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Four Things to Consider Before Buying a Chihuahua

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Pets and Animals
When considering whether or not to buy a Chihuahua, whether it be for a pet or for showing, there are at least four considerations.

Hype - Don't be drawn to the Chihuahua simply because they are so small. You may have heard of phrases like: teacup Chihuahua, pocket Chihuahua and miniature Chihuahua, amongst many others. These phrases are sometimes used by breeders and pet shops as a marketing play; to make more sales. These phrases do not apply to Chihuahuas; they do not exist in the breed standard. Implying that a Chihuahua pup is a teacup Chihuahua is simply a device to entice the customer into purchasing the pup with the hope of getting a very small Chihuahua.

Fragility - Chihuahuas are not usually suited to small children. They can actually be killed or badly injured if they are stood on or dropped, or even crushed in a well-meaning cuddle. Being such a small dog, the Chihuahua needs constant supervision, and should always be kept on a lead when taken outdoors.

Behaviour - It's not often that you will come across an overly docile Chihuahua. Most are loud and dominant, trying to run the entire household, your other pets included. It's not unheard of for a Chihuahua to boss around a Boxer or even a Rottweiler, without any concern for their own safety. What they lack in size, they make up for in spirit. You need to be firm with some consistent training to help gain the upper hand. This is also necessary if the Chihuahua has developed the bad habit of what is sometimes called 'yapping'. They tend to bark at almost anything that moves or frightens them, and can sometimes become quite aggressive towards strangers. This behaviour could lead to biting and needs to be controlled.

Housebreaking - Of all the dog breeds, the Chihuahua would have to be one of the hardest to train. This is especially the case if the Chihuahua suffers from extreme shyness. Raising your voice and/or losing your temper will not help the matter as sometimes the deed is done on the carpet before they even get to the litter tray. Patience and easy access to facilities are the only avenues, and even then this task may never be accomplished.

Though there are a few downsides to owning a Chihuahua, there are many more upsides, like: a friend for life (can live well into their teens); a great travelling companion (travels light); loves to snuggle (with no expectations); doesn't need much exercise or space and will gladly give its life for you. What more could you ask for?