These little dogs make great pets with the proper training. Learn all about chihuahuas before bringing one home.
Chihuahuas are adorable little dogs weighing between four and ten pounds. They have expressive faces, apple shaped heads, and curved little tails. Before choosing a chihuahua, it is important to learn all about them.
These dogs can be very sweet with the proper training. Chihuahuas often get a bad reputation as being possessive and aggressive. This is often due to “small dog syndrome.” This is when certain negative behaviors are not addressed because of the small size of the dog. Owners who frequently carry their chihuahua, let the dog jump on strangers, and reward anxious behaviors, will create a possessive and possibly aggressive dog.
Chihuahuas are curious about their surroundings. They enjoy exploring their environment. Because of this, it is important to thoroughly dog proof the home.
These are also very clean dogs. They spend a lot of time grooming their paws. However, they can be stubborn when it comes to housebreaking. It may take months before the dog consistently defecates in the correct place.
Chihuahuas are very smart and trainable. They can learn commands just like any other dog. Despite their small size, it is still important to teach them basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.”
They are also very playful. Most chihuahuas love toys and enjoy playing with their owners and other dogs. There are a wide range of dog toys made for small dogs to enjoy.
Another personality trait are their vocalizations. Chihuahuas are barkers, and will bark when excited, nervous, and scared. They also make a lot of noise when playing.
The Best Home for a Chihuahua
Because of their small size, these dogs can live in smaller homes such as apartments. Most of the time they are able to burn off energy by playing and running around the home. However, going for walks in still important. A walk allows the owner to assert leadership. It also satisfies the urge for the dog to roam.
Chihuahuas living in colder climates should not be allowed out of the house if the temperature is below forty degrees. Even long haired chihuahuas can get chilled. Jackets and sweaters are not just cute, they are necessary.
The members of the family must be aware of the little dog. There are many tragic accidents that happen from people mistakenly hurting or even killing their small dogs. Chihuahuas are at risk of being stepped on, kicked, sat on, or injured from rough play. Be sure that every member of the household will be able to be aware and cautious around the chihuahua.
Like any dog, chihuahuas need time and attention. This is especially true when it comes to training. Be sure you will have enough time to train, walk, play, and love these little dogs.
Purebred dogs tend to have more health concerns than mixed breeds. There are some health concerns specific to chihuahuas. Some of these can be prevented by proper nutrition and foresight.
Chihuahuas tend to have problems with their knees. Because they are small, they need to jump on and off of furniture. This can put strain on their joints. To help prevent this, give the dog joint care supplements. Another way to protect their knees is to have dog steps, this way they won’t need to jump. Place the steps near their favorite places, such as the couch or bed.
All chihuahuas will have a soft spot on the top of their skull. This most likely will never fully heal, though it does on some dogs. Be aware of this area.
Another health concern is their eyes. Chihuahuas have large eyes that slightly bulge out of their head. It is easy for their eyes to get injured on objects as well as from play.
Dental care is very important. Brush their teeth at least once a day. Most dogs enjoy this, especially when flavored tooth paste is used. Also give them chew toys and chew treats. This will help keep plaque off of their teeth.
Chihuahuas are unaware of their small size. They don’t realize that they are tiny compared to other dogs. This can get them into trouble. A chihuahua will not think twice about challenging a dog that outweighs them by fifty pounds. The owners must look out for them.
With the right training, these are great dogs. Chihuahuas are sweet, curious, smart, and expressive. Be sure you will be able to give them the loving and structured home they deserve.