Chihuahuas For Dummies


 Click on the cover above to go to this book at

Chihuahuas are very special little dogs, which can be kept in city apartments, though these dogs do like to have access to a garden, where they can take the sun in the summer. Many of the rude things that are said about them are true- they do tend to yap a lot when they are worried about a threat, and even yap when it has gone, just to make sure it doesn't come back. However, they can also spend hours happily snoozing beside you, without uttering a sound, and are ideal lap dogs, providing warmth in winter.

They have a habit of burrowing under bedclothes, so you have to be careful that you don't accidentally sit or kneel on them. They are dogs that like a lot of attention, but are a little too fragile for most children and many other dogs. They can get on with placid dogs of bigger breeds, but really prefer the company of other Chihuahuas, if they are going to have canine friends. Careful socialization can help Chihuahuas relax with children and other dogs, so they are less likely to perceive passing dogs and children as threats and yap at them on walks. They tend to suffer from cold when they go out in winter, so need a coat. Harnesses are preferable to collars, since Chihuahuas are so delicate.

One problem with Chihuahuas is that it's very easy to pamper them and overprotect them. They can become a little neurotic and over-exciteable if they don't get to see the outside world much, and they can also start to smell and get fat! They do like to get out to see the park and watch the goings on in the world. Yapping doesn't mean they are unhappy - they tend to use it as a precautionary measure, and often calm down and make friends with dogs from smaller and more placid breeds, once they have worked out that they are no threat. They also like to have plenty to entertain them indoors, and can get bored, constantly seeking attention, if they don't have a walk every day and playtime. Walks are also important for housetraining, which may take patience with some individuals of this breed. They don't need a lot of grooming.

Common health problems include breathing trouble, which can affect some individuals due to their short muzzles. They can also develop eye trouble due to their prominent eyes. Chihuahuas should never be given human food, and certainly not be given sweet biscuits or sugar confectionary, however much they plead! Bitches sometimes have problems with giving birth, due to the breed's head being relatively large. Pups are fragile and not always easy to spot, so need protection from being stepped on or sat on. They also don't close the tops of their skulls until they are older. It's best not to breed these dogs if you have active children in the house, or if you do, then the pups need a safe area which the kids don't have access to!

This breed guide from the 'Dummies' series gives a lot of useful tips on caring for a Chihuahua, including training, health care, feeding, and preventing behavioural problems. It's well worth reading for ideas on how to keep your Chihuahua happy and entertained.