Chihuahua Temperament: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Chihuahua is probably one of the most misunderstood breeds in existence. Small in physique, but extremely large in personality, they're complicated creatures, and that first impression can thoroughly confuse prospective owners.
Some are handsome and many aren't so pleasant-to-the-eye, but either way, the Chihuahua temperament can bring plenty of laughs.
I have owned Chihuahuas since 2001, and I want to share some things with you: The good, bad, and ugly.
The main reason for wanting a Chihuahua is its small size. There are several reasons why I love their little statures. Because they can almost fit in your pocket, Chihuahuas are much more totable, economical, and convenient than other breeds. A large bag of premium dog food will last many months. I never once found myself purchasing dog food more than twice per year.
Facts About the Chihuahua
The Chihuahua's temperament makes them excellent watch dogs, too. They have this uncanny ability to hear strangers and other dogs long before they are even in your vicinity.
I am sure this has a lot to do with their ears, which seem to take up at least 20% of their bodies. You'll really like their health and vitality, too. They rarely have health problems and live an average of 10 years.
The flip side to the Chihuahua's small stature is its fragility. They are easily overlooked, so if you're not extra careful, you can easily hurt or step on them. Often when I am in the kitchen, our Chi sits and waits patiently for food to fall. The breed is usually really quick, but not fast enough to dodge shuffling feet. You really have to make the extra effort to be mindful of the Chihuahua's presence. Their bone structure is very delicate.
The Chihuahua has a very sensitive digestive system. It won't take much for your little family member to get sick if not fed a healthy diet. Unlike many other breeds, Chihuahuas just can't eat everything leftover from your table. Oily, spicy, and fatty foods should be kept to a minimum if not avoided. Dog food makers like Royal Canin make breed-specific mixes, so give them a look. And if you feel like spoiling your dog, meats like lamb and fish make good treats.
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The Chihuahua temperament does not mix well with small children. This breed will not tolerate rambunctious and carefree kids. Children younger than the age of six will typically get bitten and growled at. At that stage, they usually want to grab and pick up the little cute dog, unaware of how big its personality is and how fragile its bones are. There have been times when I've even seen a Chihuahua get agitated by kids just running around close to it. They are a sweet breed, but they get cranky when their comfort zone is jeopardized.
Chihuahuas also probably won't be fond of your friends and family. Don't get me wrong—they will tolerate new faces, but they are "one person" dogs, and will be a little leery of anyone else but you. This could be ugly for those that like to parade around with their dog, particularly at dog parks. This aspect of the Chihuahua temperament will frustrate most. You practically have to be a recluse or a loner. If you don't get out much, your Chihuahua will absolutely love it! And even if you put the time in to socialize them from birth, they still grow up to be dependent upon only you, the owner.
Chihuahuas are far more comfortable with being alone with their owners. A simple warm lap will do.
The Chihuahua breed is by far one one of the best I have ever owned, regardless of the bad stuff. To me, its loyalty and overall loving nature far outweigh its negative traits. You may not be able to take visits to the beach often with your Chihuahua, or even play catch with it, but if you keep your little guy or gal healthy and happy, it's sure to provide you with a long life of quality companionship.