Skip to Content

What I Wish I had Done Differently with my Chihuahua Puppy

Share this post!

I Love My Chi may earn a small commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page.  Learn More

When we attempt something for the first time, we are all bound to make mistakes. Hind sight is always 20/20. Based upon input from my readers, there are a few things that they would have done differently now that they have gained experience owning a Chihuahua.

tiny chihuahua puppy sitting in grass

I gathered the lessons some of my readers learned from owning their first Chihuahuas to write this article in hopes that other Chihuahua owners will benefit from their perspectives:

I wish I had not babied my Chihuahua

Lindsay of Virginia was gifted a black Chihuahua named Riley for her eighteenth birthday. He is now eleven years old, and her advice to other new Chihuahua parents is to not baby their Chihuahuas.

Lindsay held Riley constantly for the first month he lived with her:

“Riley was barely two pounds. That is TINY! He was about the size of a guinea pig. I was constantly afraid of allowing him to roam freely around the house. For the first three weeks he lived with me, he was constantly in my arms, swaddled like a baby, which I called making him a “blanket burrito”.

Into the fourth week of swaddling him like a blanket burrito, I realized I was holding him too much. He had no complaints about it, but I knew it was not fruitful for raising a well balanced dog. I started to let him roam more freely, and to ease my mind, I purchased a breakaway cat collar with a bell to help me keep track of his whereabouts.”

Lindsay also shares that she babied Riley more than she should have as a young dog, and how this impacted his personality:

“When Riley finished growing, his little legs were the circumference of baby carrots and he was always shaking. If puppies go to puppy school to learn how to look pitiful and hypnotize their owners into doing whatever they want, he was probably the professor of that puppy school.

I was constantly scooping him up and babying him, and he began to expect it. While he thoroughly enjoyed the view of his kingdom (my house) from his throne (my arms), the constant doting made him become expectant that his kingdom would be run his way.

He would not listen to commands and became a “resource guarder” who would bite me multiple times to protect what he deemed to be a resource. Sometimes this behavior made sense, like if he had a piece of human food I had dropped while cooking, and other times it made no sense, like a dried worm on the sidewalk.

Either way, I risked being bitten multiple times when I tried to take away whatever item he deemed important. This behavior was not fixed overnight; it was expensive and difficult to change. I am grateful that nothing happened to me, as he would have been difficult to adopt out with his behavioral issues.”

 

I wish I had worked on handling my Chihuahua

Lauren of California purchased a brown Chihuahua puppy who she named Brownie when she was nineteen from a homeless man who was selling puppies on a beach she was roller skating by.

Brownie is now six years old, and Lauren wishes that she had prepared her life better by handling her more.

“When Brownie was a puppy, she loved to cuddle, but on her terms and she would not tolerate certain parts of her body being held. She did not like if I attempted to hold her paws, look in her ears, or look at her teeth.

As she got older I attempted to brush her teeth per her veterinarian’s recommendation, but she would not allow me to brush her teeth. She barely tolerated baths, ear cleaning sessions, or pawdicures (nail trims).

I was very fortunate to find a kind and patient groomer who worked with Brownie every month for a year to help her tolerate these things. This groomer taught me that whenever you add a puppy to your family, you should always run your hands all over their body as much as you can; hold each paw for a minute, look into their ears, lift their lips to see their teeth, lift up their tail to check their behind, stroke their legs, rub their bellies and praise them like crazy.

This is necessary because they will need to be groomed, and if they become injured, if they cannot tolerate being handled, it will make it extremely difficult for a veterinarian to examine and treat their injuries.”

I wish I had spent more time training my Chihuahua

Paige of Texas took ownership of a gray Chihuahua named Franklin who was no longer wanted by his family because he was a “tea cup Chihuahua” who grew larger than his family wanted him to be.

“Franklin was still young and about six pounds when I adopted him. When he finished growing, he was a force to be reckoned with weighing in at a whopping ten pounds. He acted like he was one hundred pounds and like he was the boss of the house, and I allowed him to because he was cute and I felt bad for him.

In retrospect, I have no idea why I felt bad for him; he had a wonderful life with me! This combination of his small stature and my pity resulted in the inmate running the asylum. For example, if he decided he wanted a taste of my dinner, he would bark at me until I offered him a sample, which I always relented to quickly, living in an apartment and not wanting to receive complaints from the neighbors.

He knew no basic commands and did not listen to anything I asked him to do. As a result, I spent hundreds of dollars and most of my free time working with Franklin either with a dog trainer privately, attending training classes, or training at home just the two of us.

He was stubborn, and it was a long, hard, road to ride on but eventually we turned a corner. One of my trainers said, “Would you let a dog who weighed over a hundred pounds do everything you allow Franklin to do?”

Anytime Franklin did something naughty, I learned to pause and think if I had a dog who was large, would this behavior be a significant issue? If it was, I took steps to work with him on what behavior was acceptable and what behavior was not.

Chihuahuas can live for a long time, sometimes even past twenty, so I knew that I wanted to enjoy my life with Franklin, not be stressed out trying to live with a dog who did not listen to me. Training was good for Franklin and for me.”

tiny 2 tone chihuahua puppy

I wish I had been a stronger advocate for my Chihuahua

Peyton of North Carolina was gifted a black and white Chihuahua named Baxter for Christmas when she was sixteen. While she considers Baxter to be the greatest gift she has ever received, she regrets how the first few years of his life were lived.

“I was so excited to receive Baxter for Christmas! My family welcome him warmly, and it seemed the start of something beautiful. At the time my younger brother was twelve. He thought that Baxter was cute but did not treat him respectfully.

He would rough house with him, not to the point of hurting him physically, but to the point of him becoming so uncomfortable that he became aggressive, because dogs only have one way to communicate “no” or “stop”.

I was not okay with how he was being treated, and no one, including my parents, respected me or listened to me when I told them to stop. Because of how my brother rough housed with Baxter consistently, he became aggressive more consistently.

I was incredibly frustrated; I knew that Baxter was unhappy and no one would help me ensure he was cared for as he should have been. I felt helpless and I carried guilt about this for years. Though I wish I had done more to stand up for him, in retrospect, I understand that being sixteen and my parents not seeing how my brother treated Baxter was wrong, there was not much more I could have done.

I moved out as soon I could and of course took Baxter with me. In our house, the first rule is that Baxter is treated with respect, and if you do not follow this rule, you are not welcome back. I am always Baxter’s confident protector and advocate.”

Conclusion

I appreciate my readers being so candid with their stories and I hope that their advice helps new Chihuahua parents. Always remember that properly raising your Chihuahua is very important because of their long life span.

Properly raising a Chihuahua means better quality of life for your Chihuahua and for you, and that he would be more adoptable if something were to happen to you.

We’d all love to hear more stories of what you wished you had done differently with your chihuahua puppy. So leave a comment and let us know!

2 tiny chihuahua puppies in a pocket
Previous
How to Find a Reputable Chihuahua Dog Breeder
Chihuahua puppy and elderly chihuahua dog
Next
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Deb

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

I wish I had taken my puppy outside to potty train as my husband advised instead of attempting to use pads and a crate. Taking our previous dog outside as a puppy worked perfectly but I messed up with this one. He's 5 years old now and potties in the house, even one minute after coming back inside from being outside to potty :(

Deb

Saturday 1st of August 2020

Ugh, that should have been a :(

Deb

Saturday 1st of August 2020

No :)

Cathy

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Ugh! That is a problem. Does he at least use the potty pads?

Vickie williams

Saturday 27th of June 2020

My name is Vickie williams I been looking for a house puppy for 3 months now I love animals I treat them as my children do you have any puppy for sale I would love to buy one I have yard dogs 2 were just dropped off on me abandon by my daughter's and I now have them in my care they shots are up to date they get groomed I order they food through chewy.com I love my babies my other dog which is Molly I adopted her they told me she was not gone grow but she did my baby is now 5 years and 6months her shots are up to date all so I found my cat on the highway I saved his life he was full of fleas and I cleaned him up bottle feed him now my baby big healthy his shots up to date also I got my other cat from German across she 9 years of age now and I also take care of her I own my home I have 11 acres of land and im looking for a house baby to take in my number is 6014313146 my email are wann6466@gamil.com please contact me

Cathy

Monday 29th of June 2020

Sorry Vicki, I don't sell them. I just write about them.

Geri

Friday 26th of June 2020

I was so protective of my chi when I got her at 3 months old she was so tiny. I didn’t not allow her to be with other dogs. I should’ve socialized her from a baby. Now at 3 y. o. She is so aggressive towards other dogs

Cathy

Friday 26th of June 2020

Yeah that can happen Geri. They are so tiny and cute, you just want to protect them and keep them with you all the time.

TERESA GASSERT

Friday 26th of June 2020

I had raised 2 chi's, one passed 2 yrs ago at 14 yrs and my 11 yr old I just lost this past March. I adopted a 6 month old in May, Jax. Well he was not potty trained at all. I thought I could teach him and train him but I'm not doing a very good job. It had been 11 years since I had a puppy and forgot how intense it can be. So I decided I need help. I signed us up for puppy school. We start June 28th. I'm looking forward to it. I think its the best decision for myself and Jax. Wish us luck.

sherry hansen

Friday 26th of June 2020

@sherry hansen, This helpful hint worked FINE for me with my chihuahua, got a 3m and lived to be 16y....... No training school but my own....I used the flyers that are delivered to the door.... THE SECRET IS TO.....UPON WAKING POINT*** TO THE PAPERS THAT, IN MY CASE WERE ON THE DECK, HE FOLLOWED THE POINTED FINGER TO THE PAPERS, 30 minutes after eating, KEEP REPEATING THE PATTERN ***..... REPETITIOUS IS THE WORD.......I did not go the expense of buying pee scented pads, etc..... MY SYSTEM WORKED A1 OK !!!!....ALL ABOUT MAKING TIME FOR THE ARRIVAL. MAKING YOUR BELOVED PET** A PRIORITY... Hope this helps Good Luck

ps: The papers had a few tissues atop

sherry hansen

Friday 26th of June 2020

@TERESA GASSERT,

Cathy

Friday 26th of June 2020

I agree with you Teresa, let us know how it goes with the class.

Vicki Stubbs

Friday 26th of June 2020

I love my weekly newsletter from you. Hope you have a wonderful time on vacation.

Cathy

Friday 26th of June 2020

Thank you Vicki!