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Chihuahua Adoption

Breed Photo

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!

Canadian Chihuahua Rescue & Transport says:

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.

Recycled Ruffs Chihuahua Rescue says:

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.

 

More about the Chihuahua

Thinking about adopting a Chihuahua puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Chihuahua puppy (or, gasp! find a Chihuahua puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Chihuahua puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Chihuahua (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Chihuahua puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Chihuahua rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Chihuahua

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Chihuahua adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Chihuahuas for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Chihuahuas and Chihuahua puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Chihuahua puppy.  Chihuahua puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Chihuahua, even a Chihuahua puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Chihuahua puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Chihuahua if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Chihuahua would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Chihuahua rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Chihuahua you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Chihuahua to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lady's Hope Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

New Rattitude - Washington
Seattle, WA

Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption
Seattle, WA

Spots of Seattle Dalmatian Rescue
Seattle, WA

Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
Seattle, WA

Washington German Shepherd Rescue
Seattle, WA

Green Lake Animal Hospital
Seattle, WA

Pit Bull Project
Seattle, WA

6dogrees Rescue
Seattle, WA

Angel Paws Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Northwest Airedale Terrier Rescue
Seattle, WA

Saving Great Animals
Seattle, WA

Seattle Animal Shelter
Seattle, WA

Healthy Paws Foundation
Belluvue, WA

Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue - Seattle Chapter
Seattle, WA

Emerald City Pet Rescue~ Seattle
Seattle, WA

Washington Rescue Dogs
Seattle, WA

AnimalDefense Rescue
Bellevue, WA

Seattle Humane Society
Bellevue, WA

ATR, a no-kill rescue
Seattle, WA

Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
Seattle, WA

Little Blessings Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

NBRAN Washington
Seattle, WA

Pet Pros Seattle WA
Seattle, WA

Shilshole Bay Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Kirkland Chapter
Kirkland, WA

Animal Aid & Rescue Foundation
Seahurst, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Connell Chapter
Seattle, WA

CARES
BURIEN, WA

Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Animal Aware Northwest
Redmond, WA

Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Charlie's Guardian Angels
Seattle, WA

Finally Home Humane Society
Shoreline, WA

Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Mikey's Chance - West-Side
Seattle, WA

People United for Pets (PUP)
Issaquah, WA

Ribsey's Refugees
Issaquah, WA

Saint Bernard Rescue
Seattle, WA

All Paws On Deck
kenmore, WA

Ferry Dog Mothers
Bainbridge Island, WA

The Furrytale Farm
Bainbridge Island, WA

Pacific Crest Keeshond Club Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
Bothell, WA

Northwest German Shepherd Rescue
Bothell, WA

King County Animal Control
Kent, WA

Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Vashon, WA

Forever Home Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
Redmond, WA

Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
Woodinville, WA

Greyhound Pets, Inc.
Woodinville, WA

Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Woodinville, WA

Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
Bothell, WA

BMDCGS Rescue Program
Kent, WA

Collar of Hope
Kitsap County, WA

Animal Rescue Families
Bremerton, WA

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
Bremerton, WA

Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
NE Bremerton, WA

Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
Port Orchard, WA

Northwest International Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

National English Shepherd Rescue
Olalla, WA

Rockey's Rescue
Covington, WA

Second Chance Ranch
Maple Valley, WA

Rescue Pup
Mill Creek, WA

CJ's Dog Rescue
Snohomish, WA

Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
All Cities, WA

Animals In Need
Kingston, WA

Project Buddy Rescue
Kingston, WA

Rescue Every Dog
Seattle c/o Kingston 98346/ Washington State, WA

Boxer Rescue
All of Western Washington, WA

Tiny Dog Rescue
Poulsob, WA

Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
Auburn, WA

K9 Rescue & Rehab
Auburn, WA

Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
Seattle, WA

Top Dogs Rescue
Burley, WA

Chihuahua Rescue and Referral
Seattle, WA

Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
Silverdale, WA

Kitsap Humane Society
Silverdale, WA

Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Lynnwood, WA

The Big Dog Project
Silverdale, WA

Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
Federal Way, WA

Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
Tacoma, WA

PVCA Seattle Washington
Gig Harbor, WA

Prison Pet Partnership
Gig Harbor, WA

Bulldog Haven NW
Everett, WA

Animal Angels Network
Auburn, WA

Puget Sound Rescue
Auburn, WA

Canine Connections
Snoqualmie, WA

Seattle Beagle Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Three Rivers Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Compassioned Animal Rescue and Education
Milton, WA

Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
Bremerton, WA

Petsavers
Bremerton, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
Gig Harbor, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
Gig Harbor, WA

Pawprints Rescue - Washington
Tacoma, WA

S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
Everett, WA

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