While you may think that the small size and stature of a Chihuahua would make these dogs good for first-time or inexperienced pet owners, it may come as a surprise to learn that the Chihuahua breed is not good for a first-time pet owner.
Even though this dog breed is compact and would do well in apartment living settings, the Chihuahua breed has an uneven temperament, is difficult to house train, and requires more socialization than other breeds.
Continue reading further to learn more about the history of this small dog breed, some of the characteristics that they feature, why they do not make good first-time pets and recommendations for more favorable breeds for inexperienced dog owners.
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History of The Chihuahua Breed
The Chihuahua’s true origins may never be determined with any degree of accuracy. There are numerous ideas and contradictory legends about the breed’s long history. The term Chihuahua is derived from the Mexican province where contemporary Chihuahuas were discovered in 1850.
The ruins where the breed originated from were located at Casa Grande in the Chihuahua region, close to the Texas border. The dogs were Techichi, a little breed with long hair that could not bark. Among the Toltecs, these dogs held holy significance. When the Aztecs started governing in South America, they too adopted the Techichi as a ceremonial dog.
Many ancient South American societies bred dogs. They weren’t just kept as pets; they were also bred for wool, meat, and labor. According to some experts, the Chihuahua is descended from the Techichi and is the result of meticulous selective breeding. This suggests that the Chi is a purebred native American dog.
Today, the modern Chihuahua is thought to be a mixture of the Techichi and Mexican street terriers that were free-roaming during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Modern Chihuahua Breed
The actual pedigree of the Chihuahua is unknown, although the date of its official discovery is not. Appearing across South and Central America in the 1800s, Chihuahua, Mexico served as the major site of origin. The small dog was subsequently bred and marketed by Mexican merchants to visitors, many of whom brought it back to the United States to keep as a pet.
The popular new dog breed still lacked an official name at this moment. People in the area started to call the puppies simply the Chihuahua dog, a nod to the location where they were most commonly found. The name stuck around and in 1904 the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Chihuahua as an official breed.
Owning a Chihuahua: The Good Part
Most dog breeds have pros and cons and the Chihuahua is no exception. Owning a Chihuahua can be a wonderful experience for someone with working knowledge and suitable living conditions for the breed.
The small size of a Chihuahua is the major reason for wanting one. Chihuahuas are far more tolerable, inexpensive, and convenient than other breeds because they can virtually fit in your pocket. Due to their small size, they are also cheaper to feed as they don’t consume much food.
Another pro of owning a Chihuahua is that they make excellent watchdogs. The Chihuahua have very large ears compared to the rest of its body and because of that, they have incredible hearing. This makes the Chihuahua good for a watchdog. However, don’t confuse them with guard dogs. They are tiny and don’t make a good guard dog.
When considering getting a Chihuahua dog breed, consider that this breed is relatively healthier than most. Its small size and stature mean that they don’t have big dog issues like hip dysplasia. The Chihuahua breed lives on an average of 10 years with many living past 14 years.
Cons of Owning a Chihuahua
Just because the Chihuahua is the smallest breed and great for apartment dwellers does not mean that it is easy to own one and being a little dog can be a big hassle.
The Chihuahua’s diminutive stature comes at the expense of its fragility. They are readily ignored, and if you are not cautious, you can easily injure or walk on them. When I’m in the kitchen, our Chi often sits and waits for food to fall. The breed is normally quite fast, but not fast enough to avoid stumbling feet. You have to go out of your way to be aware of the Chihuahua’s existence. Their bone structure is extremely fragile.
The Chihuahua’s digestive tract is extremely delicate. It won’t take long for your tiny family member to become ill if they aren’t offered a nutritious diet. Chihuahuas, unlike many other breeds, cannot devour anything left over after your dinner. Oily, hot, and fatty foods should be limited, if not avoided entirely. Breed-specific blends are available from dog food manufacturers such as Royal Canin, so take a look. If you want to reward your dog, delicacies like lamb and fish make excellent treats.
Why Chihuahua’s Aren’t Good First Pets
If you are looking for a dog to share with your kids and other people, the Chihuahua is absolutely not the breed for you. Chihuahuas are likewise unlikely to be fond of your friends and family. They will tolerate new people, but they are “one person” dogs who will be wary of everyone other than you.
This could be embarrassing for individuals who want to flaunt their dog about, especially at dog parks. Most people will be frustrated by this feature of the Chihuahua disposition. You almost have to be a recluse or a loner. If you don’t go out much, your Chihuahua will be delighted!
The disposition of a Chihuahua does not blend well with tiny children. This breed will not accept boisterous or carefree children. Children under the age of six are more likely to be bitten and hissed at. They frequently want to touch and pick up the little cute dog at that stage, oblivious to how huge its personality is and how fragile its bones are.
Even though they are small and cute, the Chihuahua dog breed comes with a lot of work and special considerations for first time pet owners.