If you're a fan of small dogs, you probably already know a little about the Chihuahua. From Legally Blondes’ Bruiser Woods, to the adorable Taco Bell mascot, the little dogs with the big personality are everywhere. But are they right for your family? Like all small dogs, Chihuahuas have challenges. But with the right environment, they can make fantastic companions for you and your family.
Since International Chihuahua Appreciation Day was this month, let’s take a closer look at the these charming little devils!
Chihuahuas are toy breeds, and that means small. They are 6-9 inches tall. At full-grown, they weigh between 2-6 pounds. This does mean, especially when they are young, they're a little needy when compared to other dogs. Children, especially younger children being introduced to a Chihuahua should be supervised. Don’t get it twisted though, they are great family pets! Whether you are an active family of four, with a huge yard, or a single person in an apartment, Chihuahuas are fiesty, energetic and loyal companions. They're very adaptable, and can make themselves at home wherever their people are.
Because of their size, Chihuahua puppies can be very delicate. Though they are highly intelligent and eager to please, this can make house training difficult. Many Chihuahua owners decide to puppy pad or litter box train their Chihuahua. It is better for the dog to be taught go outside.
Chihuahuas have been bred to be companion dogs. They are loyal and smart and need to be kept busy. This makes trick training very easy. They should be taught with clicker training instead of treat training. Chihuahua stomachs are so small, they can be very easily overfed, and too many treats can really upset their diet and health quickly. For this reason, they are prone to obesity and diabetes.
Chihuahuas are very protective. They are too small to be a real threat to intruders, but they do make great alarm systems. They're great for a variety of people at different ages and stages of their lives, including families with children or single seniors looking for companions, since they don't take up much space and can get most of their exercise indoors when they need to. They don't necessarily get along well with other animals because they are so devoted to their humans. If your Chihuahua is your only dog, or you have other chihuahuas at home this may be the right dog for you. Otherwise you may find your Chihuahua develops some aggressive tendencies.
Every dog breed has its share of typical health problems. Like many small dog breeds, chihuahuas are susceptible to hypoglycemia urinary tract infections, and joint problems. Chihuahuas are also susceptible to heart murmurs and other heart conditions. As they age you might find your Chihuahua losing sight due to cataracts or chronic eye infections. Taking good care of your chihuahuas eyes are essential since they protrude from the head, leaving them more susceptible to injury and infection. However, like many toy breeds, Chihuahuas have an impressive lifespan. Typically, a Chihuahua can live 14 to 19 years.
Chihuahuas are very small dogs, with very big personalities! They are fiercely loyal, and often require the same devotion from their owners. But if you have the time and attention to spare, a feisty, fun-loving Chihuahua can add years of memories for you and your family.