Without adequate socialization, the breed can become fearful and defensive, especially around new people or animals. An untrained Chihuahua can act defiant and defensive toward its owners and other people. Though stubborn at times, the breed is smart and can become well-behaved with dedication and consistency from its owner. The long-coated variety requires more frequent grooming, especially routine hair brushing.
Due to its small size, the Chihuahua's nails don't wear down naturally. Many people underestimate the exercise needs of smaller dogs. Exercise and mental stimulation will help maintain your dog's mental and physical health. Be aware when you are walking a Chihuahua, as they are known to be aggressive toward larger dogs if not properly trained.
You may need to be on alert to remove your dog from potential conflict. Chihuahuas like to be warm and they don't tolerate cold well. You may need to put your dog in a sweater for walks in cold weather. Some don't even mind being dressed up in cute little outfits; others hate it, so be careful. You'll note that your dog will seek out warm places in your home, like near the heat, in the sun, or on a blanket.
This dog often bonds closely with one person in the household. When raised and handled appropriately, the Chihuahua can make a wonderful companion for many kinds of families. Not all Chihuahuas will automatically get along with children, but they can sometimes be trained and socialized to get along with kids.
It is often recommended that Chihuahuas not be adopted into a family with young children, as they may not handle a small dog as gently as is needed to prevent injury. Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standardsas established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. Some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed.
The following are some conditions to be aware of:. The small Chiuahua of their jaws makes their teeth weaker, so you will need to support your Chihuahua with daily dental care, including brushing. You should provide dental chews and a diet that requires chewing, which will naturally help reduce plaque. A good dry dog food for a Chihuahua will have large and dense pieces.
Consult your veterinarian Chiuahua an appropriate diet if your pet has a health condition or is gaining too much weight. Since Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed, there are many verified breeders across the country. Make sure to work with someone who can provide medical Chiuahua and references for their dogs. Reputable breeders discourage people from buying the little two- and three-pounders because they usually lead to heartbreak. 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.
Be sure to follow the advice of the Chihuahua Club of America and seek out a responsible breeder who has done all required health testing for the breed. Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. If the breeder tells you she doesn't need to do those tests because she's never had problems in her lines and her dogs have been "vet checked," then you should go find a breeder who is more rigorous about genetic testing.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. Chihuahuas come in two coat types: smooth and long.
Smooth Chihuahuas wear a velvety, shiny, close-fitting coat and have a ruff — an area of thicker, longer hair — around the neck. They have a scant covering of hair on the head and ears.
The tail should be furry, not bare. Smooth Chihuahuas shed, but they are so small that the amount is manageable for all but the most house proud. Brush them weekly with a rubber grooming glove or soft bristle brush to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. The long, soft coat is flat or slightly curly, and the dog has a ruff around the neck, fringed ears, feathering on the legs and a plumed tail. The hair on the rest of the body is almost as smooth as that on the smooth Chihuahua.
Brush the longcoat with a soft bristle brush once or twice a week. Use a stainless steel comb to remove tangles from the hair on the ears, legs and tail. Never let him sit around and air dry. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger. Trim his nails regularly, usually every couple of weeks.
They should never be so long that you hear them clicking on the floor. Whether you want to go with a breeder or get your dog from a shelter or rescue, here are some things to keep in mind. Finding a good breeder is the key to finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. He or she is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than making big bucks.
Most breeders like to keep the pups until they are 12 to 14 weeks old to ensure that they are mature enough to go to their new homes. Look for a breeder who is a member in good standing of the Chihuahua Club of America and who has agreed to abide by the club's code of ethics. It specifies that its members should evaluate all breeding stock for hereditary faults, never sell dogs to pet stores, and take back Chihuahuas they have bred in the event that the buyer cannot keep them.
Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. Extreme miniaturization brings with it nothing but health problems and a shortened lifespan. Language like that is a huge red flag that you're dealing with a seller more interested in money than the good of the dogs or the broken hearts of the people who buy them. Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance.
It will save you money in the long run. Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations.
The cheapest puppy is not always the best, nor Chiuahua the most expensive. What matters is that the puppy you buy has been raised in a clean home environment, from parents with health clearances and show titles to prove that they are good specimens of the breed.
Often, breeders will have puppies spayed or neutered before placing them. And before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Chihuahua might better suit your needs and lifestyle.
Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult Chihuahua may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog through breeders, ask them about purchasing a retired show dog or if they know of an adult dog who needs a new home.
If you want to adopt a dog, read the advice below on how to do that. There are many great options available if you want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or breed rescue organization. Here is how to get started.
Sites like Petfinder. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests housetraining status, for example or very general all the Chihuahuas available on Petfinder across the country.
Social media is another great way to find a dog. Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed so that your entire community can be your eyes and ears. Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Chihuahua.
That includes vets, dog walkers, and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dogthat person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.
Networking can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. Most people who love Chihuahuas love all Chihuahuas.
You can also search online for other Chihuahua rescues in your area. The great thing about breed rescue groups is that they tend to be very upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. They also often offer fostering opportunities so, with training, you could bring a Chihuahua home with you to see what the experience is like. You now know the things to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with shelter or rescue group staff or volunteers before you bring home a pup.
These include:. Wherever you acquire your Chihuahua, make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. Petfinder offers an Adopters Bill of Rights that helps you understand what you can consider normal and appropriate when you get a dog from a shelter.
Puppy or adult, take your Chihuahua to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues. Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and….
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work. The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, Chiuahua.
Check out our collection of more than videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more. Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than breeds for you. If the video doesn't start playing momentarily, please install the latest version of Flash. Leanne Graham, Animal Photography. Anita Peeples, Animal Photography. Leesia Teh, Animal Photography. Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography. Mary Bloom.
Breed Characteristics Adaptability How easily a dog deals with change. Tendency to enjoy or tolerate other dogs. Amount and frequency of dog hair shedding. Amount of warmth or friendliness displayed. Level of daily activity needed. Preferred amount of interaction with other pets and humans. Factors such as dog size and his tendency to make noise. Amount of bathing, brushing, even professional grooming needed.
Tendency to be welcoming to new people. Breed's level of vocalization. Level of health issues a breed tends to have. A dog's inclination to be protective of his home, yard or even car. Tendency toward a tolerance for cats and a lower prey drive. A dog's thinking and problem-solving ability not trainability. Level of ease in learning something new and a willingness to try new things.
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