It's no joke– they are barkers, stubborn and feisty.
When you own one of these little guys you’ll find that you have a best friend for life. What’s more, they’ll never let you forget it– especially since their favorite pass time is sitting in your lap! On the surface, they are cute and loveable little dogs, however, behind the scenes, they can be very complex and challenging.
I won't say adjusting to the world of Chihuahua has been without angst. They are loud, single-minded and full of attitude. I've learned that they have a mind of their own and pretty much do what they want. But, not to be too hard on them, I think this describes most people I know.
Getting past all of this is where you want to be to really enjoy your dog. If you already have the perfect pup, which I must say, Annie is, then you are experiencing the true magic of the Chihuahua.
On the other hand, if you are struggling, don't worry– and please don't give up. The first thing to do is first try to understand that your dog is mirroring your actions. The more trouble you have the more trouble you'll get, it's a vicious and self-fullfilling cycle, but one that you can stop, immediately.
I would recommend that every Chi owner, or owner-to-be, spend a lot of time learning about this unique breed, especially their long-lost history and why they are the way they are. Learning more will make all the difference.
Letting them be themselves.
To understand the Chihuahua temperament it's helpful to know the Chihuahua's purpose in life. A purpose as it pertains to the role dogs played in society.
We've all heard that dog breeds were developed to perform specific tasks for humans. Breeds usually had a genetic disposition for a particular task and throughout a refinement or artificial selection their performance was perfected.
Historically, If we comb through the many jobs performed by dogs: herders, rescuers, mushers, hunters, and protectors, just to name a few, you have to wonder what the heck were these tiny dogs bred for?
Why did they survive for nearly a thousand years within societies, especially If a family's survival came down to the amount of food available vs. the amount of mouths to feed? Unless, they were actually the food itself, they were really too small to be of serious use to anyone.
Keep in mind, there is a distinction between fine-tuning a lineage for the enhancement of a skill or look vs. letting natural selection take place.
The answer is in their most obvious, most annoying, and the most difficult behavior to correct. Behavior that, for pre-21st Century families, needed no refining.
It was destiny that Chihuahua ancestors were by nature the original doorbells, alarm systems, alarm clocks, and announcers that trouble was near. It's in their genes, deep inside their genes. Their alertness, barking, and courageous territorial nature were highly valued at a time before cell phones, policemen, camera surveillance, or body guards.
It should make complete sense, now, why they are so misunderstood. Today, there is really no need or any of these behaviors. What is even more unfortunate, we many times, punish the dog for it since they appear to be completely uncontrollable and disobedient.
However, if you were living just a little over a hundred years ago, and out on the vast desert plains, without a soul for miles, you'd probably appreciate them a whole lot more.
Wouldn't you want a little advance warning of danger? Say, a rattlesnake, coyote, or an Indian ready for a scuffle? And, you'd probably want a very devoted dog, one that was going to stick around when times got tough.
These in-borne skills were alone, enough to keep them around, however, it was indeed their charm and loyalty that sealed the deal. Let's face it, the Chihuahua that we love today is very much the same little souls that others, throughout time, also fell in love with.
As the breed began to take shape in the twentieth century, early breeders tried very hard to quiet the dog and make it more amiable. It worked for some, but thousands of years of genetic history can't be changed over night.
They Will Capture Your Heart
Underneath all the hype and hysteria, Chihuahua temperament is sweet, loving, and loyal. I have had dogs all my life, but never considered a Chihuahua to be such a perfect companion.
I wasn't prepared for the joy and love they bring on a daily basis. The spring in their step and sparkle in their eyes made me want to spend every moment of my day with them, not to mention, build an entire website devoted to them.
Their quirky and eccentric behaviors are unmatched by any other breed and will create a bond with even the most unlikely fellow. Our neighbor, always on the go, managing a very demanding career, swore he had absolutely no need, desire, or time to "waste" on a dog. One day he was surprised with a 2-pound Chihuahua puppy and they've been inseparable ever since.
These little guys will come in a whole host of personalities. Chihuahua temperament can range all across the board from stubborn, bold and feisty, to timid, mellow, and nervous. They are each very unique.
In most cases the personality will bubble through with their first few puppy steps across the floor. Others may take time and develop traits based on what's going on around them.