Thinking about getting a Chihuahua puppy? Great, this article will help you decide if the Chihuahua is the right dog for you.
These little dogs behave differently than most.
It has to do with the parent of the dogs and the line of Chihuahua dogs that the pup comes from. Some of these can be very antisocial and downright mean. Others will be less aggressive and more social.
This also is due to the owner. You can overcome some of the aggressive behavior with proper obedience training.
One other issue with the Chihuahua is that it can be difficult to housebreak.
Some of the typical behavior you might see;
- Excessive barking, they have a shrill sharp bark. They will bark at anyone or animal approaching that is new to them.
- Territorial, they will bark because someone or another dog approaches their toys, food, or area.
- Housebreaking issues, this breed is one of the hardest due to the fact of how stubborn they are.
- Stubborn and will do what they want instead of what you want if not properly trained.
For the most part, the Chihuahua is a healthy breed but there are a few problems you could face with a Chihuahua;
- Eye disease
- Hypoglycemia especially in puppies
- Patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation)
- Cardiac issues
As with all dogs, immunizations are important. The law requires rabies vaccination so make sure to consult your vet and keep the immunizations up to date.
The diet of a Chihuahua puppy is extremely important.
Chihuahua dogs have small stomachs and burn a lot of energy. That can lead to hypoglycemia, as the blood sugar level dips too far below normal.
When it comes to Chihuahua puppies they need 4 small meals a day.
At six months of age, you can then cut down to 3 small meals a day.
Once they reach 1 year old you can then cut back to 2 meals a day.
You also need to make sure the food you feed them is the proper nutritional balance for their age and weight. The size of the dry kibble is important as well, it needs to be small.
If you have concerns about the food and its nutritional value speak to your veterinarian.
Remember to have plenty of fresh water available for the dog.
Training must start the day you bring home your Chihuahua puppy. You must establish that you are the leader by being firm and not allowing the dog to run the household.
Do not give a reward, laugh at, or ignore bad behavior. Reinforce good behavior with positive reward or praise and do so consistently from the moment you bring the dog in the house.
The commands you want to use will be one-word commands such as sit, down, stay, and quiet.
Socialization is a large requirement for these dogs, the more the better.
Introducing them to new sights, sounds, other animals, and people repeatedly will help them understand they do not need to bark at everything.
Housebreaking the Chihuahua
The key to housebreaking is consistency and a schedule.
Remember the bladder of a puppy is small.
As soon as the dog wakes up from sleeping take the dog out to the area you wish them to use to relieve themselves.
Within 20 to 30 minutes after meals or drinking take them outside to do their business.
Take them out just before bed and you may have to get up with them until they are a bit older to take them out in the middle of the night so be prepared.
When it comes to an accident, do not spank the dog.
Clean up the accident immediately. There is some good urine removing solutions on the market that you can keep on hand. Just because you cannot smell it the dog has a better sense of smell and if the dog smells it will say ok this is the place to go.
It will take patience and consistency on your part but you can housebreak your Chihuahua
At times when you cannot supervise and at night using a crate (kennel) is a great way to go.
You will need to crate train them not to whine and bark constantly.
Place some toys in with them to keep them occupied, even a few treats.
Most dogs will try to hold it until they can get out of the crate as they do not like to soil their bedding area but if they cannot; the crate is easy to clean.
Until they can hold it all night it will probably be best to use some folded blankets for the dog to sleep on so you can wash them.
Change the bedding blankets regularly to keep them clean.
Grooming a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are fairly easy to groom.
Regular grooming also gives you chance to check the dog for things like fleas, ticks, lumps, or injuries.
You should treat the dog with a flea and tick treatment talk to your vet for the best solution to this issue.
A few tips on grooming;
- Use a tear free dog shampoo on the dog so that it does not dry out the skin
- Brush the dog before the bath
- Be careful around the eyes and ears.
- Clip the nails regularly, depending on how much the dog walks on concrete every 4 weeks should be fine. You can also Dremel the nails just go slowly and allow the dog to become used to the noise as well as the feel of it. Do not hold the dog and traumatize it when doing nails.
Chihuahuas are a bit quirky and can be aggressive.
They are also stubborn and temperamental which can lead to a hard time with housebreaking but you can accomplish it.
You must also be aware of their dietary needs and possible health risks.
Training must start the moment you bring them in the house as to who the boss is otherwise they will take over as boss.
Overall they are a healthy dog; pay attention to diet and exercise in order to keep them healthy.
Before you go take care of your little pooch, take a look at this informative video: