How to Keep your Chihuahua Happy

What are the most important facts you need to know to keep your Chihuahua happy, healthy and well behaved? Here we cover several important points about Chihuahuas, like their temperament, level of intelligence and suitability for a family with children. Other factors such as their likes and dislikes, feeding habits, how best to train for obedience and how much exercise and maintenance they need are also covered. Then you will be better informed about what makes the difference between owning a great little dog and being terrorized by a tiny package of willful, snarling aggression on four legs.

As far as temperament goes, Chihuahuas have an unfortunate tendency to be volatile. These small, intelligent dogs are usually suspicious of anyone other than its owner. They display dislike for other breeds of dog, can appear moody and turn quite nasty when provoked. Despite their small stature, these dogs are fearless and will often initiate hostilities with much larger dogs they may meet while out with their owner, so it is always advisable to keep them on a leash when walking. One advantage of these dogs being so small in stature, is when hostilities get too heated, you can always simply pick them up and carry them away from the danger zone.

Their intelligence is high which makes them cunning and manipulative, using to their advantage their owner’s often misplaced belief that because they are only small they must be harmless and thus be mollycoddled. They display jealousy if another person tries to get between them and their owner and can become aggressive towards the one they see as the interloper.

The above qualities therefore make them ill suited for families with small children, who they will interpret as rival dogs to be attacked or put to flight. However, although unsuitable for a young family, the Chihuahua can make an excellent pet for an elderly person living alone, or a couple whose children have grown up and left home. They are also great for individual dog lovers who have the time and patience to indulge the tiny dog’s need for almost constant attention.

Chihuahuas like attention from their owner. They like lots of it, in fact. They thrive on being the center of their ownerís universe, so the more time you have to spend pampering your small dog and pandering to its every whim, the happier he will be. On the other hand, Chihuahuas dislike intensely being ignored or left alone for any length of time. In such a case, they are quite capable of running amok in your home and shredding your upholstery, wrecking your furniture and ripping up your mail.

As for feeding, Chihuahuas like order and routine, so stick as closely as possible to the same times during the morning and evening when feeding your dog. They are quite likely to prefer canned cat food to dog food, which they like served in small portions. They have a tendency to be fussy eaters, so you have to experiment a bit to find out what they like best, then stick to those brands of food. These might include several different flavors which can be rotated over a period of days so as to give the dog some variety.

Training from a young age at a respected training school will pay dividends as the Chihuahua matures, as they will be more obedient and responsive to their owner’s verbal as well as non-verbal commands. When out walking, have a positive grip on the leash, keeping it short and therefore restricting the dogís ability to do what it wants to.

Being such small dogs, Chihuahuas require only limited exercise, so a short walk around the local streets once or twice a day is often plenty for them. As far as maintenance goes, these small dogs love to be preened and pampered, so lots of brushing with a soft brush and regular baths will keep their coats clean and in good condition, as well as strengthening the bond between owner and pet.

So in conclusion, by following these handy tips, you have an excellent chance of owning a fun little character as long as you refrain from placing it in a family situation or where it stands the chance of not being the center of attention. By having it trained at a young age, then properly fed and maintained and as long as you give your Chihuahua lots of love, affection and attention, it will be your best friend ever and give you a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction.

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  1. All of this rings true.. I have one at home and they are all of the above and yet I wonder if I could ever own another breed. Take a look at the site:, they are featuring ASPCA this month. through the site you can shop at all your favorite stores for all your favorite brands and a percent of your every sale will go to the nonprofit you choose.A very easy way to support a great animal group.ENJOY!

  2. I have four right now. I had two that passed. I have three kids and two grandkids. They can be volatile with strangers at times. But I raised all mine from wee pups and they are the exception to most chihuahua rules. After people hang with mine for a while they all say they are going to get one for their family and I always so NOOOOO, not if you have kids.You certainly called it with “cunning and manipulative”…they have my husbands wrapped around their paws.

  3. I love my Pancho. He is not like normal chihuahua males he is not aggressive. He is a Don Juan kind of dog, he loves everyone even the dog growling at him. We rescued him in the middle of a country field, he did not speak for almost a full day. He was just so scared. At that time he was about 6 months they think. When he was 8 months we got Lefty our rat terrier. Honey our yellow lab is almost twelve. Pancho and Honey were happy once she figured out she was still the queen. Pancho and Lefty started out good and they are the best of friends. Lefty has no idea he could crush Pancho. I grew up with a chihuahua, and swore I would never own one. Pollo was a normal male, I was bit more times than i can remember because I would want to touch my mom.But when we saw little Pancho shivering and dirty, we knew it was a miracle he had lasted overnight. For three weeks he would go back to where he found him. I think he lost a brother there. We thought we would only keep him till we found his owners, the more we looked the more we figured out he was dumped. They can be hard to house train, which is why you take them out every 15 minutes at first. Pancho was not housebroken when we got him but he came along nicely once he got the routine down.He and Lefty are completely house trained!

  4. Thanks for confirming my Daisy Mae’s personality. She’s a Chi-long-haired Dachshund mix, a curly, loving, sometimes very obnoxious, very intelligent member of our canine family. I pulled her from the local county shelter where she had been dumped by an abuser. She’s learned to trust my hubby and tolerate her canine siblings, but we’re still working on the housetraining. We do love her bunches though!

  5. I think that your article is missing a thing or two. The fact is that chi’s /can/ bond to their owner and /can/ have volitile tendencies if you do not take the right steps with them as puppies. If you socialize them well with lots of different people, animals and children then you shouldn’t have these problems. I know one family with 4 kids that were recently working on this and took there puppy different places with them to be able to introduce him multiple people.We were very good about socializing our chi and he loves having guests over and may only bark at the door a few times at them until they introduce themselves and are invited in. He is also pretty good with other dogs. He has a tendency to not like other unclipped males, but that is a natural thing. We didn’t know very many children when we got him so we do have to watch him around children, but we also teach the children that are around him that he is not a toy. I have met other owners that have made the extra effort to socialize their chis and have had very good results. I think you are making blanket comments and you are not giving any advice on how to help your dog not have the tendencies you are just telling people that’s the way it is.

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