Long-Coat Chihuahua Personality
Long-Coat, Smooth-Coat Difference
My grandparents had Chihuahuas. I hated them. They bit. They were loud. They only liked my grandparents, especially my granny.
To a child, a dog is supposed to be like a Labrador puppy - friendly, furry, cuddly. These were not. So I grew up not liking Chihuahuas at all. In fact, I feared them.
Now I breed them. Talk about a 180 change! So what happened?
We met a long-coat Chihuahua and fell in love. We had been thinking about which type of indoor dog we could get for our youngest daughter. Her tiny beagle had wandered all of the way down to the main road and was killed (we live on 35 acres). We knew her next dog had to be indoors. None of us, but especially our daughter, could go through that pain again.
One day while shopping, we saw a gorgeous dog sitting on a pillow inside a car (it was a cool day and the window was cracked). She was so beautiful. We were still admiring her when the owner returned. She was so effusive about her girl.
We were shocked when she told us her beloved pet was a Chihuahua. This was no Taco Bell dog! I had no idea that Chihuahuas came in so many colors, sizes, and shapes.
And she was the first person to tell us that the personality of the long-coat Chihuahua was generally different than the short coat (my veterinarian was the last person who mentioned it to me).
We were hooked.
I soon learned that being a Chihuahua's chosen person is an entirely different experience than being the outsider. Chihuahuas of both coat types are very protective and intensely loyal. It just happens that, in my opinion and in the opinions of many others, long-coat Chihuahuas tend to have milder personalities.
However, when it comes to your particular pet, you will find more variation within a coat type than in the difference you see across coat types. That is, it only matters if your particular pet has a great personality, regardless of coat type.
Continue reading to meet our four adult Chihuahuas - Angel, Scamp, Hinata, and Haku. They are all long coats and all very different from each other.
Angel - A Kisser and Lover
Our first Chihuahua is Angel. She was just a tiny pup when I took our daughter to a kennel to pick her out. We returned a few weeks later to bring her home. She was so tiny. We kept her in a pouch most of the time to keep her warm.
We were amazed at everything about her. She was so tiny, yet so capable.
She lived in my husband's office in an open kennel. Little by little, she ventured out. Her big breakthrough came on a day when we saw her leave the office and return a minute later. A few minutes after that, she left again and returned shortly. We started watching. Finally we realized that she was crossing through the kitchen and turning into the mud room. She would steal one of the big dog's kibbles and take it back to the office. She would spend a minute or two eating it and then make her journey again.
It looked as though those kibbles were half the size of her head. We were entertained for quite some time by her little trips.
As she grew, we learned that she loved to play but was more of a lover. She belongs to our daughter but chose me as her main person. She sleeps in our bed (she goes to bed with our daughter and then changes beds sometime during the night to sleep with us). She demands to be held for her nap. When we are busy, we have to stop and tuck her in so she can rest.
She's very loyal to me. It doesn't not work well for another member of the family to try to remove her from my lap. She has snapped to let them know she doesn't care to leave. But as long as she's on the floor or not with me, we never have a problem.
She's extremely friendly with strangers - as long as I'm not holding her.
She apparently thinks that every kiss is meant for her. If my husband tries to give me a kiss while I'm holding her, she jumps up between us and takes a kiss on the lips for herself. If he switches to the other cheek, she's right there to intercept!
Angel was appropriately named. Her personality is like an angel - even if it's more like a guardian angel with me.
Scamp - Mr. Showoff
Our son decided that he wanted to breed Chihuahuas. So he worked hard pet sitting and shoveling out the barn to save up the money to purchase a dog. We traveled from Virginia to Georgia to pick him up. We took the pouch that we had used for Angel, but he was already too big for it.
Scamp immediately began his attachment to our son Daniel. I mean it was evident within minutes. Daniel pampered him like a king. And Scamp rewarded him with a delightful personality and unfailing loyalty.
Scamp is a big Chihuahua. He grew and grew and grew and grew. Once it was evident that he was much larger than the 6 lb. limit on Chihuahuas for show weight, Daniel made the tough decision to neuter him. Then he grew some more. He's probably 12 lbs. or more now.
My grandparents' last Chihuahua grew to be over 30 lbs. But he was just fat - everywhere, including his tail. Scamp is a bigger boned Chihuahua and probably should be about 10 lbs. He's a very active dog, though. It's just a matter of trying to control his eating while allowing those smaller dogs access to the feed they need. It's tough.
Scamp is a showoff. He loves to have something in his mouth. It doesn't really matter what - a sock, a pencil, a toy, a ribbon, a Q-tip - anything he can get his mouth around. Then he brings it to us, prancing and showing off his accomplishment.
He's also a talker. He makes all kinds of vocalizations to draw attention. He loves to play, chase a ball (or sock or ribbon or pencil), and have his head rubbed. He can be quite insistent about that.
He does not like strangers at all. It's best to keep him in his room when we have visitors. He is most partial to Daniel, but he will take affection from anyone in the family. I don't really trust what he might do around strangers, though - at least not without a long, supervised introduction. Scamp and an "outsider" with a teasing attitude is a dangerous mix.
Visitors probably look at Scamp the way I looked at my grandparents' Chihuahua. Why would anyone want a dog like that? You'd have to be an insider to find out the answer.
Mr. Showoff Scamp is a delight. He's fun to be around, beautiful to look at, and affectionate - just as long as you live here.
Hinata - Just A Little Grumpy
Hinata was born at in our home. Our middle daughter became very attached to her so we allowed her to keep the puppy.
Hinata was a very friendly puppy except with my husband. She growled that tiny trilling baby Chihuahua growl when he held her and kissed her. Finally, we figured out that she didn't like his beard. To this day, she is pretty suspicious of him when he holds her and backs off if he brings his beard near her face.
Hinata turned out to be a slightly grouchy Chihuahua. She growls if you interrupt her nap. But as long as she's not being interrupted, she's very friendly and loves to lick our faces - those of us with smooth faces, that is. She loves the outdoors and a good chase. Poor cat.
She's more independent than the rest of the Chihuahuas, but she and our middle daughter are very close. She's a lot like Scamp with visitors, though a bit easier to warm up.
She plays musical beds in the middle of the night like Angel does. When Angel leaves our youngest daughter's room, Hinata comes in to take her place. I think that's because our middle daughter is a little grumpy when she's interrupted sleeping, too. It's amazing how much alike those two are!
Hinata is not much of a talker, though she makes a funny snorting noise sometimes. She's not a showoff like Scamp, but she loves to play and she's fun to watch.
Hinata's personality has sweetened a bit since she became a mother. Her first litter was one daughter and she did a great job with her.
Haku - The Meek and Mild
Haku is different from our other Chihuahuas. I think that is because he was raised in a large kennel for the first year of his life. The others were all raised in a home environment.
After my son decided that he needed to neuter Scamp, he decided to purchase another dog that was sure to stay the appropriate size. He chose a 3 lb. 3 oz. dog who was a year old to make sure there were no surprises this time.
But there was a huge surprise: Haku did not care for people. We had assumed that he woud like people and have a hard time getting along with the other Chihuahuas. As it turned out, he and Scamp are the best of friends. Relating to people was the real challenge.
Like Scamp, Haku began attaching to Daniel immediately, but the attachment was far more fragile and took a lot longer to develop. After approximately a year of working with him, Daniel can now pick him up whenever he needs to. The rest of us are barely allowed to pet him.
Haku is such a beautiful dog with such a mild manner. He makes you want to gather him up and hug him. But that simply won't happen. After a few months, I would occasionally feel this tiny feet up on my legs. At nearly a year, he jumped into my lap for the first time. I still can't pick him up.
When he gets into my lap, he doesn't generally lie down and enjoy being petted. He stands at attention and is ready to flee at the least provocation. Only when the children went with their grandparents to the beach for a week did he actually lie down beside me as I sat on the sofa and let me pet him for a long period of time.
When the children returned from the beach, Haku seemed to increase his tolerance for human interaction a lot (for him). I think he realized how much he missed "his" people.
Haku is sweet and timid. With visitors, he barks a warning (in a strangely deep voice for such a tiny dog). But he would be the first to flee if the visitors made any attempt to touch him.
It's sad to see how much Haku struggles to form human attachments, but it warms our hearts to see him with our son, who has been so patient with him. And we appreciate even more any time Haku is willing to let us pet him.
Because of what we believe is the effect of Haku having been raised in a large kennel (of show dogs, not a puppy mill), Daniel has decided to keep his Chihuahua breeding activities small and always in a family setting. I think that's a great idea.
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