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Should I get a Chihuahua?

Updated on September 24, 2019
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Rocky has personal experience with Chihuahuas and a long history with dog training.

Have you had a dog before?

I have met quite a few people that decide that they want to be a dog person, never having had one even as a child. They want to have the experience, they think it will be easy. Having a dog can be easy. Having a dog only gets easier after you have surpassed the puppy stages. So if you want to begin this adventure with a Chihuahua I would recommend that you don't. Start yourself with maybe a more relaxed breed such as (small breed) a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or (large breed) Saint Bernard. That way you don't run as much risk with training, they aren't likely to bite another person and get you in some trouble. Still determined to have a Chihuahua?

They can be a much better dog then people portray them to be, but I will give you two examples. I have a Chihuahua that I have had since I was a early teen. She is very sweet, very obedient and submissive. She was a year old when I got her. I put a lot of time into making her that awesome dog. In fact, she was my inspiration for wanting to learn all I can about dogs. In contrast my mother-in-law has a Chihuahua that rather crap itself than be touched by me, and I live in the house. She barks at everyone. She goes potty in the house all the time. So yeah, you have these two extremes. With real training and a determined owner they can be tamed, and that dogs owner just didn't take the time to try. So if you want to be a person that owns these ferocious little things must be prepared not to give up and be consistent in your rules and training methods. Only then will you have a sweet pocket sized dog that you can take anywhere with you. Here are some basics that can be applied though no matter the breed, and a few breed specific ones.

Training from a Puppy

Begin with the basics:

  1. Potty training (many like to use pee pads as a starting point, I personally like to give positive reinforcement when they do go outside, and time out when they go inside)
  2. Determine your dog's preference of positive reinforcement
  3. Prove that you are to be respected to your dog. i.e. claiming your space, and give them their own space
  4. Claim the guests you have so your dog doesn't feel threatened by strangers entering your home.
  5. Do not excite your dog when arriving home (it can cause excessive barking and/or peeing)
  6. Socialize, socialize, socialize (people, children, other dogs, and other animals)
  7. From a young age practice being off leash and on leash. Recall from small distances and then larger distances. Dogs enjoy no leashes but you need to be able to trust them. This is one large problem for many people.
  8. Remember your breed, Chihuahuas can be that sweet friendly dog. One of the largest problems is behavior around children. Always monitor the dog. Children like to poke at their face, and it makes the Chihuahua feel like it is going to get hurt because it is so small. Get the your dog to relax, and again socialize and get these good behaviors cemented in at a young age.
  9. Don't forget that Chihuahuas are a very dependent breed, it is best to kennel train them so they can feel secure while you are not home.
  10. Show them lots of love!

Do more Research

Don't take my word for it do your own research on the breed. They can be one of the best dogs you have ever had. But it all really comes down to you. How much time are you really ready to dedicate to your new pup? Are you prepared to give them 13-18 years of a good life? Also you should do some research on picking a puppy. Its best to learn about the behaviors you want in a dog and not picking just the cutest one you see. They are all cute though their puppies, so don't get overwhelmed, this is going to be your buddy for a while.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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