Find a Chihuahua available near you!
What do you need to know before you adopt a Chihuahua? We asked the experts!
Chihuahua Rescue Indiana says:
The thing I would most like to say about Chihuahuas is that they are all about respect! You need to be strong pack leader to be an effective Chihuahua guardian. They need to respect you. They are not ornaments; they are canines, with personalities as large as a Rottweiler, and hearts as big as any canine breed. They know no limits, so you, their guardians, have the task, the honor, the privilege of keeping them safe and happy. It's not a small task because these tiny titans will take on any challenge, they will fiercely guard and protect themselves as well as what they consider to be "theirs". They are amazing. They are misunderstood, and they are in need of love and patience. In return you get immense love and loyalty.
In practical terms, not really a toddler's dog, as many are too fragile and to protect themselves they can be nippy. Older, respectful children are fine, but make sure their friends are equally respectful. They need good quality food, but not too much, and a fair amount of exercise. The short-haired smooth coat variety are not real happy in cold, wet weather, the long-haired Chihuahuas do better with that.
They are tremendous pets who, like most canines, thrive on affection, discipline, and decent shelter, BUT most of all love. Good care is a must, of course, but I think that you get tremendous charge from a small package with the Chihuahua and Chihuahua-cross-breed pets. Please remember to always spay and neuter, nothing's cuter! Chihuahuas are the 2nd most surrendered and euthanized breed!
We want people to understand that just because Chihuahuas are small, that doesn't mean they have fewer needs than any other dog. Like all dogs, be they 20-pound terriers or 125-pound Great Danes, Chihuahuas require a great deal of care.
We expect our adopters to provide safe and loving homes, consistent training, frequent and lengthy walks and regular play time. Letting your Chi run around your apartment living room is not considered 'regular and daily exercise.' Chihuahuas need annual checkups with a trusted veterinarian, quality pet food (commercial or home made), and healthy treats as all dogs do, regardless of breed.
A Chihuahua's size doesn't decrease your commitment to them and that is a very important message.
I would like potential owners of this breed to realize that they require a lot of attention, more so then other breeds. They are loyal and devoted little dogs. They need regular walks and training so you can own a well-behaved, quiet, and polite Chihuahua. They need constant socialization; due to their small size, a lot of things seem scary in our big world. If you are a clean freak, the Chihuahua may not be your first choice because they can take months to years to housebreak. If you want a good family dog, I would look at the ages of your children. Older children are best for these tiny dogs. Chihuahuas are not good "kid dogs" unless they have been raised and socialized with them. Children can and have severely injured Chihuahuas. They are not fragile dogs like some believe but they are not built to be dropped or sat on. They are the most intelligent of the toy breeds, so please commit to obedience training! Also, there is no such thing as a "tea cup" Chihuahua! Their breed standard is 2-6 lbs. They are the smallest breed of dog. If you can devote your time and life (they live as long as 17-20 years), they will do anything for you and live life just to sit in your lap and love you deeply. In my opinion they are THE MOST loyal breed of dog! I have trained/owned several different breeds and Chihuahuas are VERY special dogs!
Chihuahua Rescue Midwest says:
This particular breed since it is so small does not do well with small children (toddlers). They do not like the fast movement of small children. Each dogs is different and has a unique personality. Once they bond they never want to leave your side. They are sometimes difficult dogs to housebreak and they do not like the cold weather, rain or snow.