Buying a Hibiscus Chihuahua
And they adore half-mile walks around the block. Keep your Chihuahua on-leash! Even if you felt that your particular dog would stay with you, there are far too many dangers lurking for a dog of this size. Most Chihuahuas need very little obedience training. Some individuals are easy to train, while others are a bit more stubborn. No is particularly important because you need to be able to stop your Chihuahua from barking and from acting suspiciously or aggressively toward strangers and other dogs.
As important as those few words and commands are, housebreaking is even more important. Chihuahuas need to learn where to go to the bathroom, and where not to go — and this can be biggest training challenge in this breed. As a behavioral consultant, the Chihuahua is firmly on my Top 5 list of hardest breeds to housebreak. If you live in a cold or rainy climate, housebreaking will be especially difficult, because Chihuahuas hate both the cold and the rain.
Sometimes a doggy door is necessary so your Chihuahua can run outside the moment he feels the urge in his tiny bladder. An indoor litterbox is another option. All of these housebreaking options are detailed in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies. Most Chihuahuas are naturally reserved with strangers. In fact, many Chihuahuas will put on a display of excited ferociousness "they pitch a fit" when other people approach what the Chihuahua considers to be "his. It sounds funny, but it's not. If you don't stop this behavior dead in its tracks, your Chihuahua may end up disliking everyone in the world, which is a short step to biting when someone unwittingly instrude on "his" space.
Raising a Chihuahua properly means making it clear to him that yes, he can be aloof or suspicious — but without letting everyone within earshot know about it, and without progressing to threats. It's up to YOU to draw and enforce the line.
Fortunately, there also exist Chihuahuas who are standoffish, but who will eventually approach people in their own good time, especially if the person isn't pushy or insistent. And some Chihuahuas are very friendly right from the get-go and will go to anyone. I never recommend keeping a Chihuahua with children under the age of about 10, no matter how well-meaning the child.
Younger children cannot help being clumsy, and that a child "meant well" is little solace to a Chihuahua who has been accidentally stepped on, sat on, squeezed, hit with an errant ball, or dropped down the stairs or onto the concrete patio. In addition, most Chihuahuas feel overwhelmed by the loud voices and quick movements that children can't help making, and stress and fearfulness even defensive biting may be the result.
But you should be careful about mixing them with larger dogs. If you want to try this, be sure you can read dogs accurately, and be sure the other dog is quiet, gentle, and well behaved. A big bouncy dog can hurt a Chihuahua by accident.
I would not mix a Chihuahua with a breed whose heritage is chasing prey animals. Chihuahuas can look like prey animals, especially when they move quickly. This can trigger instinctive chasing behavior in breeds such as medium to large terriers, sighthounds, and northern spitz breeds like Alaskan Malamutes and Akitas. If possible, you should keep a Chihuahua with another small breed, ideally another Chihuahua.
Pros and cons of Chihuahuas
This breed is unusual in that it usually recognizes and strongly prefers being with another member of its own breed. Two Chihuahuas will keep each other company when you're gone, will play together, will clean each other's ears Chihuahuas can be obsessive ear-lickers! How do Chihuahuas get along with dogs outside their own family?
Often not well. Chihuahuas often raise a ruckus when they spy a strange dog, especially a larger dog. It's as though the Chihuahua wants to convince the larger dog that he is a force to reckon with rather than a helpless prey animal. The Chihuahua may be seeking to protect itself by putting up a blustering facade that tells the other dog to "move along. This is an anxious state of mind for your little dog to live with. Better to teach him that you are the leader who will take charge of keeping him safe and keeping other dogs away from him.
The Teacup Chihuahua: Answering Your Questions About the Smallest Dog in the World
Then he will be able to relax and leave everything up to you. That's the psychologically healthy and secure mind-set you want your dog to have.
Summary: don't allow your Chihuahua to bellow threats at other dogs. It's not safe for the Chihuahua, it's not psychologically healthy for the Chihuahua, and it contributes to the breed's reputation as a nasty little yapper. If you come to my house, you will leave with dark gray hairs on your clothes. Dark gray hairs that belong to my Chihuahua. Chihuahuas shed. Now, the actual amount of shedding depends on whether the coat is single or double. NOT on whether the coat is short or long, but whether it is double outer coat plus undercoat or single just an outercoat.
Remember we talked about single and double coats earlier. Whether a coat is short or long, the double coats shed more than the single coats. Which makes sense. Long Coat Chihuahuas need regular brushing and combing to prevent mats and tangles. The longer and thicker the coat, the more work it will be.
Longhaired Chihuahuas also need trimming every few months. Focus on the longish hair around the dog's private parts. Otherwise whenever he goes to the bathroom, the result is going to be unsanitary, both for the dog and for your house. Anything that sticks to long hair eventually ends up on your floor or furnishings.
So keep all of your dog's private parts trimmed short. Good news!
Chihuahuas typically live years. Some live even longer, though they're usually quite decrepit by then. Are they healthy for those years? That depends on you.
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Chihuahuas are more prone to injury than to illness or disease. So whether a Chihuahua lives a long healthy life, or not, is more dependent on how careful you are to keep them safe. That's quite a responsibility! Here are some of the injuries Chihuahuas are vulnerable to:. Remember, a tiny creature can be seriously injured or killed by something that a bigger dog would barely feel. Children should not pick up this breed. If an older child is trustworthy and your Chihuahua is calm and wearing a harness and leash, you can place her in the child's arms, but keep the leash short and under control.
It's safer if children sit on the ground to hold and play with a Chihuahua. Owning a toy breed means constant supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your tiny dog.