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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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Juliana

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi Cathy! My husband and I are getting a Chi this November. A female, but then we were surprised with another option from another breeder for a male, just one week younger. So now we are thinking of getting both! Pf course they would be spayed/neutered as soon as possible as suggested by the vet. I see in your articles you recommend having kore than one Chi but do you have any experience with raising them together? I read so many bad things about raising two puppies together even when not littermates, that now I’m not sure anymore. Do you have any experience with that? Do you recommend two at at the same time? Thank you for anything you can share :)

Cathy

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Yes, I hear a lot of people raise them together with no issues so I'd go for it. I think why some people say don't do it is because they become too dependent on each other and won't bond with the human. But chihuahuas crave attention from humans so I don't think you need worry about that,

Sherrie Sitch

Monday 24th of August 2020

They can have a lot of allergies and lose hair from them

Cathy

Monday 24th of August 2020

Yes it's possible, but then there are a lot of dog breeds who are more prone to allergies than chis.

Bernice

Monday 24th of August 2020

I agree with that accept neither of the tries I've had shiver. They've been very calm and they've also been very good with children. I have also been Been very careful when small children want to pet my shy and I asked them to please sit or stand very still and let me bring my chai to them. I also asked them to please not make any sudden loud noises that might scare the dog because they are so much bigger than she is. It has worked 100% of the time. I definitely agree that once you own one you always want more. As much as I love big dogs, my chis have been wonderful!

Anita Grace

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

We took our Chihuahua most places we went we had a really nice dog carrier one with wheels one without that we kept her in when we were in the car and just going everywhere hotels restaurants just everywhere we took her with us she hated to be left at home separation anxiety. She sleep in our bed with us we always wanted her with us she was a big part of our family and we’re getting a Chihuahua puppy soon as our beloved princess she was 16 years old passed away last February.

We loved her more than anything and we want to honor her memory by getting a new Chihuahua puppy

Cathy

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

It sounds like she had a wonderful life with you and your new puppy will be a very lucky little pup.

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!