hand there’s some that are just plain nervous bundles of energy that have a stubborn streak bigger then they are.

Chihuahuas are different then many other dogs in the way of temperament. There’s often a genetic factor that plays a huge role in this. There can be whole lines of social or anti social behavior in their geneology. Also the other most important factor like with any breed is how you raise, train, and socialize them. Remember it doesn’t matter what breed of dog you bring home the most important step to having a well balanced dog that can adapt easily to various situations is socialization.

When you think of Chihuahuas you may think of suspicious dogs that are quite noisy and make it known they aren’t fond of strangers. This is true they do pretty much hate every person and animal except their owner. They are definitely not shy about voicing their opinion on that matter.

Like in any breed though there are exceptions. Some may be standoffish at first but will come around in time. If people are patient and don’t push the issue they may win the Chihuahuas trust. Others don’t need any warm up time and are friendly from the start and have no problems going to anyone.

Many can and do live well among dogs, cats, and other animals in their own family. However, they aren’t typically known to accept animals that they don’t consider part of their family. Chis definitely have no problem with addressing their distain. If you don’t work to curb this reaction to others this can get out of control as they get older.

Chihuahuas tend to prefer their own kind. Some people even get a pair of them so that they can keep one another company when their other family members aren‘t around. The pair can play together, keep each other warm by snuggling, or even clean one another.

Being small dogs that get cold easily they love to snuggle into the smallest spots to tunnel under blankets, towels, or even clothes. They’re even known to find that one sunspot in the room and lounge in it as though they’re a cat basking up the warmth.

If you ask other Chihuahua owners what the most difficult thing to teach their dog the majority would probably say housebreaking. These little spitfires can be quite difficult to housebreak. This is especially so in cold or wet weather. Many go the indoor litter pan route. Some people even use a doggy door that connects to a covered potty area.

Chihuahuas may be your type of dog if you like:

  • Small “portable” breeds
  • Wide variety of colors, coats, and sizes
  • Entertaining eccentric personalities (only Chi owners understand)
  • Watch dogs (yes better then the dogs several times their size)
  • Snuggling (after all they want to be warm)
  • To spend lot of years with your dog (generally they have a long lifespan)

Chihuahuas may NOT be your type of dog if:

  • Small and delicate toy breeds aren't your thing
  • Stubborn personalities are a turn off 
  • Difficult house trainers pose a problem
  • High strung yappy personalities bother you
  • You don’t want a dog that tends to only bond with one person

Of course this is just a generalization and like any breed of dog it can vary. You can work towards avoiding and minimizing these negative traits. Do as much research as possible. If you are adopting from a shelter or breeder ask questions. Try to get as much background about the dog you’re interested in as possible. Work towards training and raising your dog correctly and use a lot of firm but positive reinforcement. It’s never too early to begin training and socializing your dog. Sometimes going with an adult Chihuahua is the way to go. By this age their personalities have developed and you’ll most likely be able to tell whether they have any of those traits that you don’t want.

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