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Chihuahua Temperament: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they have big personalities. Learn about the good and bad aspects of their temperaments from an experienced owner.

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they have big personalities. Learn about the good and bad aspects of their temperaments from an experienced owner.

The Chihuahua's Temperament and Personality

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 Good

  • They're Small: 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 portable, economical, and convenient than other breeds.
  • They're Cheaper to Feed: A large bag of premium dog food will last many months. I never once found myself purchasing dog food more than twice per year.
  • They're Great Watch Dogs: The Chihuahua's temperament makes them excellent watchdogs, 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.
  • They're Healthy: You'll really like their health and vitality, too. They rarely have health problems and live an average of 10 years.

The Bad

  • They're Fragile: 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.
  • They Have Sensitive Stomachs: 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.
Chihuahuas are not great with kids, unfortunately.

Chihuahuas are not great with kids, unfortunately.

The Ugly

  • They're Not Good With Little Kids: 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.
  • They Need People to Respect Their Comfort Zone: 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.
  • They Don't Really Like Other People in General: 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!
  • Even After Socialization, They Still Just Want Their Owner: 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 Is the Best Breed I've Ever Owned

The Chihuahua breed is by far 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.

Questions & Answers

Question: Where did you get your info on Chihuahua lifespan? We have had them for over 25 years and none of ours have lived less than 13, but most have lived 14 - 16. Several have been over 17, and 1 was 18 1/2.

Answer: This was based on our family's personal experiences.


Audra d on August 31, 2020:

I have had my Chi for from a baby she is 12 she stands her ground with anyone that comes in on us . But that is the only time the silly girl will bark. My grandkids love her . I can lay my 5 mth old in the floor and she lays there with her. She is a good WE LOVE OUR PNUT.

Quinn on August 27, 2020:

I just adopted a 12 year old chi from a local shelter. She loves kids, cats and dogs. She will go to anyone. We always adopt older pets from the shelters - people, please give the older ones a chance. They are the best! Spay/neuter, do not buy at pet stores. I respectfully disagree with this article. Chi's live much longer than 10 and they can be friendly, wonderful little pals.

Marie Gonzalez on August 01, 2020:

My chihuahua was 15 yrs old when she passed away a few months ago of old age. Her name was Chacha. She was sweet but didn't like to be bothered and always had to have her blanket. She was very spoiled. She had her little dresses, a car seat, a stroller a rain coat, sweaters, pajamas. She was little and hung out with the big dogs when she would go potty. How I miss her so much. RIP MY LITTLE PRINCESS.

Wolfgrrlie on July 20, 2020:

I have to disagree with the children statement.

While I would not recommend the breed for a home with rambucious rough children, they can be quite happy and not dangerous at all around kids. I have a 10 year old chi, who I got a few months before my first born (now 9 1/2) I taught both of them once my daughter started cruising and moving and able to go near the dog.

1) doggie was not allowed to snarl growl bare teeth or growl at the baby. If she didn't like baby near her she was taught to move her tail out of the way and go to her doggie bed or "safe zone"...

In return

2)daughter was taught to never bother puppy in her bed or safe zones.

Picking up and "saving" the chi from kids just enforces growling and snapping because to them that is a reward and positive reinforcement. By banning her from the couch or cuddling with me when she growled, was appalling to my dog and she was offended and learned if she wanted to stay on the couch or near me and cuddle with the baby around she couldn't growl or snap and either had to move out of reach or trust that I would correct baby (which I did I never left them alone together unsupervised)

My 2nd daughter was my rough and tough crazy one, not as gentle as my first. But by the time she was born, our dog was 3+ and knew the drill. Don't want baby near me, I leave the baby area.

Also once my babies grew old enough to be taught to understand dog language aka look at her ears, hear her growl, see her expression? I actually allowed my dog to give small warning growls.

To this day, she had never ever bitten anyone, she now is allowed to give warning grumbles and growls to my older children because my youngest (now 6) can still be a little rough without meaning too, or just to much in the face, and my daughter respects those noises and apologizes and leaves the dog alone.

When strangers kids come by my dog will let them pet her and play with her unless they get rough or are super young, then she gets away from them or comes to me and asks to be picked up out of reach or grabby baby hands. But had NEVER growled bared teeth or snapped at a stranger's child.

They just need to be taught!!

It may help that my chi is also long haired? I heard from many breeders that long hair Chihuahuas are sweeter and more tolerant? But I haven't had a short hair yet to see for myself

Amy Hurd on July 15, 2020:

My two Chihuahua's are beyond loving to my 5 year old daughter and have been since they were puppies! I think it's miss information completely to say they don't go well with children utterly untrue. Also when my baby nieces are over the dogs are very keen to be near the babies and to try lick them and cuddle with them! I think you have shared your own experiences and tauted it as fact in this article. You are doing Chi's a disservice.

Kathy M. on July 15, 2020:

Mija Melanie has been with me since December 2015. She was just one year old when I found her at the local shelter. She's not a yippy girl, and she doesn't like most men. I was warned to keep her away from children so I decided to introduce her slowly and in small doses to the grands. I was surprised to find out that she loves children, loves to chase the toys that they toss for her! She was easy to house train, stays close to me in the yard, travels very well (flight attendants love her ❣️), rides patiently in a back pack during any and all shopping trips, and she's the only one NOT barking in a neighborhood full of barking dogs. When I brought her home, she did bark at every little thing, so to help her feel like she belonged, I would follow her and bark along with her. Apparently that annoyed her or confused her, so she barks minimally and never in the living room. She's definitely a picky eater so I make her food using locally sourced chicken and veggies. A tablespoon of vanilla ice cream each day makes her a happy girl!

Every day I laugh with her. Every day I marvel at how much I love her. And every day I wonder who rescued who that day in December 2015.

Clint Figwood on July 11, 2020:

I have had Chihuahuas for quite sometime. Neither one of them has shown an aggressive personality. They have been a calm breed for me. They love sleeping with me and always know when I feel sick. They would come and lay by me and I feel it was there way of comforting their human owner.

My Chihuahuas are a quiet dog. They bark when there is someone at the door. When I have friends over they go straight to them. They aren’t protective like this story stated. My Chihuahuas are loving, compassionate, and genuine. I love this breed and when they pass away I get them buried in a pet cemetery and visit them and put flowers on their graves. I have a footprint of them with their picture next to it. I’ll always have Chihuahuas in my life.

Mary k. on June 29, 2020:

My chihuahua is my support dog as I am disabled. She is always with me and understands my emotional needs better than anyone.

ChelleA on June 25, 2020:

My chi is my princess, she takes care of mommy. She is my service dog and does not leave my side. She is a little over 11 pounds and 5 years old pear head. She does loves to cuddle and get back and belly scratches from my husband when he comes home from work, but then she is back to mommy (she is definitely a mommy's girl).

She will bark when she hears a noise outside or a knock on the door, great little guard dog, but for most part she’s quiet. Other than that I’m quite fortunate that she is so very calm and laid back, I do wish I could find any toy she likes, (trust me, I have tried all different kinds, she just don't like toys).

As for kids when I take her outside for a little exercise, she loves the neighborhood kids, when she is not "working" she is such an attention hound with anyone who will give it. Sometimes I tell my family she is my perfect soulmate, two social butterflies destined to be together.

Craig Jay on June 23, 2020:

I must have the exception to the Chi rule. My little guy is a ham not in weight but antics. He’s 6.5 pounds 2 years old deer head of the Chi breed and while I have seen other Chi’s who are one person no children types mine is different. He does like to cuddle with who ever is home and has preferred sleeping arrangements. However he his calm around kids, adores my niece and likes to be the center of the universe. He likes to be picked up and meet people. He doesn’t run to the door when people come but does look to see who they are. He will bark but for most part he’s quiet. I’m quite fortunate that he is so very calm and easy to take care of. I’ve had higher maintenance pets in the past so I’m not only loving on him so much I’m enjoying him being so social and agreeable. Don’t get me wrong he sniffs ever third blade of grass on walks. Everything distracts him and he will chase a rabbit or squirrel but not always a known cat. He is energetic again though super friendly. I’m looking for a brother or sister for him so perhaps the next one will be temperamental. I’m hoping for a Chorkie or Yorkshire Terrier as his fury family relation

Maribel Vazquez on June 22, 2020:

I have a chihuahua she's 10 years old and weight 2 pounds 1/2. She is having problems on eating i guess the food makes her bloated and she's not eating well i try fortiflora but i have to force her to eat and i feed her Royal cane dry food special for chihuahua. Can some one help any advice what to feed her.

Yoly on June 20, 2020:

My little one has been with me since she was 49 days young, this week she will turn 11 years! I has always loved Chihuahuas she is very loyal and quiet and yes she doesn't like little kids around her she can stay in your lap forever! When people come they get surprised because she doesn't bother or bark when she sees somebody. She has been by herself and doesn't like to be bothered by other dogs either. I don't refer to her as "it" because she is part of my family. I haven't seen a Chi smaller than my Tiny she doesn't weight 3pounds people that don't know this race thinks she is a puppy because of her tiny size. Yes, she can fit practically in any regular purse

Jessica McGill on June 19, 2020:

I trained my Chi with a spray bottle whenever she acted barked too much or got snarling. She is 16 and a delight. They live the longest of all breeds.

R. Potter on June 16, 2020:

Chihuahuas have the longest lifespan of any dog! Re-check your info.

DCA on June 13, 2020:

I have 2 long haired Chis Sophie and Papi they are 11 years and 9 years now. I got Papi when he was about 8 months he was neutered and potty trained but still was marking in the house. I’ve never been able to break him of this. He wears a male wrap during the day . I use some disposable ones and hand made ones with sanitary pads. Our vet told us that toy breed males often continue to Mark in the house after they are neutered and it’s difficult to break them of this behavior. I love the little guy he has such a personality and my home is his forever home. This is something to beware of because I had no idea before getting him. They can take much longer to potty train than larger dogs because they have tiny bladders. It takes a lot of patience.

Mandy Miedzyblocki on June 11, 2020:

Morning all you gorgeous Chi's,

I have two beautiful Chi's x Bo 2 and Emily 1.

They are my babies my family and friends keep reminding me that they are dogs not human!

I say, REALLY? they're my little Chi humans! Ask them they don't believe they're a dog! No ones told them. They are very fussy one day and not care the next. I will say they are very very intelligent, when I ask them to get something they will look around untill they find it and then bring it to me. They also love eating anything that they no their not too, so I have to be on my toes. Bo has an affection with the broom at the moment so I have to watch that he doesn't eat it! Oh I Just love em both so so much.

dnq on May 21, 2020:

I have a Chi, we adopted her and was so Sweet and cuddly, she was 3/4 at the time 20 lbs. what we understand is that she was owned by someone whom got sick,hospitalized the husband took care of her after that. Then we got her from the shelter she was in.. We got her home and boy did she turn into a Beast

Mel on May 05, 2020:

I have had my little Charlie Bear for 2 years this year, he has been with me through some of the hardest times in my life, he picks up on my energy, if I’m tired he loves to sleep with me, if I’ve got plenty of energy he’s ready for anything. He loves going out on the kayak, he loves the sun, he’s such an adventure dog. We are so careful with Charlie, one of his pitfalls is when he escapes or comes off the leash, he never returns, I shouldn’t laugh LOL but he sees it as a game, he runs so fast and darts around everywhere, until of course nature calls and he needs to pee. He has the cutest and funniest mannerisms, he pretends to box with his daddy, he stands on his hind legs and literally taps his paws on my partners hands like boxing mits lol. He only plays with soft toys I often find myself in the kids section at stores looking for soft toys with no small components that he could choke on. He is seriously like a human, you can talk to him and he knows what’s going on, he listens and replies, if you tell him he’s naughty for barking, he pretty much sobs and partially speaks whyyyyy hahah. He loves kibble, he loves meat, and his milk stick treats. I have one spoilt little boy, he loves strangers, he barks at dogs 10x bigger than him, I have to pick him up around huskies, German Shepard’s and sometimes collie dogs due to the round up personality’s of these dogs. He’s like a little rabbit so I can see why they look at him and lick their lips. I’m so glad I picked Charlie as my forever dog. I honestly would have never knew before owning a chihuahua how much they become a massive part of your life and family.

bob on April 27, 2020:

i have a chihauhau we rescused from the street and it never barks or anything it loves children and it loves all animals and it has alot of favourites and yes it is 200% chihauhau

Penny Carter on March 02, 2020:

I have a beautiful precious baby girl tiny chihuahua, she is the smartest little dog that i have ever had..i have had her 3.1/2 years now, she has always be the only dog in the house, with me & my husband...well my husband just bought me a teacup chihuahua that is only 1.2ozs, he is such a precious little boy, his name is Teddy, i have only had him for 4 days now & need some advice on what i should do to make my tiny little girl Pixie to get along with him..she plays with teddy outside but has nothing to do with him in the house or with us, she doesn't even listen to us now, when we say something to her she just goes under the bed or just play attention to us, she only comes to us when we ask her does she want a treat,or go out...need some information on what i should try or do, or any advice would be greatly appreciated...Thanks

anynomous on February 24, 2020:

I really don't like Chihuahuas. The only time I've ever been bitten or attacked purposefully by a dog was a Chihuahua-and that was one that had run off that I was helping to get home. I wasn't even that young.

Isis7399 on January 25, 2020:

I’ve had one who was 17 when she passed away in my arms, then I now have a 15 year old male. He acts younger than his years. Mainly because I adopted him 2 Sisters. He guards over them he also the older he becomes is more protective of me. My bf has a really hard time getting near me. I have to put him in another room or hold him. They are very protective. The newest in my family are smaller breed my oldest being a Standard Size the 2 baby girls are Miniature. I’ve found them to be more easy to bathe and carry. They are 3 years old now. Precious.

Lily on October 16, 2019:

I believe your article described the basic default temperament of the chihuahua. That was how mine started out as. She was suspicious of all strangers and would only open up to those i spoke and laughed with. My husband and i made sure she shared her love with both of us and it helped overcome her 1-person character. She runs back and forth between my husband and me so my chi surely got the message. My chi is also very sociable with everyone now, she asks everyone for hugs.

Margaret on December 23, 2018:

We have a rescue chocolate chi..she is a doll but not super cudley as she had been abused.we really get a kick out of her playing,she twirles around in cicles and plays with a stuffed penguin.she also never gets fleas and dosnt shed.she must stick to a ridgid diet or she gets gut issues. Just the best little doggie

Johanna on December 13, 2018:

Where can find more chihuahuas on sale

Maria G. Wysocki on November 09, 2018:

I have one of those long hair Chihuahua from 2 months, now she is almost 11 months old. She is precious...has her personality, but only when I have to leave her alone...she hate it! Besides that, she is loving with me ( I live alone with her) and everybody else. The only time she gets a little angry is when people try to approach me too close too fast. My Lucie loves to sit on my shoulder with her head out of the window while I am driving. So cute!

Jeff on October 12, 2018:

Thanks for the article. We just got a male male chihuahua. I dont normal support pet stores but me and my wife walked into a petstore at the mall, and we seen him in his cage. He was tiny, we couldnt leave without him. He fit right in with our 2 other dogs (toy fox terriers). He is a very affectionate little dog.

Linda on September 03, 2018:

We have an issue with our Chi. She constantly wants to put her teeth on our skin. How do we remedy this she is 10 weeks old now.

Lucy on September 03, 2018:

My Bitsy is a Yorky/Chihuahua mix. She apparently has the beat of both mixes running thru her veins. She has been patient with my 9 grandchildren right from the start, about 8 weeks old. While she thinks she's as big and bad as a watch dog around other canines in reality she's every bit as cute and safe as she looks. When Bitsy has had enough of the grandkid's noise and commotion (and she loves to run around and play hide & seek or keep away) she goes under my bed. My grandkids know this is her time out space and to leave her alone. My 9yr old & 12yr old grandsons babysit her all the time. My 6yr old carries Bitsy around and my 3yr old loves chasing her! This is 1 chihuahua that got the calmer side of the 2 breeds! Thank you for the info on chihuahuas! I now know the norm for this adorable and energtic breed! And I will carefully consider whether to get another.

Mary Porter on August 03, 2018:

I have 2 a male long haired 1 called Buddy he's 15 months old and Bonnie a female who's 10 months old oh i love them both loyal loving dogs didn't think I'd ever get another dog and got 2 6 months apart

Ellie Wood Borden Ont. Canada on July 22, 2018:

I came to stay with my Son and Daughter-in -law who owns a beautiful fawn coloured chihuahua around 2 yrs old. She wanted no part of me at first. Barked and growled when she saw me. It was hilarious because I adore animals of every kind. She loves the teenage kids and my Son, but she is Mommy's girl. They both work and the kids go to school, which leaves Delilah and me home together alone. I let her be for a few days, just speaking to her from across the room, telling her how beautiful and good she was. By the end of 2 wks. she was kissing me and sleeping on my lap as I watched tv. Now she has so accepted me as part of her loving family. She is so gorgeous and funny. I laugh till I cry over her unique personality. My Son keeps telling me that when I get my own apt. I definitely need one due to a bipolar disorder I have. He said when the dog and I are together he sees so much happiness in me. It is tempting but I still don't know. But while I am here, I have a friend that can match no other!

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 21, 2018:

L. King, thanks for your input! At the end of the day most dogs want love, and they are very good at telling who's willing to provide it.

L. King on June 18, 2018:

My neighbor has a Apple head Chihuahua name Poncho. I was walking my chorky name Star one day and we ran into Poncho. We made out to friends really quick. One day he found out where we live (just down the street). Now he shows up at my house everyday. He is so happy to see me and whines out of sheer happiness. He hasn't had bath in for ever and he had a collar that was way to small. I wound up buying him a new collar and bathing him cuz he had a spot on his back that look like a hot spot. Red and inflamed and itchy like crazy. Now he thinks he is my dog. His owner would come get him in the evening and take him back home. Now his owner doesn't even come get him anymore. Seems he doesn't get much attention at home. When he shows up at my place he is so excited to get loving. I am not trying to take this dog cuz he is someone else's dog. I thought chihuahuas were a one person dog? I am a animal lover and he looks so much better than he did when I first saw him. I didn't think that chihuahuas would get attach to another person when they already have a owner?

Margie on March 23, 2018:

I lost my husband recently, and decided to adopt a companion dog. I wanted a chi because of the small size. I love to hold my dog. Penny can be be festy at times, but she seems to take to strangers. She is 3 months and weighs 3lbs. I have laughed until I cried at her antics. When my boyfriend comes over I sense a little protectiveness, but she do seem to take to him. She is still a puppy so I still have a long way to go. I love her very much.

Bob on March 12, 2018:

PS. If he's barking in the house and I say "no barky" he will bark with his mouth shut. Just hilarious.

Bob on March 12, 2018:

Had a pet sitting friend who took in a 5 year old Chihuahua after his owner, a disabled Vietnam vet died, my least favorite breed at the time. He adopted me on the first visit. 6 months and many visits later he had not changed his mind so I took him home with me forever. As for his personality - if you talk to him you have to pet him. Just the most remarkable dog I have ever owned. I have been told it's genetic. If both parents are friendly, the puppies will be. The most important thing he has learned with me is "no barky". He may bark all he wants in the house but once we step through the door it is no barky time except for rabbits and squirrels. We both bark at and chase rabbits and squirrels. No, cats, dogs, birds .... However, sometimes he does night duty with me then it is no barky period. And I only had to tell him this once. Amazing dog. Extremely observant. Guess I'll just keep him. My Buddy.

Kelli on February 15, 2018:

I have had 2 chihuahuas. One lived to be 16+ and the other is going strong at 11. They are one person dogs, but love other family members as well. My current 11 year old is great with my grandsons (4 and 2). They can learn to love others while being mostly loyal to one. Best dogs EVER!!

Eddie on December 02, 2017:

I have 2 chi's. Male 4 lbs and female 12 lbs. Both from humane society. Bella was returned 2 times to humane society before we adopted her. It took 6 weeks before she warmed up to me. She took to my husband right away. I couldn't pet her for 3 weeks. Very aggressive and yappy. I just let her be. Talked to her, fed her and gave her treats. I let her come to me. Patients is the key. Now she prefers me to my husband. Eddie was 4 yrs and a run away. He never had problems adjusting to us. He was so friendly with us and everyone else. I did notice with Eddie as times pass he is less friendly almost don't want to be bothered by strangers. He doesn't aproach strangers in public places any more. He's has lots of energy. My first choice will aalways be a chihuahua.

Stacey on December 01, 2017:

Hi I have two Chi's brother and sister 9 years old. The male is getting so mean with me cans everyone around him. He has no teeth but still bites very hard. He doesn't like to be petted or anything. He's really mean to me his owner. I love him so much and never hit him or anything. They both sleep with me. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

roger on November 13, 2017:

Just lost my 13 year old chihuahua and best friend ever. No question my next dog will be a chihuahua. She had most of the goods and bads and I loved her every bit.

Bonster on November 07, 2017:

I have a dear elderly friend whose advanced age caused her to ask me if I would take her long-haired chihuahua when she dies. She is giving a considerable inheritance to Charlie, to insure his care. I sympathize with her love for him and her desire to safeguard his well being, but I also know how loyal this breed is, and the dog does not know me. I am concerned that Charlie will be unhappy with a substitute "mom" and that will make me unhappy, too--

Kay on November 06, 2017:

My Chi is awesome loves my grandbaby full of personality and greedy as all getout...smh he's only4 lbs I'm looking for a companion for him any suggestions?

Patricia on August 01, 2017:

I have a friend that's have a little Chihuahua an she just had puppies an said be great for my 3 year old but I'm not sure what do you think

Sasha on June 14, 2017:

Although some statements ring true I have to say a lot of generalisation. Having had this breed for over 30 years in a busy household with children and having had an average of 5 Chi's at a time , ours have loved being around the kids and have viewed all visitors as new friends rather than potential enemies.Still informative and enjoyed authors experiences of this delightful breed.

Tweakie on March 20, 2017:

I have three Chihuahua's aged 9, 10, and 11. Two of them can't stand my step kids (8 & 6). The other one barks at them too, but mostly because the other two are. They bark at everyone but me. They are wonderful companions and I've had them all since they were very young, I don't understand why they bark so much at the kids. They will growl just hearing them talk LOL. But that's usually where it ends. I am not sure why they are like that but I guess it's in their nature. Good article. Chihuahua's are great dogs especially if you are alone a lot.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on February 02, 2017:

Roger, I would not suggest feeding your Chihuahua raw blue gill (or any raw meats) because of their super-sensitive digestive systems. A part of the Chihuahua temperament I've found is them being finicky, but you will come across some that will gobble down anything edible.

If this describes your Chihuahua at least toss a fillet in the microwave for a few minutes...or steam it, making sure all bacteria is killed. What they have in guts and bravado, they lack in the ability to eat wide other breeds

Roger Shumaker on January 31, 2017:

I love my chi he will soon to be 2 years old his name is lucky he is so funny at times. But my question is I take him fishing with me will it hurt him to eat a raw blugill???

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on January 28, 2017:

I have seen the most fortune mixing a Chihuahua and other breeds from their puppy years. Years ago a had two Chis living with a female Boxer...but they were familiar with each other since they were all just a few months old.

kris on November 17, 2016:

we have had one chi for 11 years likes some kids but she has had to have a lot of teeth pulled so biting is not really a problem we have a new chi puppy and also run a daycare the new puppy LOVES LOVES the kids he sits with them plays with them all day plays fetch loves to give them kisses he just the best dog he is a little shy around adults hides sometimes overall a great little dog.

karen on October 08, 2016:

Thank you for the info. I am looking to adopt a rescue dog and met a great chihuahua today. After reading your article I do not think this is the right breed for me, but I am glad many others found chihuahuas to be good fit with their families.

TammyA on October 05, 2016:

I put bells on my small chi's so that I am always aware that they are right there. I had a very small senior who passed recently and a new 3 lb senior and without their bell, they probably would get stepped on, which obviously could be life threatening. I also don't allow my dogs the run of the house to avoid potty accidents and they just don't need it. So, when I am in the family room with them I am usually sitting and so are they, in my lap. Never thought I would own a Chi but they are so cute and wonderful.

Jess on September 28, 2016:

My little Chi loves everyone, even small children as long as they aren't too ruff. Cocoa is his name and I believe he's so tolerant because I thought my last Chi wasn't very social and as soon as I got cocoa at 5 weeks I carried him everywhere and he loves camping, swimming with my kids, and even laying on the beach basking in the sun as I fish. I think our pups can be as social as we are. Cocoa also walks well in public on a leash, and doesn't growl or bark unless you have food he wants.

Dogmum on September 20, 2016:

OMG my adopted rescue chihuahua is Psycho with my Coton de Tulear It's like oil and water, one likes to socialize, the other (you know who) doesn't. I have to find a better mix for my Coton As much as I love the affection of the Chihuahua, the oil/water mix doesn't fit my personality. Its' sad, should have done a lot more research before introducing these two breeds. Be forewarned anyone else - of introductions to other breeds and a Chihuahua, definitely they are a "one" person dog. Intensely loyal and yes it's better to be a loner, which I am not . . . .

Ninja on September 01, 2016:

Thanks Kevin, good article considering am in the process of getting a female chihuahua.

Lisa on July 27, 2016:

I have a vizsla at home along with an 11 year old daughter,and 13 year old son. My daughter will be the one who is taking care of the puppy she wants a small,cate dog that she can sleep with, walk with and pick it up and hold it. Is the chihuahua a good dog for her?

Sheila Jones on May 16, 2016:

I have a Chihuahua Lasa Apso mix. She was on the streets in California. Second Chance flew her to our area to save her. We took her in within 12 hours of her arrival. She was 1/2 dead. We nursed her back to health. We had DNA completed on her, thus we now know her breed. She is the most loving dog I have ever had. But she hates childern, other dogs on the beach and men. She tolerates women, kind of from afar. She's a picky eater. Bit I have managed over time. She lives in her Thunder Jacket. She gets upset if I leave it off her for more than 1 hour at a time. But she loves our 18 lb cat. She gives him kisses all the time. She has been a real challenge over the last 2 1/2 years. But nevertheless, she is the best pet I have ever had.

Krista on May 07, 2016:

My chihuahua is the best dog. But he's a huge baby and he loves absolutely everyone he is not a one person dog. He adores my 2year old and my 11year old. He is very well tempered. He is always hearing things before I do haha

amanda on March 30, 2016:

My chiuhuaha likes my children I have 4 and is very effectionate with all of them. I have a 2 , 6, 9 and 11 year old and he will gladly sit with all of them. He slightly funny with anyone who comes round but soon as he realises there happy for a cuddle with him he's fine.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on November 20, 2015:

You know, they're really not as "barky" as most would like to think. I believe that if you control it while they're pups (let them know early that you won't tolerate the yapping) it would help much.

Dono on August 03, 2015:

I would have to say this has to one of the worst breed of dogs out there. We live next to a home that has two of them. They will bark at anything that moves. No way to enjoy a quiet moment in the back yard without them going off every five minutes. They are a very cute dog, but if you what a quite dog that is not going to bark at there shadow I wouldn't get one

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on April 28, 2015:


Thank you for sharing the video. Best of luck with all your kids.

Nicole on March 09, 2015:

I agree about them not being a huge fan of kids, although I've noticed that apart from the high energy children have, it also scares my little girl to have a hand come down on her head fast, which kids do often. However, my chis are actually very quiet and friendly. I take them everywhere and they love strangers, as long as they can say hi lol. We are working on the fear of kids though. My boy is ok with kids, but my girl will snip at a kid who puts their hand over her face to pet her. We correct it before it happens now by handing her to the child, and then she's actual very docile and sweet. She becomes submissive to the child and we reward her for that by letting the child give treats to her. Apart from that, my boy doesn't like other high energy dogs running about. He thinks hes the boss. He heards them up and yells at them till they calm down and HE commands the play time lol then he has fun, but only if he is in charge of the running about lol. Check out my lil short vid of some tricks they enjoy doing. i couldn't put all of them in the video, as they know A LOT of cute tricks. Best little dogs ever.

Bella and Bino - Puppy Tricks:

beattie on February 23, 2015:

My chihuahua Daisy is 6mths old and just in season , shes been barking constantly for 3 days and its very upsetting ive tried cuddling her and talking softly none of this seems to calm her down ,is it because shes in season , ime so upset about this what can i do to calm her .

Lizz on October 29, 2014:

Our chihuahua is the opposite. He LOVES little kids. Way more than adults. They're the only strangers he won't bark at when he first meets them. He definitely seems to perceive less danger from little kids than older people. He can get very aggressive when strangers come to the door because he's super protective, but everybody just laughs when he does because he's so little. But when little kids come to the door he doesn't seem to mind. He's very sweet with them.

Jennifer Green on September 11, 2014:

I've had a long hair Chihuahua for about 4 yrs now I adopted her since she was 3 months. I found that my pup isn't like any other. Not like the article! ! She loves company she dies and will cry if company doesn't pet her. She has never bite my children I have 4 and she stays around them when they are sick. I love that a bag of food last her for such a long time. She's a Diva she likes the little bites nothing bigger then her mouth lol.

I've never had a problem with her. But just like you said every Chihuahua isn't the same.

pooney on August 26, 2014:

My dog is nothing of what is described here. She's great with kids, babies, elderly, special needs people. Never yaps or barks! Will eat anything you give her and be fine with her iron gut. Loves runs and tons of napping. She's extreamly social never aggressive. Doesn't even look at other dogs let alone chase them and start fights. Hmm seems as if I have a gem over here.

Penelope's Human on July 24, 2014:

Chi's can tolerate new people easily enough. The key is socialization. If you don't socialize your cute little pup, and they only cling to you, they will behave badly. I got Penelope when she was 8 weeks old. I started right away, took her everywhere with me, handed her over to everyone and anyone who thought she was the most adorable puppy ever (because, of course, she was!) If she got a little snarky, I corrected her. I also have 2 cats and another older, bigger dog. She has grown up playing with her other animal brothers and sisters, along with my nieces. If I can't bring the dogs away with me on overnight trips, they go to get spoiled at Nan and Poppa's house, where she immediately jumps up on Poppa's lap and lavishes him with kisses. I imagine that's because he's the one that doles out the treats ;) My boyfriend, who lived with me when we got her, but now lives away, is still her "other" person. She is equally loyal to the both of us, strange as it may be. He has since got a service dog, a beautiful black lab, and the two of them are soul sisters, they run and jump and start playing together as soon as they see each other, which makes her brother Liam jealous, then all heck breaks loose and there's tails wagging and dogs running and jumping everywhere, while little sassy Penelope has snuck out and perched herself on top of the couch in prime attack position! She's a sly one!

Anyway, all that to say, chihuahuas do not have to be a one person, overprotective, ill-mannered pets. They can be a fun, very entertaining, loving part of the family. You just have to invest the time into them. You invested the money, hopefully the love, why not that little bit of extra time, so your little one does not become one of those that gives ours a bad name? Like the saying goes, it's not the breed...

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 04, 2014:

Try to include her in every social gathering you possibly can. Get her used to commotion and activity.

joleen on May 27, 2014:

First time dog owner and i chose a chihuahua. Had Pixie for 5 months now. She is so very loyal and i cant imagine being without her. She loves my 6 year old but doesn't always have the patience for my 4 year old. Shes like a mad dog and barks at everything and anyone she sees. My tiny defender :) ♡

Loved your post. Bang on!

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on May 02, 2014:

Often times its really easy to over-spoil this breed by giving them too much lap time. The Chihuahua temperament allows them to think that they own you. As a result, other dogs (or people) wouldn't be able to come close to you. Socialize them early on. Even put your matured Chihuahua in socializing positions. If you go to dog parks, mingle with the other dog owners and try not to isolate yourself or your Chi.

crystal on April 17, 2014:

I have a chi. And it is brintle is that ok I very mean it trys to bite everbody it will attack big dogs help

josh on March 31, 2014:

Kevin Timothy very good responses and story

Amanda on March 30, 2014:

I have a almost 5 month old Chihuahua. (Got her at 6 weeks) She is great with my 19m old and almost 4 year old. She has not even so much as growled at the kids. She will get in the almost 4yr olds lap and take a nap while she is watching cartoons. She loves giving the girls kisses too. I think it is all about teaching your kids the right way to treat a small dog and training your puppy early. I also give our Chihuahua an "escape route" where she can go to get away from the kids if she wants to be left alone. Our only real "problem" with her is outside of our family she is "scared" of new people. In all honesty if I can just get her comfortable with my parents and brothers we will be good. We spend a lot of time on the house boat during the summer with them.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on March 08, 2014:

It will be a great puppy. The chihuahua will most likely be drawn to your teenager and be weary of your six year old. Socialize the pup EARLY. Expose them to how active and unpredictable younger children can be. However, still monitor the activities between the Chihuahua and the younger child. Get your teen to chip in, too. It can work - especially if the six year isn't smothering the breed.

Angel on January 12, 2014:

Ok seriously thinking about getting a long haired female. My children are fourteen and six. I have a lot of family in town that like to visit on a regular basis. Is this not the right kind of puppy for us?

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on September 14, 2013:

Ebony - you can try to socialize the Chihuahua as much as you want from early. Just keep in mind that the Chihuahua temperament will not tolerate the smothering children that age love to do with small breeds. Of course, the kid means no harm but the tiny Chihuahua doesn't know that. You have to really supervise the interactivity especially with children that age.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on September 09, 2013:

Andrew, thank you for adding your value to this article.

Andrew on September 05, 2013:

I find it ironic how an article defending chihuahuas includes two pictures/videos out of five, of them being the horrible little pieces of shit that they really are! Also, they're not cute, they're ugly as sin!

ebony on August 23, 2013:

Are they gd with 2 year olds I I have a little neice and want one but don't want it to be aggressive? ??

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on January 06, 2013:

Thanks! I appreciate that.

Jef from Philippines on January 05, 2013:

Love the way you wrote this article about Chihuahuas! :)

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on January 03, 2013:

Wow, that's a feisty combination, Hannah.

Hannah on November 29, 2012:

I am getting a chihuahua yorkie mix and im going to name her nevaeh.....

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on October 31, 2012:

Emma...agreed. Their personalities are extremely varied.

Emma on October 28, 2012:

I enjoyed reading this but have to agree with other comments about how chihuahuas aren't necessarily opposed to children, I have 3 and 4 year old nieces and nephews that my chi couldn't be more fond of. In the 2 years I've owned her she hasn't once shown hostility to a single person regardless of age, I've never seen her growl and certainly not bite!!

I suggest you take better care to train your dog, i find it incredibly annoying to see chihuahuas stereotyped for being aggressive as mine couldn't be more friendly!

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on September 26, 2012:

Always have liked his show, I may give his books a look.

Tori Leumas on September 25, 2012:

Chihuahuas are cute little dogs. Chihuahuas temperaments differ the same as bigger dogs. I have a 2 year old chihuahua mix that is very good with my little 6 year old brother. The way a chihuahua acts towards other people depends on how it was raised. If your chihuahua bites little kids it's because it hasn't been taught how it's supposed to behave towards children. I suggest you read some of Cesar Millan's books. He's the dog whisperer and he knows how to train your dog not to bite other people.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on July 22, 2012:

Years ago a really enjoyed the short hairs but my love affair with the long hair is only about two years old. Our Chiwawa right now is long and the best one I've ever had.

Queirdkus Ω Ibidem from Sitting on the Rug on July 21, 2012:

Thanks for the great hub, Kevin. Well written and interesting! Voted up

I almost ended up a longhaired chihuahua owner but when I finally decided to get the pup, who I instantly bonded with, it was already sold.

... All things according to God's will, and the best for everyone =)

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 22, 2012:

Hey, well I really appreciate you stopping by to leave a comment.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 22, 2012:

Thanks, Mr. Tuck.

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 22, 2012:


Thank you. Ours loves to cuddle also. She will usually avoid her own fluffy bed just to get in a lap or in another family member's bed. She's a trip!

Kbdare from Western US. on June 06, 2012:

I have a chihuahua and she often becomes quite upset when people she does not know knock on the door. but the great thing about her is she is the best cuddler. However, I do agree with you on the chihuadua being misunderstood. Thanks for sharing!

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on June 01, 2012:


A little extreme to suggest a Chihuahua owner to get their head checked, don't you think?

Andre on May 31, 2012:

If your chihuahua is biting anyone you need to socialize it more.....ours is great with all kids because we dont treat it like an accessory but rather as a dog. Spend the time and actually train/love your dog.

Bites kids under 6 = bad irresponsible owner get your head checked.

lilly on February 21, 2012:

dose anyone think chihuahua's are ugly like really because they are very ugly and i have to right a speech about it please help?!

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on December 05, 2011:

Ours is an exception. She doesn't mind the little ones at all, as long as they know when to give her space.

christinepurr on November 08, 2011:

Informative and very very true. I don't think I've ever seen a chihuahua who liked little kids, lol. Definitely not that kind of dog, although I'm sure there is an exception somewhere.

clintontuck from Australia on November 08, 2011:

Great article thanks for sharing

Kevin J Timothy (author) from Tampa, FL on May 07, 2011:


Thanks for the feedback and kind words!