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What You Should Know Before Getting a Chihuahua

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Thinking of getting a chihuahua? Here’s everything you need to know about chi personalities, the health of chihuahuas in general, even how to train a chihuahua, and more!

I sometimes get emails from people who have never had a chihuahua and wonder if they should get one.

They ask about what they should know before getting a chihuahua. I give them my two cents worth but decided it might be easier to just send them to a post. And to get the point of view of other chihuahua pet parents.

So I asked on our Facebook page and got over 900 responses!

A lot of the responses were similar. Below is a list of the most common responses given. 

Of course there are exceptions to  every rule so if you read these and think “my chihuahua isn’t like this”, then yours may be the exception. My chis didn’t fit some of these  things either.

I have linked to the things in this list that we have articles on.

Health

Chihuahua being held by veterinarian

Personality

While your chihuahua will be unique, there is a general personality shared by most chihuahua dogs. Getting to know your pup will be an adventure, but here are a few personality traits that you can probably look forward to!

  • They are very protective and are mighty little warriors.
  • Chis like to lick.
  • Chis love to snuggle
  • They can be a bully to other pets in your home, no matter how big those pets are.
  • Chihuahuas are very smart, but stubborn little dogs.
  • They can be sneaky.
  • Chis tend to be needy and crave a lot of attention.
  • They don’t like to be alone and often have separation anxiety.
  • They can be quirky and often have strong personalities.
  • Chihuahuas love to bark a lot.
  • They tend to bond with one person and don’t do well with young children.
  • Chis love to be held.
  • Watch how much you feed them as they can put on weight fast.

Training

long hair chihuahua by pee accident

Other

  • Be very careful when walking, especially when they are pups, as you can accidentally kick them or step on them. A collar with a bell really helps.
  • Chihuahuas do better with a playmate their size. So get another chihuahua.
  • Watch them closely when outside. Birds of prey and other wild animals (coyotes, wolves, etc.) can snatch them in a second.
  • Chihuahuas are indoor dogs and should never sleep outside at night.
  • If getting your chi from a rescue, check out the rescue and find out as much as you can about the dog’s background.
  • If getting a puppy from a breeder, ask lots of questions about the parents, ask to see the parents… do they look like Chihuahuas? Are they friendly?  Does the breeder health test and do they know about the breed? And if something goes wrong that they will refund your money?

How Your Life Will Change

chihuahua on wooden steps

  • You won’t need a doorbell.
  • You will never be alone again. They will be your constant shadow. You will forever have a bathroom buddy.
  • It’s hard to stop at just one chihuahua.  It’s VERY important to know that if you are to get a Chihuahua you will become addicted to having more. There’s no cure.
  • If you give them a chance, they will rule you and your household.
  • They will take over your bed, couch and especially your blankets so you need to check before sitting or laying down to be sure there isn’t a chi hiding within them.
  • Chis will show you the greatest love you’ll ever know.
  • A lot of them like to steal dirty clothes such as socks and underwear.
  • Chihuahuas are so entertaining, especially if you have more than one chi. Just watching them chase each other around and play is loads of fun.
  • Because of their size and being somewhat fragile, you will need to change things in your house such as having steps or ramps for your bed and couch, extra blankets, dog beds in rooms they hang out in, etc.
 

What would you add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know if you agree with these things and what you would tell someone before getting a chihuahua.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cute chihuahua in brown sweater

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Kathy

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

My Mitzi came from the animal shelter, her mother and several others were in a breeder house. We got her she was 6 weeks old and 1lb. I didn’t want a chi cause I had bad experience that some friends had. But reluctantly I said yes, she is now my heart. I would take her to work with me and she lived all the attention. She loves kids. And she is a little Leary when people come over then she is all over them. She it’s a social butterfly,, 😊Only a could people she don’t like.. she is either in my lap or my husbands. It’s like she wants to give us both equal attention. But usually she wants me.she only goes to bed when I go to bed, won’t go with my husband. Lol I don’t know what would happen if something happened to her. She is my heart. My husband told me I need to go ahead and look for another one. Mitzi is only 8 years old, so I think I have a lot more yrs with her. She is spoiled just a little 😉

Cathy

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

Mitzi sounds like a wonderful little dog Kathy!

Crystal Pilgrim

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

I had my baby for 21 years his was my life I lost him a few months ago and can’t seem to make myself replace him I got him when he was 3 weeks old and loved every minute I had with him he was my baby seeing I can’t have children he was my baby in every sense of the word he was a fawn Apple head chi yes he had health issues a few surgeries and lots of meds but I would have traded a day without him

Reahlene Roberts

Saturday 8th of August 2020

@Crystal Pilgrim, I’m so sorry my daughter gave me her chihuahua I wouldn’t trade a day of having him he can be mean but he my everything

Cathy

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

They have a way of taking over your heart. I'm so sorry you lost him Crystal.

Becca

Friday 19th of June 2020

Very true about bonding with one person. My little guy is very protective of me. He hates everyone! Except for my daughter, 3 adult grandkids, and my caregiver.

Cathy

Friday 19th of June 2020

Your'e lucky your chi likes that many people. Many of them only like 1 person.

March

Monday 6th of January 2020

Yes! This describes my own chi very well. She loves to cuddle, and sleep in the sun. Her name is Daisy B. Marie and she hardly ever barks except for strangers, and is very friendly towards them. I suppose I’m pretty lucky in that regard. One strange quirk that she has is that she has no clue what toys are for. No matter what I buy her she is never able to figure it out. She was an only child so I suppose she never learned to play properly. I hope someone has some suggestions because she needs more exercise (more than her walks). She loves sweaters and coats and loves to show them off. I love her dearly and spoil her rotten. I am considering getting her a companion chihuahua, because I’m afraid she might be getting lonely when I leave for work. I admit that I have been thoroughly bitten by the chi bug, looking into their beautiful big eyes fills me with joy. I have never regretted owning a chihuahua, because they always make you laugh and know how to live life to the fullest.

Cathy

Monday 6th of January 2020

Daisy is a cutie! Will she chase a ball at all? My Lucas will not play with toys at all either though my other 2 love playing with toys. He will play with the other 2 dogs though and gets plenty of exercise from that so getting Daisy a friend might help with that. We have an article on indoor games, so check that out for some ideas: https://ilovemychi.com/indoor-games-to-play-with-your-chihuahua/

AJ

Sunday 5th of January 2020

I would just change the word "specially" to "especially" towards the end of the article. It's written like that a couple of times.

Cathy

Sunday 5th of January 2020

Thanks AJ. I think I caught them all and corrected them.