The Chihuahua has a bold personality in an itty-bitty package. They are low energy, but have a high maintenance attitude, does the Chihuahua sound like the dog for you?
Mexico is the Chihuahua's Country of Origin
Although it is clear that Mexico is where this pint-size breed came from, the history of the Chihuahua is vague. It is believed that both the Toltec and Aztec groups had these small size companion dogs called the Techichi. It is believed that the Chihuahua is a descendent of this breed. Remains of the breed were found in the 1850's near a ruin in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, hence the name.
Long Coat or Short-Smooth Coat which is your preference?
This adorable breed comes in two varieties. A long coat is silky soft and can lie flat or be curly with some feathering around the tail, ears, and legs. Short-smooth coat is simply just that. Minimal grooming is needed for both types.
Don't let this pint-size breed develop Small Dog Syndrome
Yes, they are adorable, but don't let those BIG brown eyes, and adorable radar ears fool you! If given the opportunity they will develop a diva-like personality. Many pet-parents to a Chihuahua feel it is unnecessary to provide any type of rules or boundaries because of their size. Thus, allowing them to "run the roost," thinking their size won't harm anyone, but many children experience bites by this breed due to lack of training and proper socialization. Due to their size, it is even more important with this breed in particular to teach children to be gentle around them. Providing a positive experience is the best way to teach a Chihuahua good manners around kids. Preferably, this breed will do better with older, kinder, and responsible children.
Chihuahua's can have issues with other dogs, and even prefer their own breed to any other. They can be aggressive with other dogs, so early socialization in this area is also very important.
They tend to choose one particular person to be around more then others in a family. Sometimes, to the point of protecting that person from other members of the family; displaying growling, barking and biting behaviors. To prevent this don't over-spoil your Chihuahua.
Don't discount this serious syndrome, a snapping, yapping, out of control Chihuahua is not cute.
Potty Training can be difficult for this breed
Chihuahua's can take up to 2-5 years to be considered fully and properly potty-trained. This means using the outdoors as their potty area, with no accidents inside a home.
If you work outside of the home, please understand that this pint-size breed is unable to hold it for 9 hours, and should not be expected too. Consider hiring a dog-nanny to come to your home to give them a mid-day potty break.
High Maintenance but Enjoyable Breed
Yes this adorable breed can be high maintenance, however if you have the commitment to do it right, the Chihuahua can make a wonderful, loving, and fun little companion.
They can have some major health issues, like Hypoglycemia, skin allergies, luxating patella's, obesity, dental issues, and much more. If a pet-parent is willing to accept these challenges the Chihuahua will be worth it.
The Chihuahua is a low-energy dog that enjoys leisurely walks once a day, and cuddling in your lap. They do best in warm weather, but a sweater will help keep a Chihuahua comfortable during the cooler seasons.
A typical life span of the Chihuahua is 10-18 years.
Early training, strict rules, and proper socialization are the best thing for this pint-size breed. They and you will be happier for it.
As you begin looking for a Chihuahua, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe