Chihuahua Personality and Temperament
The Chihuahua is a little dog with a big reputation, so you’ve probably heard a thing or two about him in your lifetime. All dogs have some challenging traits to address and work through, and Chihuahuas are no different. If you take the time to educate yourself on the personality and temperament of a Chihuahua and act accordingly to ensure he’s a good fit for your home, you might just find that you have a tiny new best friend.
He Can Be a Bit of a Wild Card
As you consider the Chihuahua, the very first thing you should be aware of is this: without a thorough inquiry into his genetics, he’ll be a bit of a wild card in terms of temperament.
Chihuahuas have terrible reputations for being snappy, rude, overly shy or dominant, depending on whom you ask. The fact of the matter is that the temperament of the Chihuahua is so dependent on genetics, that you’ll be doing yourself a major dis-service by skipping a conversation with the breeder about bloodline.
Some lines are chock-full-of snappy, rude and reclusive dogs, and some boast well adjusted, easy going, and friendly dogs. Know that there’s no amount of training or socialization that will change the inherited temperament of your pup, so, if you want to avoid the wild card – find a bloodline with a great reputation.
He has a Big Personality in a Little Body
The Chihuahua is well known as a little dog with a big attitude, and he can be quite the entertainer for those who are patient and socialize him well. He’s a bit mischievous and often doesn’t see his size as a problem, so in watching him closely you’ll see that he has no problem standing up to larger dogs and making his own desires well known.
He’s eccentric, quirky and outgoing, and almost always has a bit of sass to dish out. A patient owner will find him both amusing and fun-loving, but will be keenly aware of the fact that that’s just one side of his demeanour, and it’s not usually one that many people get to see.
He’s Loyal and Loving
We’ve mentioned that a Chihuahua from a good bloodline will be well adjusted, easy going, and fun-loving, but it’s important also to note that they’re usually only this way with their family. They are known as “one-person” dogs, and are usually fiercely loyal and loving to one single person, sometimes a few people in one family. If you’re looking for a dog who would love to curl up in your lap (and only your lap) for hours upon end, or to travel with you everywhere you go, this breed might be perfect for you.
He’s Prone to Spoiling
We have to guess that one of the reasons the Chihuahua can be so difficult is because he is often overly spoiled by his owner. He’s carried around in handbags, he’s dressed in nice sweaters, he’s treated as royalty often because of his baby-like physical stature. It’s imperative for the owner to realize that, though their tiny friend seems “baby-like” because of his size, an adult Chihuahua is very much an adult dog, and should be treated as such. Owners who spoil their Chihuahuas by giving them what they want, never training or socializing, and carting them around like babies only set themselves up for failure in terms of having a full grown dog who is well behaved with a great temperament.
He’s a Loud Mouth
Anyone who’s ever been around a Chihuahua knows that he’s a barker. This is something that an owner should come to terms with before bringing a pup home, and it’s something that they should work on throughout his life. Bloodlines with poor genetic temperaments are uneasy to work with in this way, and an owner will often become frustrated with a dog who barks at every movement, every car, every stranger entering the house.
Even a well-adjusted Chihuahua with a great temperament will use that loud mouth probably more than you’d like. The fact is that his body may be little, but he knows that his bark is loud, and it is his natural inclination to make his presence known in the only way he knows how: with that bark.
He’s Economical and Doesn’t Need Much Activity
The Chihuahua is a really great choice for people who don’t want to be very active, or who don’t have a lot of space in and around their home. He’s economical in that he doesn’t need much space, he doesn’t require a lot of food, and he doesn’t need a lot of activity.
An owner can expect to buy 2-3 large bags of dogfood a year – a stark contrast to bigger breeds who might need 12-14 a year. Though he’d be content prancing and lying around within his territory all day long, he’s usually good for one brisk walk a day (which is important if you’d like to keep your Chihuahua at a healthy weight).
He Just Wants to Be Warm
You’ve probably seen a Chihuahua in a sweater at some point in your life and wondered why his owner would do that to him. A fun fact for you to know: Chihuahuas love to be warm, so that cute little sweater wasn’t only for aesthetic purposes… the Chihuahua more than likely loved it. If you love the idea of putting cutesy sweaters and other clothes on your dog, and you love seeing him bask in rays of sunshine, the Chihuahua is probably a great choice for you.
He Doesn’t Usually Care for Other People or (Most) Other Dogs
Finally, as you consider the Chihuahua for your home, know that he’s not usually great with other people or other dogs. A family with older children will be fine with a Chihuahua, but he will likely still only attach himself loyally to one person. Families with young children should steer clear of the Chihuahua, simply because he’s known for being snappy; he won’t tolerate tugging or pulling or excessive running or noise in his environment, and he usually won’t hesitate to take action by barking or biting to make those things stop. For these reasons, Chihuahuas aren’t usually considered as great family dogs; their ideal owner is a fairly reclusive individual who doesn’t want much company and who is happy enough with their company alone.