Have you decided to get a Chihuahua as a pet at home? Chihuahuas’ cuteness is really irresistible. But, their cuteness is just an additional factor in getting them. You must have knowledge about their breed and genes for you to know how to take care of them.
Taking care of these small canines can either be a blessing or a curse to others. Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dog breeds that are almost instantly recognizable to people. Some directors feature different types of Chihuahuas in various films, cartoons and have gained the reputation of being the smallest domestic dog breed. But their small size does not make them any less of a dog, as their attributes are even more extreme. In this article, you will be able to know if the chihuahua is the pet for you.
Like any other type of dog, you need to exert your energy and time in maintaining their lifestyle like humans. However, dogs still need to be taken care of to prolong their lives.
WHAT IS A CHIHUAHUA?
For those unfamiliar with a chihuahua, you can simply imagine a small, active dog. Their average height is around 5-8 inches, while their weight usually should not exceed 6 pounds. They can live at about 14-16 years, so getting one is pretty much a decade and a half of commitment and care. They originated from Mexico, hence the native name.
Chihuahuas now have recognitions for their adorable appearance, having acutely staring eyes and long pointed ears. They come in different colors and have other various markings. The chihuahua’s coat is usually short and relatively light in weight, making them not suitable for cold temperatures. However, despite their small appearance, they are very active and as aggressive as usual guard dogs.
For this section of the pros and cons, they will be divided into various categories.
PROS AND CONS OF GETTING A CHIHUAHUA
Chihuahuas are indeed cute, especially their size. They also help relieve stress, and they are good companions because of their loyalty. But, there are still things that you need to know before getting a Chihuahua. It would be best if you prepared for the things like a place to live, food, maintenance, and management of aggressiveness. In addition, it is recommended to study their mood swings to alleviate the possible accidents.
Price and Maintenance Of Chihuahua
Chihuahuas can range from $800 to $3500 when you first buy them, although it also depends on the country. Some countries also require certain documents for exotic dog breeds, which can add to the expenses. In addition, while they are still a puppy, necessary maintenance is needed, such as vet visits. Puppy maintenance means you have to invest in getting them their required vaccines and vitamins while they are young.
They are prone to becoming overweight due to their hyperactive nature and lack of appetite control. Health concerns mean you have to balance their diets to ensure they get the nutrition they need. They also need a lot of exercise, so you may get them a leash and spend time with them outside.
When it comes to grooming, they are relatively easy to maintain. Puppies’ fur is not as thick as other various dog breeds, so grooming is less needed. However, some chihuahuas can grow long coats if left unchecked. Multiple infections can also affect them if you were not able to groom and clean them regularly. Signs of infection are most notable in their ears due to being large and prone to various bacteria. Make sure you take your vet’s advice when it comes to grooming to ensure a happy and clean chihuahua.
Pros in Maintenance:
- Low cost in grooming
- Usual dog vaccines that are reasonably not-so-expensive
- Their exercise can be fulfilled by simply taking walks with them
- They are generally low maintenance dogs
Cons In Maintenance:
- You may consume a lot of time while grooming and cleaning them
- Visits to the vet can be weekly or monthly, which can consume your time
- Walking them on a leash will require you to dedicate time and energy
- They are prone to many diseases, so investing time, energy, and money for them is necessary for their well-being
Chihuahuas are known for being good dogs for people with tiny houses or apartments. Size matter because they are small as well, and they prefer following their human parents instead of running around. Some apartments also do not allow larger dog breeds, which make chihuahuas a better choice.
However, chihuahuas need warm spots because their fur is not as thick as other dog breeds. So you would need to provide climate control in their room during the winter to prevent diseases and hypothermia. It would be best if you also watched out for any heavy object that may fall into your chihuahua when left unsupervised. Because of their small size, they can get easily injured by heavy things in your house. So you might want to move that heavy flower vase in your desk to a safer spot.
Chihuahuas also need a clean environment because they are prone to ear infections. So make sure you regularly clean, especially in places your chihuahua likes to stay in.
Pros In Considering Their Environment:
- Suitable in tiny homes or apartments
- Does not prefer active activity inside the house
- They only require small spaces for their preferred spot or territory in the house
Cons In Considering Their Environment:
- Requires regular climate control
- Requires regular cleaning and sanitizing
- Ensuring their safety with objects and furniture will require you to adjust your house several times
Companionship and Loyalty
Chihuahuas can be very attached to their human parents and follow them around the house. Although this is the case, they are very adjustable and can be left alone for at least a day or two. However, they usually gravitate towards their owner only and can be pretty ill-tempered towards other people. In addition, they are known for being aggressive towards strangers, so keeping them away from visitors is necessary.
Despite their love for humans, they do not prefer having competition. Chihuahuas typically dislike having other dogs as companions and are better off being solo pets. Although they can be trained to get along with other dogs, they are naturally attached to their human parents only. Sense of affection and aggressiveness means that being trained will only minimize the risk of canine fights and not altogether remove it. If you have other pets in the house, it’s best if you keep your chihuahua away from them as best as possible.
Chihuahuas are also not very good pets for families with children. Because of the children’s overly active behavior around pets might startle or accidentally injure the small dog. Triggered or threaten can cause the dog to snap back and bite in defense, which is, of course, an impulsive response to being hurt. Although possible, these small dogs are not recommended around children because of their overlapping behaviour. For the safety of both the chihuahua and your children, it’s better to avoid getting this dog if you have children.
Pros In Companionship:
- Chihuahuas are very friendly and cuddly towards their human parents
- They can be left alone for at least a dag or two
- They are very loyal and aggressive towards strangers, which makes them good guard dogs as well
Cons In Companionship:
- They can be very aggressive towards visitors they never met before
- Chihuahuas do not prefer having adoptive brother or sister dogs
- They do not do very well with children
Behavior Changes Of Chihuahuas
These dogs are very affectionate and would seek constant affection from their owners. They would often sleep at their owner’s lap, which can possibly cause you to burn some of your time. They are very social with their owners, and they can vocalize their thoughts as well. Chihuahuas are very vocal and would constantly bark at anything that gets their interest. They would also bark at their owners if they need something or simply because of boredom.
As mentioned above, they are also very aggressive towards strangers and would constantly bark at them. Their barking can cause excessive noise, which can be an issue for you or your neighbors. Urinating is also an issue for chihuahuas because they use their own pee to mark their territory. Chihuahuas that urinate anywhere can be fixed with proper training, which will be talked about later on.
Some chihuahuas can also become stubborn, although it depends on their individual personality. They have a tendency to soil their territory or certain spots in your house if they are not handled well. Despite being loyal and attached to their owners, they can still be hard to take from time to time. Each chihuahua has a unique personality, so you should be able to get to know their behavior before getting them. It is also worth noting that chihuahuas regularly shake due to their high metabolism. So if you see one constantly shaking, just know that it is one of their typical behaviors.
Another thing to keep in mind is their playful nature when walking around the house. They can be quite fast, and due to their small size, you might accidentally step on them. It does not help that they are pretty notorious for following their owners around the house. So if you have a chihuahua, you need to be on the lookout when walking around constantly.
Pros In Behavior:
- Affectionate and loyal
- Protective towards their owners and their territory
- Can be a well-mannered dog with proper training
Cons In Behavior:
- Very vocal dog breeds
- They tend to pee everywhere if left untrained
- Their active behavior and small size can cause you to step on them accidentally
Training And Management
Chihuahuas can be entire of a challenge to train, especially if they have stubborn personalities. They are pretty notorious for causing training regression for inexperienced pet owners. Training regression is when the effects of training get ignored by a dog and do the opposite effect instead. Because of their small size, they can slip away from your radar and do their business, unlike larger dog breeds.
Training a chihuahua may take several months to complete because of this. The key, however, is to become consistent yet patient with your training. It is not good to train them harshly because it might cause them to rebel or be uncomfortable around you. An effective way is to designate a specific time where you will train your chihuahua. These dogs are very smart and adaptable, so being consistent with your schedule can make training much more manageable.
The most important thing, however, is training them while they are still young. It is very difficult to train a grown chihuahua, so it is best to keep these good habits while they are still young. As the pup grows older, it will need more training than it usually needs. For example, a two-month-old puppy should spend time training around 2 hours a day. A three-month-old pup should start around 3 hours a day because it is older and so on. Age is a very important factor in training a dog because this is where their behavior is developing. When your chihuahua is grown and trained, however, it will be worth it as your dog will eventually grow to become a well-mannered and loyal companion.
Pros In Training:
- Training a young chihuahua is worth and has long-term benefits
- Proper training can lead you to have a well-mannered a loyal dog companion
Cons In Training:
- Their stubborn personalities and sneaky behavior
- Training will take a lot of time and effort in order to complete
- You may have a lot of regression and problems if you are a new pet owner
Pros Of Getting A Chihuahua:
Chihuahuas are very loyal and obedient dogs if adequately trained at a young age. They are relatively low-maintenance and are suitable for tiny houses or apartments. However, they are very affectionate and vocal towards their owners and aggressive and territorial with strangers. They require small amounts of time outside and can be left alone for a day or two. Setting schedules makes them suitable for busy people who can dedicate some portion of their time to vet visits and maintenance. If you are living alone in a small apartment or house, this can be a good pet for you.
Cons Of Getting A Chihuahua:
They can become very difficult to train, depending on their personality. Chihuahuas’ small size can cause them to be injured easily, so you need to avoid accidentally stepping on them. They can be pretty noisy, but that can be prevented with proper training. Chihuahuas need a clean and warm space in order for them to stay healthy. Both the owners and the vet should keep their nutrition in check because they are prone to diseases. These dogs do not do well around children and other dogs, so it is best to keep them alone. The cons can generally be fixed by prior knowledge of this breed of dogs.
Chihuahuas are good pets if you place them in the suitable living conditions. The pros can outweigh the cons as long as you do proper research and preparation before getting this dog. Take note that you should always do your own research before getting any pet. Impulsively buying a pet can be very stressful and quite expensive, so make sure to think about it long enough. Chihuahuas are small dogs with prominent personalities that deserve good homes. So you can get one if you’re willing to provide them with time, energy, money, and some changes in your life.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.