Should I Get A Chihuahua? (Learn About The Breed First)

Long haired merle Chihuahua laying on the sofa
Long haired merle Chihuahua

If you can offer a Chihuahua a loving home with good leadership qualities, then there should be no reason why you shouldn’t get one. But here are more details on them that will help you decide before getting this dog breed.

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world. But don’t get blinded by its small size. Despite their tiny appearance, Chihuahuas are bursting with charisma. They can be confident but also very alert and wary at the same time.

The big ears and big eyes are the most distinctive features of these tiny dogs. The unique personality of the Chihuahuas makes them so different from other dog breeds. 

Long haired merle Chihuahua looking cute
Long haired merle Chihuahua

Despite their small size, these dogs are sturdy enough to perform the duties of a sport dog or even a watchdog. 

Chihuahuas are very affectionate and are quite the sensitive dog breed, and they bond exceptionally well with their owners. 

These dogs are very protective of their owners and their personal space. 

That is why some Chihuahuas can get downright aggressive if anyone breaches their personal space or if they feel that their owners are being threatened in any way. 

Overall, Chihuahuas are considered loyalaffectionate, and protective companions.

Breed Overview

  • Group: toy
  • Height: ranges between 6 to 9 inches
  • Weight: ranges between 2 to 6 pounds
  • Colour and coat: dogs can have both long and smooth coats. Dogs can either be of solid colours or a combination of two colours. The most common colours of the dogs are cream, fawn, black, tan, white, chocolate, silver, blue, and red.
  • Life expectancy: ranges between 12 to 20 years

Appearance

The appearance of the Chihuahua dogs can vary significantly from one dog to the next. Even though these dogs are tiny, they have prominent pointed ears and big eyes. 

You can find Chihuahua dogs in two different coat types, long and short. 

Chihuahuas have different fur types: long and short

Colours 

Chihuahuas can also come in a variety of colour combinations. These dogs’ classic colours are black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, fawn and white, cream, black, and red. 

The standard markings of the Chihuahua dogs include black masks, black brindle, merle marking, white markings, and spotted on white. 

Merle Chihuahuas are often higher in price to buy as they are more desired and slightly rarer.

Weight

These dogs weigh as little as two pounds and do not often weigh more than six pounds. Some Chihuahuas can weigh even more than six pounds. However, these dogs almost always have larger bone structures, or they are overweight. 

  • Between 2-6 pounds

Height

They even stand only 5 inches in height. Chihuahuas come with two types of skulls. One is round-shaped, and another is deer-shaped. 

Despite their small size and fragile-looking body, Chihuahuas are very robust dogs.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of these dogs is about 14 years. However, they can live as long as 20 years.

Temperament

Despite their smaller size, Chihuahuas have bold personalities. While these dogs prefer to spend considerable time with other pets, they may not always be very welcoming. These lively, confident, and courageous dogs are highly self-reliant and do not fear anything. Chihuahuas can challenge other pets or animals far more significant in size than them. 

Do Chihuahuas make good guard dogs?

Even though Chihuahuas are small, indoor loving dogs, they can and also fulfil the role of a watchdog when necessary. Chihuahuas alertness and loyalty makes them perfect for protecting a family and their home. They will gladly raise the alarm by barking.

Puppyhood

chihuahua puppy with a toy
Puppy

The temperament of a Chihuahua mainly depends on the way they have been raised in early puppyhood. 

If Chihuahua puppies are correctly socialised, they are known to develop a good and balanced temperament.

Where you can, you should introduce your Chihuahua puppy to other dogs within your family or friends. 

If you dont have any dogs to introduce your new Chihuahua puppy, you could find some local dog-walking groups or puppy socialising groups. 

Socialising with other dogs will help your Chihuahua be friendly to other dogs in later years or not scared of other dogs, especially when out on walks. 

It all also depends on what type of dog you will get. A submissive dog generally gets on with all dogs. However, you can also get a domineering Chihuahua who will need this type of socialising even more than the submissive type.

  • Submissive puppies will roll on their backs when introduced to a dog and may whimper simultaneously. 
  • domineering puppy will usually be more boisterous and will need socialising as a must.

Protective

Chihuahua is very territorial and protective. They form a strong bond with their owners and are generally very suspicious of anyone new. 

It can be a bit problematic for you if many friends come to your house. It will take a considerable amount of time for your Chihuahua to warm up to your friends. 

However, with time and patience, you can turn this protective suspicion into love and affection.

Recommended Read: Why Is My Chihuahua So Aggressive?

Child-Friendly

These intelligent dogs also form good bonds with children. However, in a family, Chihuahuas tend to choose a single person and build a special bond with them. 

That does not mean these dogs consider the other members of the family as outsiders. They think of the family as their pack but tend to love one person a bit more, usually the person who feeds them or gives them the most affection.

If appropriately treated by children, Chihuahuas and children can get along just fine. You will need to teach your children how to act around the puppy to avoid problematic situations, especially since they are so small.

Training

A Chihuahuas bold personality and suspicious nature can make their training process a bit difficult. However, if you struggle with any training, an experienced dog trainer’s can help.

Chihuahuas can be well trained on the leash, harness is best over a flat collar.

Harness: see here my top 8 Best Chihuahua Harnesses (Perfect Fit) I have number 3 on the list for mine, as in the above video.

The right time to train Your Chihuahua is between 7 weeks and 14 weeks of age. The sooner your start, the better. Try not to smother a new Chihuahua with too much love. It would be best to find the balance of leadership and love. However hard that is! Just be mindful they need leadership to avoid any behavioural problems or triggers they may develop in later life.

For example, an owner that doesn’t show leadership can result in the dog being overprotective. In this case, the dog doesn’t think that its owner can handle a situation, encouraging excessive barking and aggression.

The Basic Training Commands

Even though Chihuahuas are small dogs, there is no reason why you shouldn’t master these basic commands with them. 

  • Sit
  • Stay or Place
  • Come or Here
  • Down
  • Heel
  • Leave it

Health

Just like any other dog breed, you need to take your Chihuahua to a professional veterinarian for regular visits. 

As the owner of a Chihuahua, you also need to make sure that the pet gets proper vaccinations and deworming.

Chihuahuas are a very healthy breed and do not suffer from many health issues. But they are still susceptible to some common canine problems. Here are some of the health conditions you need to be aware of when getting a Chihuahua.

Every living animal has some potential health problems. Even though Chihuahuas are considered a very healthy dog breed, you must get pet insurance for them. Any of the below can affect a Chihuahua.

Patellar luxation

In standard terms, this problem is known as kneecap dislocation. It is widespread in smaller dog breeds and causes significant pain. If a dog is holding its foot off of the ground, then it may have suffered from this problem already. With the help of a veterinarian, they can pop back the kneecap in its place.

Collapsing Trachea

This is a problem that restricts the windpipe of the dog. This problem is pretty common in other small-sized dogs as well. Coughing is a common symptom of this problem. If you notice that your dog is constantly coughing, you should discuss this problem with your veterinarian.

Hydrocephalus

This problem can be noted in puppies with abnormally large heads. This problem generates as the fluid starts to accumulate in their head.

Hypoglycemia

Also known as low blood sugar, this problem affects puppies. If your dog is suffering from this problem, they may require a sugar supplement to keep the sugar level in place.

Diet And Nutrition

The diet of a Chihuahua needs to be nutritionally balanced and is measured out depending on their age and weight.

  • Chihuahuas need feeding three times a day. 
  • Weight and age depending: Usually between 4-10 oz a day.

You can get specific Chihuahua breed dog food complete with all the nutrition to keep them healthy and hopefully live to the twenty years of age mark.

One of the best Chihuahua dog food brands are Royal Canin, and this is the same brand of food that I give my Chihuahua. It has the nutrients that a Chihuahua needs to live a healthy life. Find here on amazon adult and puppy range.

Chihuahua eating food out of heart shaped bowl
The small pieces of food are the perfect size for Chihuahuas

Teeth Brushing

It would be best if you brushed the teeth of your Chihuahua regularly to maintain its dental hygiene. Use a finger toothbrush from an early age. You can pretend to clean their teeth to get used to the finger toothbrush. 

Buy dental chews for them so that their teeth remain clean and strong. 

It would be best to chop the dental sticks in half as most of them are too big for a Chihuahua to eat in one go.

Finger toothbrushes here on Amazon, large selection.

Grooming Requirements

Chihuahuas with both short and long hair are pretty easy to take care of. 

Chihuahua requires only regular brushing. No need to book monthly visits to the groomers if you dont want to. Brushing at home helps you to keep their coat shiny and healthy.

The good thing about a Chihuahua is you can even wash them in a basin rather than in a bathtub. Their small size is perfect for this. I recommend Wildwash as below, makes his coat fill lovely and has no bad ingredients in.

Holding a bottle of dog wash, with a dog looking up
Wildwash dog Shampoo I got from Amazon

If you dont introduce Chihuahuas to water from a puppy, they can become quite anxious during bath times. 

Nail Clipping

Chihuahuas also need introducing to nail clippers from an early age. Even if the nails don’t need cutting, going through the pretend motions will help your new puppy get used to the process when they are older. I wish I had done this when my Chihuahua was younger, as he hates the nail clippers. Nail clipping for us is a slow process involving many treats to get the job done. 

Exercise

As soon as your puppy is allowed out, take them for short walks to get used to outside. A dog that hasn’t had many walks as soon as possible can get anxious whilst out walking.

Time for walkies

They don’t require much walking but will walk nicely for some time if need be. However, if you miss a walk, it won’t affect a Chihuahua too much.

  • Chihuahua has medium energy levels and requires two 15 to 30 minutes a day walks.

Proper mental stimulation and physical exercise will help your dog to stay healthy and happy. They love to have playtime so make sure you get them some toys, especially tennis balls they love.

Chihuahuas love to play fetch

History

Chihuahua originated in the Chihuahua state of Mexico, and the breed was developed from the Teichichi dog breed, one of the sacred dogs of the Toltec people. 

The ancestors of the Chihuahua can be traced back to the ninth century. People often believe that the smaller size of the Chihuahua has resulted from the crossing with the Chinese crested dogs as well.

The American Kennel Club first registered these dogs in 1984. That means Chihuahuas are one of the oldest dog breeds that have been recognised on American soil. 

Chihuahuas are also the smallest dog breed in the world. Thanks to their unique size and appearance, Chihuahuas are considered celebrity dogs. Over the years, these dogs have Been featured in many films and television series as well.

Want to learn more about their history? I have written a date timeline line of gathered information from the early years until modern-day Chihuahua history.

About the Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.