What are Chihuahua's like? Does anyone have one?

(20 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Mon 25-Nov-13 01:50:35

Friend is considering getting one, has been to look at a litter and done some reading up, they have always had bigger dogs but live in a smallish house so not an option.

Does any one have experience, particularly what they are like as family dogs (older preteen child)

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Mon 25-Nov-13 18:35:26

I was brought up with chihuahua's. My parents had three at one time. I think they fair better with older children as they can be a bit snappy. They will happily have a go at any dog that's bigger than them.
It's important they are trained properly the same as any other dog. They are cute and can have great personalities if treated properly.

Spookymum Tue 26-Nov-13 11:49:55

We have a 5 month old chihuahua, it was a breed my dd fell in love with when we looked at various small dogs. I was a bit unsure at first as I had also heard they can be a bit snappy.

We ended up getting an 8 week old chihuahua puppy and he is amazing! He has definately changed my stereotypical impression of them!! We have 3 children 7, 5 and 18 months and he loves all of them, we obviously watch the children with him which I would with any dog but he loves nothing more than rolling around on the floor with them or cuddling under a blanket.

We do treat him as a dog though not a lapdog, he loves going for walks and training is going quite well although he does have selective hearing at recall!!

He is also a lot more robust than I expected he isn't a fragile dainty dog, and is friendly with all dogs and people when out for a walk. We did socialise him a lot straight away though which I think has paid off as he is just a pleasure to be around.

moldingsunbeams Tue 26-Nov-13 13:44:30

Thanks all.
Spookymum has he been difficult to house train?
Friend has read they are.
Definitely agree with treating like a dog, my dad goes out with some friends and their dogs and there is everything from tiny chihuahua to big huge mastiffs running through the fields.

Owllady Tue 26-Nov-13 14:58:28

My sister had one that was lovely, a real character
Lived til it was 18!
Hers was a bit snappy though with other dogs much bigger than her
They have teeth probs and that thing with their anal glands

Missboobyvontits Tue 26-Nov-13 15:09:49

I have had a chihuahua for two years now and love him to bits. Agree with the comments above about the stereotypical image you have of these kinds of dogs and confirm our boy is a not the type you would put in a handbag. He enjoys walks and playing and gets on excellently with my children.
They are well known for being hard to house train and we are quite vigilant but still have the odd accident, but it is literally an egg cup full.
He is such a happy little dog and we are thrilled to have him in our lives.

Spookymum Tue 26-Nov-13 17:21:14

I would say he is almost there with house training, but does have the odd accident, usually if I don't see him at the back door as he doesn't let me know yet when he wants to go out!

pigsDOfly Tue 26-Nov-13 18:57:42

Oh yes. If I were looking for another dog it's definitely a breed I'd consider.

I've got to know quite a few - all of whom have been treated like proper dogs - since I've had my dog and without exception I can honestly say everyone of them has been a real character and full of fun. And no more snappy than any other dog.

I think they're quite hardy dogs who just happen to be small.

The whole handbag thing is heartbreaking. They're such feisty little things and kept like that they must really suffer, which would no doubt account for their snappiness in those circumstances.

Aquelven Tue 26-Nov-13 19:23:36

I haven't owned one but because I own one of the other toy breeds I meet lots of them at shows. Temperament wise they vary, as any other breed does, but none have been snappy they wouldn't be tolerated in a show ring if they were. And of course they are well trained, as they need to be, & don't seem to have been any more hard to train than other breeds.
One big advantage with a small breed as a pet is that you can take them just about anywhere with you. Apart from supermarkets, I've yet to be banned from anywhere if I have one of mine with me. If you smile & offer to pick them up it's amazing the welcome you get from places you'd never dream of being welcoming to bigger dogs.
I have another, bigger terrier breed, & they aren't allowed in places I've often taken the little ones in. It isn't the most important thing, but it does make days out & holidays that much easier.

monopoly123 Sat 30-Nov-13 09:22:24

We've had our chihuahua for 2 years (since she was about 8wks old) and she's brilliant. I didn't want a dog and I didn't want a chihuahua but my husband was right - she's a great family pet.
We got a kitten the day after the dog & they are good friends. When they were tiny they used to curl up in their bed together so we didn't have crying at night.
We also took her to puppy training as soon as we could, to socialise her & she her she was the dog. She isn't yappy or snappy - she loves children, people & meeting other dogs. She'll walk off lead no problem and come back. There's a few dogs that she's scared of in the park but she just either "hides" between our feet or goes in a big circle to pass them.
Toilet training - we still have some paper down at night for her & about 50% of the time she uses it. She doesn't like going outside when there's frost/bit cold, so some mornings when I get up I have to lift her outside. Our children were 7 & 4 when we got her - they had to be told to stop picking her up. We used to get our 4yr old to feed her. She always gets fed after the cat.
Health wise - she's been fine, when she was tiny she had bad diarrhoea & we were at the vets a fair bit but since then no problems. Although her main aim in life is to eat the cat food & that gives her diarrhoea so he has to eat on a shelf - she hasn't given up trying to get the cat food though!
I didn't want a dog, but I am so glad we got her.

Greenmug Mon 02-Dec-13 19:56:47

I have always really disliked Chihuahua's (only breed I've ever been bitten by) BUT my friend got a pup around 6 months ago and I absolutely adore her. She is the sweetest, loveliest dog and has far more brains than my 7 months chocolate lab (but that wouldn't be hard smile) They're a funny sight out for a walk together but I can honestly say that if I were to get an additional dog, I would most definitely consider a Chihuahua, in fact, I think I would def get one.

Imsosorryalan Mon 02-Dec-13 22:17:01

My mil has one and he is lovely with my dds both under 5. However, he loves to pee inside! When he visits we usually have to follow him round with spray and a cloth! So beware I think many have this issue too.

KittieCat Fri 06-Dec-13 15:22:22

Reading with interest as I love feisty chihuahuas but had always believed they are a bad choice with children. DS is three and we've been doing lots of research into breeds with breeders, discover dogs etc. I'm almost convinced that a shih tzu is right for us but have wanted a chi for years so would be delighted to be told that they're not an absolute no no...

Dumpylump Fri 06-Dec-13 15:32:36

Our chihuahua boy is nearly two now and we've had him since he was about 8 weeks. I luffs him! Agree with all that has been said about treating them like "real" dogs and not handbag accessories though.
I have two teenage ds's, ds1 is asd, and they both dote on him, dog has never been snappy and loves cuddling in on sofa...with whoever will entertain him.
He is a nightmare for peeing in the house however - not in the kitchen/family room where he and our other dog hang out - but if he sneaks upstairs he will pee.....I think it's a territorial thing rather than a continence issue.
Our other dog is a terrier breed, several years older, and they get on great. Chihuahua also gets on well with our cat - terrier definitely does not!

hermitcrab Tue 10-Dec-13 09:24:34

We have a chihuahua, she was a rescue...previously had been kept in a rabbit hutch, and then had been mated with a mastiff. The vets managed to fix her up, but then re-homed her. She is dog-perfection, so loving, does all the normal doggy things, loves a swim. Has been a real eye-opener, not at all handbag chihuahua. She's been great with our DC (10 and 6 when we got her). She's in the Middle East at the mo with my DH, flys back to the UK in January. Am stressing about the flight, but will be lovely to have her back.
We have a bigger dog as well, and previously had big dogs at home when I was growing up...but would go for another chihuahua next time.

bochead Thu 12-Dec-13 21:22:39

I had a rescue chi that lived till he was 18. They are SMART, we now have a whippet and she's sweet but severely lacking brain power compared to my late Chi.

They are proper, protective dogs who were originally bred to hunt snakes (though a mouse will do at a pinch!). In many places they'd be left in a child's bedroom overnight to take on any rattlers that might sneak in. This means that you do need to put the effort into training as if you don't they figure out how to use that brain power in naughty, destructive ways. Mine loved to learn new tricks!

They also need more excercise than I think many of these wannabe a c'leb off the only way is essex realise. Mine was more than capable of running alongside me for a 5 mile bike ride if the opportunity presented itself. Our whippet doesn't need a quarter of the exercise my young Chi did.

I would love another one, BUT in the intervening years since I had mine a LOT of puppyfarm/ awful backstreet breeders have jumped on board and introduced heart & eye problems into the breed that just were not there a couple of decades ago. Definately do your homework on wherever you purchase from iykwim.

LadyTurmoil Thu 12-Dec-13 22:23:10

In case you're looking, there is a litter of Chi crosses at www.manytearsrescue.org/dogslookingforhomes.php

LadyTurmoil Fri 13-Dec-13 11:11:39
noddingoff Sun 15-Dec-13 00:34:43

Don't get one that's advertised as teeny tiny/ mini/ teacup/ will stay very small/ parents very small.

MummyBeerestCupOfCheerest Sun 15-Dec-13 00:50:56

I have one; but I call her a mini Rottweiler.

She's smart as a whip, adorable and loves people. ..other dogs? Not so much. I have tried literally everything I can think of in terms of socialization, but the fact is that she just doesn't like other dogs, save for a few. Even then, sometimes it's a total fluke as to why she likes some and not others.

We got her at about 9 months old, and the family we adopted her from never mentioned any behavioural issues before. I think socialization at an early age is crucial, but that can be said of any dog.

I love my girl though, wouldn't trade her for the world.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now