Is a Chihuahua Right for You and Your Family?
Are Chihuahuas very nervous?
Yes, Chihuahuas bark, run, and jump when they get excited. They also behave this way around strangers because they are nervous or because they feel territorial, depending on the dog’s temperament. Constant training is needed to help resolve this behavior over time.
Should I have a male or female chihuahua?
Focus more on the dog’s personality than gender. You want a dog that is compatible with you throughout his life.
Either way, you will probably spay or neuter the dog. Unless you are a professional breeder, you must spay or neuter your dog.
A spayed female dog will no longer experience menstruation or “oestrus” as her uterus and ovaries have been removed.
A neutered male has had his testicles removed, so he can no longer create sperm to reproduce. Although this may look like a corn, it is necessary to help control the animal population. And it also has many indirect benefits for the health and behavior of the dog.
Health benefits of spaying or neutering your Chihuahua:
Spayed dogs will not get a painful and life-threatening uterine infection called pyometra.
Spayed women also have a significantly lower risk of developing breast tumors.
Male dogs that have been neutered cannot get testicular cancer and have a much lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Neutered males also roam less and have milder or less aggressive behavior than their non-neutered peers.
What is the soft spot on the chihuahua’s head?
All Chihuahuas have a soft spot or fontanel on the top of the head. It is a small opening that makes their heads more fragile if injured than other breeds. This area is medically called “molera”. The grind makes them less ideal for families with young children, as young children can accidentally play too rough with such a small and fragile dog.
Why do chihuahua shiver? Chihuahuas shiver when they are cold, anxious, excited, frustrated, or unhappy. They have a high metabolism and a sensitive central nervous system, this chill is a normal physiological response. It does not mean that they are cold all the time,
How much exercise do they need?
Not much. Great apartment dog due to its small size and ability to tolerate tight spaces. The Chihuahua still likes to go out in the neighborhood at least once a day, to get to know different sights and smells. However, along with the very nervous character trait, the Chihuahua is not very sociable with other dogs or people outside the home, and they can get into trouble if they are not well supervised.
Did you know that Chihuahuas are known to “burrow”?
What’s “digging” when it comes to Chihuahua? When the dog makes a little burrow with something soft and warm. It can be used clothing, fresh clothing, most commonly sheets and blankets. This digging behavior is a classic Chihuahua trait reported by many owners and is a sign of affection. The dog is trying to snuggle up, stay warm, and be comfortable around you.
History and traits of the breed
The origin of the Chihuahua is not certain; There are three ideas of how this little dog came about. Some say that the chihuahua was used in sacred rituals by pre-Columbian indigenous nations, as they were viewed as sacred beings. Another idea is that the dogs originated in Malta, a Mediterranean island where they traveled on merchant ships to Europe. Supporters of this theory believe that there are famous paintings of small dogs in the Sistine Chapel from 1492 that resemble the size and appearance of the Chihuahua. The third idea is that the Chihuahua was brought to Mexico from China more than 200 years ago. In support of this theory, Chihuahuas would have descended from Techichi, a breed of companion dog favored by the Toltec civilization in Mexico. The Aztecs found out about the dog when they conquered the Toltecs. The Aztecs believed that the dog contemplated mystical powers. At this time, the Chihuahua was even larger than what we know today. Over the years the breed has been bred to be even smaller, to the size we commonly see today. The Chihuahua’s popularity spread between Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, where the breed was adopted in the United States. The Chihuahua was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 and has remained consistently popular.
Chihuahuas for family dogs
Chihuahuas tend to be loyal to one owner. These dogs can also become very protective of that owner and very territorial. Chihuahuas are known to be aggressive when defensive and may not be suitable for a family with young children. A family with tweens or teens would probably be a better fit.
This breed of dog has a reputation for being a “picky eater”, the owner will need to ensure that the chihuahua receives the nutrition it needs. The Chihuahua is at risk of becoming obese if fed table scraps and human food, which will reduce the overall health and lifespan of the dog.
But these dogs crave attention, affection, and exercise. They love to be petted and are eager to please. They can bark a lot, but they will learn to be calm with firm and consistent training. When socializing with other dogs, they have been known to prefer the company of other Chihuahuas over other dog breeds. The Chihuahua often “poplars” when stressed, excited or cold. This is a psychological and biological behavior that fosters the bond between the dog and the owner. These dogs also like to snuggle and dig into their bed to “get comfortable” and this can lead to more playful behavior with the dog and the owner, reinforcing the bond again.
Many Chihuahua owners have a difficult time potty training the dog properly to “come out.” For this reason, many owners find it easier to set up an indoor or patio area for the dog to use for urination and defecation, which the owner must clean regularly.
Chihuahuas are generally smart and practical, but they take a long time to learn trainable skills, as we see with their “potty training.” To succeed, patience and perseverance is essential.
This small breed is ideal for apartment living. Ideal for smaller families with an older child or two. Especially ideal for couples, since these dogs can be territorial and do not like to be “dethroned”, if a new baby arrives, for example. They prefer less environmental stimuli and do well with predictability.
Most dogs will be healthy at the time of adoption, but as they age, certain breeds have varying susceptibilities. Start by choosing the healthiest dog you can and find a veterinarian you can work with to maintain your dog’s optimal health for life.
Chihuahuas are very susceptible to certain health problems such as epilepsy (a seizure disorder), hydrocephalus (a congenital disorder of the fluid around the brain, because these dogs are born with a soft spot on the skull known as morela, which is sometimes not Chihuahuas are also prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) due to their small size. Tears and infections are common in this breed due to their large, round eyes and small eyelashes that do not offer much protection.
A friend of mine several years ago had a chichuahua who developed seizures and a spinal disorder as he aged. He had to take his dog to the vet many times for several frequent and challenging seizures. Then chronic spinal problems appeared and the dog needed even more medication and medical attention. She supported her puppy the best she could, but conditions did not improve, even worsened over time. This is a fragile dog that is prone to numerous health problems.
Establishing a good relationship with your veterinarian will give you the confidence to care for your dog. Many conditions are manageable with symptomatic control.