The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest breed of dog, and also widely the most popular toy dog breed, thanks to their small size and charming personality, and ability to live happily in even the smallest of homes!
However, there is a lot more to the little Chihuahua than meets the eye, and these small packages hold very lively, intelligent dogs that can soon run rings around an inexperienced owner, or one who treats their dog as more of a baby than a canine!
The Chihuahua is one breed that really tends to polarise people’s opinions, with their fans being very enthusiastic about the breed and their positive traits, while people that have an aversion to very small dogs and toy dogs often look at the Chihuahua with derision, and often overlook their positive personality traits!
Whatever you think of the Chihuahua, it is certainly fair to say that they are one of the most individual and single minded of breeds, and no two dogs of the breed are ever alike! Even so, the breed does share a range of core traits that can be found across virtually all dogs of the breed all over the world, and in this article, we will look at five almost universal personality traits of the Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua is a very bright dog that is always alert and watchful, which combined with their reasonably high intelligence can make them quite a handful! They are quick to learn from observation, which means that they can learn new skills and commands with ease, but also that they are adept at spotting your weak points, and picking up on bad habits!
Training and managing the Chihuahua properly is vitally important, as otherwise, they will soon become unruly and troublesome. Even a very small dog can be a real pain if they are not kept under control!
Chihuahuas are in many ways a greatly misunderstood breed, as their small, cute size often means that they are overlooked as a cuddly little lapdog and not a lot else! But the Chihuahua is in fact a feisty, lively little dog that shares all of the core traits of their larger cousins, and as nobody thought to tell the Chihuahua that they are so small, they often behave like a much larger dog!
They are playful, fun loving and into everything, and can even be prone to dominance if they are not well managed and taught their correct place in the pecking order of the family.
Chihuahuas really love their home comforts, such as a cosy bed, nice toys, and lots of love and attention from their favourite people. They tend to adore their owners and be very affectionate with them, as well as fairly demanding when it comes to getting your attention! They dislike being ignored or left alone too much, and so are not a good choice for an owner that does not have plenty of time to dedicate to their dogs.
They often live happily with other dogs and cats too when properly introduced and socialised, and they tend to prefer the company of familiar people and animal friends than those that they have only just met.
The Chihuahua might look like a prime example of a dog that was specifically bred to be a pampered lapdog, but the breed actually has a long history as a working dog, being used as a ratter to keep vermin under control. Their small size gives them a huge advantage here, as they can fit into tiny spaces that most other dogs would not be able to manage!
This does mean that the Chihuahua has a fairly pronounced prey drive and hunting instinct, and while they will rarely set their sights on larger prey, they do have an instinctive desire to chase smaller pets and wildlife, which means that they must be kept under control when outside of the house!
Understandably, the Chihuahua’s small size comes accompanied by small, delicate bones and a fine build, which means that special care must be taken to avoid injuring the dog by playing with it too roughly or accidentally standing on it.
They also have thin, fine coats that do not provide them with a huge amount of protection in cold weather, and so dogs of the breed can often be seen sporting a coat and even booties when out walking in the winter! They tend to be intimidated by large people looming over them and other dogs that are large and play roughly, and this should be borne in mind when handling and caring for the Chihuahua, in order to keep them safe and happy.
With the right care and management, the Chihuahua can be a highly rewarding pet that of course, fits comfortably into even the smallest of homes, but it is important to ensure that you are prepared for the realities of managing a small dog with a larger than life personality before committing to a purchase!