Beaver Creek Kennel Talks About Chihuahuas
The appeal? The tiny (as small as two pounds) Chihuahua offers feistiness coupled with enduring loyalty to the person he chooses as his own, along with an expressive face, including large, round eyes that show everything the dog is thinking.
Despite the many endearing qualities of the Chihuahua, if you’re thinking his tiny size makes him a great choice for children, you’d better think again. The Chihuahua may be just right for traveling around in a puppy purse, but he’s far too small and fragile for even the gentlest of children’s games. Chihuahuas also tend to be high-strung and prone to nipping, snapping and even biting when frightened or threatened, or when defending his people or territory.
Some of these tendencies can be helped through early training and socialization. Unfortunately, too many people with Chihuahuas allow them to become little tyrants, displaying manners that would not be acceptable in a larger dog. This dog needs gentle and consistent training from puppyhood on to control his nipping as well as any tendency he has to fight with other dogs. Like many small dogs, Chihuahuas aren’t aware of their own size and won’t hesitate to challenge a dog many times larger than themselves. Also, like many small dogs, Chihuahuas are difficult to house-train without a lot of consistency and patience.
The Chihuahua is also very yappy and will be noisily vigilant about any intrusion into his territory, real or imagined. He’s not particularly fond of strangers of any species, reserving his affection for his chosen person and, sometimes, the rest of the family.
Chihuahuas come in two coat types, short and long. The short coat sheds more than the long, but the long does require daily brushing to keep it from tangling and to remove dead hairs. But since there’s not much dog, there’s not much coat, even in the long-haired version.
Chihuahua Temperament and Personality
Chihuahuas are saucy and alert, with a mind of their own. They might not be able to talk, but that doesn’t prevent them from letting you know exactly what they want: usually plenty of quality time with their favorite person. Chihuahuas are often devoted to a particular person in the family and can even become obsessive about their desire to be with them and protect them. There’s a name for those dogs: “armpit piranhas.” If they’re being held and someone approaches the person holding them, the Chihuahua will make every effort to protect his person, whether it’s necessary or not.
Despite his tiny size, the Chihuahua is fearless, never timid or frightened. If you see him shivering, it’s usually because he’s cold. That’s why you see so many Chihuahuas wearing sweaters.
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being spoiled and untrainable, but that’s often because people don’t make an effort to train them. Chihuahuas are just like any other dog: they need consistent rules and structure if they are to learn effectively. They are highly intelligent.
Although Chihuahuas are prized for their small size, they’re often fed to obesity. A Chihuahua’s skeleton is not designed to carry much weight, and even a few extra ounces can be a significant burden to a dog this size. As with all dogs, leanness is far healthier – and cheaper, when it comes to veterinary costs. Keeping a Chihuahua lean is particularly important if he has luxating patellas.
Tiny mouths frequently mean there’s no room for proper development of teeth. It’s essential to get regular veterinary dental care for a Chihuahua, and he may need to have some teeth pulled to make room in his mouth for proper development of the rest of the teeth.