The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with a big personality. Did you know that the chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world? Some can weigh as little as two pounds! Even so, they have a larger-than-life personalities and are fiercely loyal to their humans. They also have a distinctive look - small body, pointed ears, and big eyes - and can come in various colors, from white to chocolate to red to mixed. In addition, Chihuahuas tend to live longer than larger dogs, with a typical life expectancy of up to about 14 years. Although these pups are considered purebred dogs, you can still find Chihuahua dogs for adoption. Let’s take a look at their history, personality, health, grooming, and training requirements to see if rescuing a Chihuahua is the best choice for you and your family.
While there are many theories about the origins of the Chihuahua, we do know that these tiny pups hail from Mexico. They were believed to be spirit guides that protected souls as they traveled through the underworld. Unfortunately, while their story may be interesting, there is no objective evidence about how long they have existed. The Chihuahua we know and love today was discovered in the 1850s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which is where its name comes from. The longhaired Chihuahua was most likely created by breeding with Papillons or Pomeranians. Since the 1960s, the Chihuahua has been one of the most popular breeds and ranks 13th out of 155 different dog breeds.
Chihuahuas are bold, confident, and alert and have many of the same characteristics as terriers. They are often devoted to a particular person in the family and can even become obsessive about their desire to be with them, so make sure you have plenty of love and attention to give to your little pup. Despite their tiny size, they are usually fearless and surprisingly make excellent watchdogs. Like many smaller dogs, they are prone to excessive barking and may even snap at strangers or small children who intimidate them. Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and can be well-rounded family dogs with early socialization and proper training. They are usually not recommended for families with small children as they need a more calm environment.
Health & Grooming
Like all dogs, Chihuahuas are prone to some specific health problems, especially related to their size. They will need more dental care than other dogs, so be sure to brush their teeth daily and invest in dental chews and the right dog food. Chihuahuas are also more likely to develop tracheal collapse, so be sure to get a decent harness that will safely fit your Chihuahua and take the pressure off of their neck. Chihuahuas are also predisposed to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), eye infection, and luxating patella (when the kneecap tends to move out of its normal position). Proper care and grooming can help keep your pup healthy! Chihuahuas will just need occasional baths, coat brushing (more often if you have a long-haired Chihuahua), teeth brushing, and ear cleaning.
Since Chihuahuas are both spunky and intelligent, they will need lots of positive reinforcement and frequent, consistent obedience training. Chihuahuas love being rewarded with treats and praise but may only have the attention span and patience for shorter training sessions. House-training these dogs can sometimes be tricky because they are so small and have a sneaky disposition. The best option is to utilize crate training and take frequent trips outside. Early socialization of Chihuahuas is also key to helping them be more open to strangers. Without it, they can become very possessive and protective of their human companions, even getting aggressive and anxious due to their small size.
Adopting a Chihuahua
The ideal Chihuahua owner will have plenty of time for their pup, paying extra attention to socialization and training. Unfortunately, these pups also don’t like to be left alone, which can cause aggressive and anxious behavior. While Chihuahuas may seem like cuddly lap dogs, they need regular exercise and playtime. They also usually don’t do well with small children, which can cause anxiety and possibly hurt them because of their tiny size. Regardless, they are very adaptable and make excellent pets, even in small apartments. A great way to find a Chihuahua is to look into your local Chihuahua pet rescue, which may have puppies or older dogs that have already been trained. Do your research and consider your home environment to decide if the best choice is to rescue Chihuahua dogs for adoption.
Chihuahuas are loving housemates and will form a robust and loyal bond with you and your family. They will most likely follow you around your home and enjoy coming along for errands and trips - they are affectionately known as “purse dogs.” These pups have a unique personality and small size, making them faithful companion dogs. Consider all of their characteristics, health, grooming, and training requirements to decide if adopting a Chihuahua is the right decision for you. There are many great options available if you would like to adopt a Chihuahua from a rescue - use the web, reach out to local experts, talk to breed rescues, and make sure you ask questions before adopting.