You need to be strong pack leader to be an effective Chihuahua guardian. They need to respect you. They are not ornaments; they are canines, with personalities as large as a Rottweiler, and hearts as big as any canine breed. Yet, Chihuahuas are the 2nd most surrendered and euthanized breed!
It’s not a small task caring for a Chihuahua because these tiny titans will take on any challenge, they will fiercely guard and protect themselves as well as what they consider to be “theirs.” They are amazing. They are misunderstood, and they are in need of love and patience. In return you get immense love and loyalty.
Chihuahuas are not good pets for small children
Chihauhuas are not really a toddler’s dog, as many are too fragile and to protect themselves they can be quite nippy. Older, respectful children are fine, but make sure their friends are equally respectful.
They need good quality food, but not too much, and a fair amount of exercise. The short-haired smooth coat variety are not real happy in cold, wet weather, the long-haired Chihuahuas do better with that. They do not like the cold weather, rain or snow, and need the added protection of a coat or sweater in cold weather.
They are tremendous pets who, like most canines, thrive on affection, discipline, and decent shelter, BUT most of all love. Good care is a must, of course, but I think that you get tremendous charge from a small package with the Chihuahua and Chihuahua-cross-breed pets.
We want people to understand that just because Chihuahuas are small, that doesn’t mean they have fewer needs than any other dog. Like all dogs, be they 20-pound terriers or 125-pound Great Danes, Chihuahuas require a great deal of care.
You must provide a safe and loving home, consistent training, frequent and lengthy walks and regular play time. Letting your Chi run around your apartment living room is not considered ‘regular and daily exercise.’
A Chihuahua’s size doesn’t decrease your commitment to them and that is a very important message.
The Chihauhau breeds require a lot of attention and are hard to housebreak
Potential owners of this breed must realize that they require a lot of attention, more so then other breeds. They are loyal and devoted little dogs. Once they bond they never want to leave your side.
They need regular walks and intensive training so you can own a well-behaved, quiet, and polite Chihuahua.
Due to their small size, a lot of things seem scary in our big world. They need constant socialization. They do not like the fast movements of small children.
If you are a clean freak, the Chihuahua may not be your first choice because they can take months to years to housebreak.
If you want a good family dog, I would look at the ages of your children. Older children are best for these tiny dogs. Chihuahuas are not good “kid dogs” unless they have been raised and socialized with them.
Children can and have severely injured Chihuahuas. They are not fragile dogs like some believe but they are not built to be dropped or sat on. They are the most intelligent of the toy breeds, so please commit to obedience training!
Also, there is no such thing as a “tea cup” Chihuahua! Their breed standard is 2-6 lbs. They are the smallest breed of dog. If you can devote your time and life (they live as long as 17-20 years), they will do anything for you and live life just to sit in your lap and love you deeply. In my opinion they are THE MOST loyal breed of dog!
Chihauhau health problems
As with most dogs, the Chihuahua has some genetic diseases that can cause problems that are breed specific, but they have fewer genetic defects than many other breeds. They are prone to some serious and not so serious health problems.
One of the major problems that affect Chihuahua’s is the Patella luxation, which basically means loose kneecaps also known as slipped stifles. When this occurs the kneecap of the rear legs slip out of the grooves and this can happen repeatedly depending on the severity of the problem.
It is caused either through genetics or through injury from jumping from high levels, injury from being overweight, or too much stress on the patella. Surgery may be the only solution for severe cases.
Another problem that affects smaller dogs and the Chihuahua in general is Hypoglycemia. This is a low blood sugar disease and is common in younger Chihuahua’s. It is caused by the dog burning off more energy then he is taking in which happens because Chihuahuas have very small stomachs. Also, puppies that do not eat enough may also be at risk.
The symptoms of this disease is a staggering gait, glassy eyes, and either limpness or rigidity. If the dog is not treated properly, they can suffer from shivering, lack of muscular coordination, disorientation, seizures, unconsciousness or death.
The treatment involves putting sugar into your dog’s mouth directly, and changing his feeding schedule to include several small amounts several times a day, as well as avoiding sugary treats.
Teeth issues can also be a problem because the Chihuahua has a very small mouth. Their mouth can cause problems because it may be too small for the teeth which can cause overcrowding of the teeth.
This can cause foods to become trapped in the teeth resulting in plaque, tarter buildup, as well as premature tooth loss. Teeth cleaning is essential and requires professional and at home cleaning.
If the teeth are not properly maintained with regular cleaning, the Chihuahua is at more risk for heart, kidney, and liver damage from the bacteria entering the blood stream.
Hydrocephalus is also a problem for Chihuahuas. It is characterized by a build up of fluid around the brain, caused by a variety of reasons including genetics, and environmental causes.
The symptoms may include a very domed head, much more so than is typically normal, as well as either a small sized head, large sized head, or multiple moleras or soft spots.
Some Chihuahuas get this as a puppy where others may not show symptoms till they get much older. A good percentage of Chihuahuas are able to live with a mild case well into adulthood and beyond.