1. AS CUTE AS THEY ARE- NOT A BREED FOR A HOME WITH SMALL CHILDREN
Chihuahua’s love to get underfoot and can get injured easily by children stepping on them or playing rough.
2. SPOIL THEM AND TREAT THEM LIKE A LITTLE BABY
“Allowing him/her to do whatever he/she wants usually ends up with a Chihuahua who is skittish, nervous, excessively dependent, or downright nasty.” By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016 http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/training/chihuahuas.html.
Okay so speaking to the first part of this, no, I did and do not allow my chi to do whatever she wants. She knows and obeys my commands; sit, stay, no, and enough. When she was younger, and could hear better we used to play a game, “Come find me”. I would tell her to sit and stay where she was and then I would go hide somewhere in another room. Then I would call out to her, “Come find me” and she would search each room close to where she thought I was and when she found me, we celebrated with lots of hugs, rubs and kisses. Now she is older and can’t hear me calling to her.
However, the second part, GUILTY! And in kind, she does not like strangers and if they are even in her sight she will bark and carry on. For the brave one that attempts to approach, WATCH YOUR FINGERS! Small teeth still hurt.
3. CONSTANT CUDDLING AND ALWAYS BEING THERE
This is especially important when your chi is a puppy. If you are always with them constantly holding and cuddling, then when you do need to leave them alone, they can develop a bad case of “separation anxiety” throwing a tantrum, becoming agitated and chewing things up things they shouldn’t.
When my Chi first came to my home she was about six months old. I kept her in a play pen in one of the bedrooms with water and a piddle pad when it was bedtime. During the day, I would take her out to allow her to interact with us but at intermittent times during the day, I would again place her in the play pen and go about business. This way, she got used to not seeing us for a while and if we had to leave her alone in the house, she was safe. It allowed her to get the sense that, although she was alone, we would always come back. I used a regular baby play pen but there some for pups that are completely enclosed so you can take it outside.
4. LEAVING THEM ALONE FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME
On the other hand, Chi’s, especially Tea-Cups are not meant to be left alone for extended periods of time. There are many variables that dictate what “extended” means. For me, once my Chi was an adult, I could leave her for 8-9 hours a day. Although rare, she was very content to be left in her space with water, piddle pad and all her toys. Because of how I acclimated her as a puppy, she stayed calm just waiting to give us love and kisses when we returned. Longer than that, however, could result in a variety of issues for your chi’s emotional health and safety.
There are other things you can do to help comfort your Chi. I always left a radio or TV on low so she would hear noises and sounds. Getting a companion for her was not an option for us, so I always made sure she had plenty of appropriate toys to keep her occupied. Living in California, I was always concerned with Earthquakes so, if we had to leave her alone, I kept my Chi in one room with a comfortable, warm bed with nothing hung on the walls that could fall on her. I chose my bedroom because she also like to hide and sleep under my bed. I also had a webcam set up so I could view her and talk to her if need be.
5. CHIHUAHUA’S, BEING SMALL, ARE CONTENT BEING HOME AND SEDENTARY
Uh, No, No, and No! They are NOT content being inside, keeping you company on your lap. These babies have a whip of a brain and love being challenged. I came up with several games like the “Come Find me” mentioned above. Your Chi can learn up to 200 words, so get creative. It is fun for both of you. Unless your Chi has some health challenges, it is important to
exercise them well into adult years. I still take my 3 lb. Chi on short walks and, although she has a bad knee, she is still able to take to stairs slowly and carefully so I try to find some to keep her agile. Remember, though, to assess your Chi’s ability, health and age as some Chi’s are no bigger than the steps themselves.
Socializing your pup is another important issue with Chihuahua’s. They can become suspicious, nervous, nasty and standoffish if kept away from other people and animals. They tend to become attached to one person and not accept anyone else in their environment. I can speak again from experience with this one. Unfortunately, I did socialize my Chi- A LOT- but since it was just the two of us for most of her life, she remains standoffish until she gets to know you – and that could take a while.
Having a pet, especially a tiny one like a Chihuahua is a lifetime decision. As with having a child, great consideration should be given and care taken before deciding that a Chihuahua is right for your home.
There are so many good books and resources to learn about the special needs and quirks of Chihuahua’s. I took three months to research online, read books, talk to veterinarians and breeders before I made one of the best decisions of my life to make my Chi part of my family.
~the wacky ex~