Chihuahua Pros And Cons

helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on November 12, 2019
Fact Checked

Chihuahuas are the 33rd most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

These toy-sized dogs make great companion pets and watch dogs but they’re not without some potential issues.

Chihuahuas can trace their origins back to Mexico, even though they’re popular dogs worldwide in the 21st century.

Most dog lovers will have encountered a Chihuahua at some point to provide a bite-sized look at the breed.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of the Chihuahua breed.

We’ll break this article into the following sections:

Chihuahua Pros

Loyalty

Chihuahuas are little but these Mexican dogs are loyal. The breed don’t take long to become attached to their dog owners. You can expect to have a little shadow following you around your home. In fact, some Chihuahuas can latch onto a particular family member. This may or may not be a good thing depending on whether you’re the focus of your Chihuahua’s obsession.

Watch dogs

So you want a dog to alert you to any intruders outside your home. Chihuahuas grow to a size between five and eight inches, while these Mexican dogs can weigh up to six pounds. These little dogs will be useless as guard dogs due to their tiny size. However, Chihuahuas can make fantastic watch dogs. They’re usually alert to movements and sounds outside the home. They won’t be afraid to use their vocal chords if they see something suspicious. Forget a security camera – you just need a Chihuahua!

Apartment living

It’s no coincidence that you’ll see a lot of Chihuahuas in cities and urban areas where there’s high-rise apartment blocks. Dubbed “the purse dog”, Chihuahuas won’t take up a lot of room in your home due to their tiny frames. Not only are Chihuahuas small and therefore perfect for apartment living, but they don’t require a huge amount of exercise either. They’ll be satisfied with some playtime at home with their pet owners if you’re willing to sit down and dedicate time to interacting with your dog. Alternatively, Chihuahuas will benefit from a quick trip to the dog park.

Here’s what Venus (@venusafrodite_) had to say:

Small dogs require special attention when it comes to certain aspects like food, jumping off the couch, stairs, shower… especially when you’re used to bigger dog breeds. It’s like preparing the house to welcome a baby.

Easy to groom

Chihuahuas aren’t a hypoallergenic dog breed but this old breed don’t shed as much as some other canines. There are two varieties of Chihuahua: the long-coat Chihuahua and the smooth-coat Chihuahua. The smooth-coat Chihuahua requires a brush once a week to remove dead hair and debris. The long-coat Chihuahua needs to be brushed two or three times a week. Their long coat can pick up dirt, debris, pollen and more when they’re outside. Other care needs include nail trimming, brushing their teeth and checking their ears.

Portable

If you’re a dog lover that likes to travel a lot, a Chihuahua could be the perfect companion for you. They’re so small that they’re easily portable, whether you carry a Chihuahua in your arms or use a specially-designed pet carrier.

Potty training

If you live in an apartment with no garden or access to communal area, you may be worried about potty training. Based upon our research of testimonials from other Chihuahua owners, these little dogs are relatively easy to potty train. You could use puppy pads or litter boxes to encourage your Chihuahua to do their business in the right areas of your home. Usually, most dogs will learn their potty routine within the first week of being home.

Chihuahua Cons

Bark a lot

Cream long haired chihuahua walks on embankment in big city (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cream long haired chihuahua walks on embankment in big city (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Chihuahuas are often stereotyped as noisy dogs. Although it’s unfair to brand all the members of the breed as being yappy, it’s an issue that appeared a number of times during our research. With the right training, Chihuahuas – and any dog for that matter – can be taught to bark on demand rather than relentlessly making noise. After all, Chihuahuas are considering a relatively intelligent breed.

Here’s what Venus (@venusafrodite_) had to say:

I can’t speak for others but Venus is a really calm dog. She barks only when she wants to warn us about something or when she is playing around and having fun.

Health problems

The American Kennel Club outline that Chihuahuas have a healthy life expectancy, ranging from 14 to 16 years. However, Chihuahua owners should be aware of some potential health problems that can affect these tiny little dogs. These include hydrocephalus, hypoglycemia, heart problems, lung problems, patellar luxation and idiopathic epilepsy. If you have any concerns about the health of your Chihuahua, you should contact your local vet immediately.

Stubborn

Chihuahuas have a reputation for being sassy characters. They’re small dogs with huge personalities, which can prove challenging to dog owners sometimes. As with all dogs, it’s generally recommended that you train your Chihuahua puppy from a young age to learn the basic commands and become more obedient. They need socialization from a young age to get them accustomed to meeting new people, new dogs and different situations, especially if you’re planning to bring your Chihuahua everywhere.

Don’t like the cold

You’ll often find Chihuahuas dressed up in a woolly jumper on Instagram. However, this isn’t purely a fashion accessory. Chihuahuas don’t do well in cold temperatures, which can often lead to these Mexican dogs shaking or trembling. If you live in a city or town where the temperatures plunge in winter, you may want to consider a jumper or a warm blanket to ensure your Chihuahua can stay warm.

Not suited to young families

Given their petite frames, Chihuahuas may not be suited to families with young children. This is a relatively delicate breed of dog that isn’t accustomed to being poked or roughhoused, unlike more family-friendly canines such as Golden Retrievers or Labrador Retrievers. Having said that, if you’re a family with young children and you’ve got your heart set on getting a Chihuahua, don’t fret. With the right education on how to handle these small dogs, a Chihuahua can still make great family pets.

Proving that a well-trained Chihuahua can make a great family pet, Venus (@venusafrodite_) told hellobark.com:

They’re calm, loyal, protective and are always ready to give love and follow owners everywhere if they let them do so. And also, they get along really well with children.

Wrapping up – Our final thoughts

Long-haired Chihuahua (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Long-haired Chihuahua (Photo: Adobe Stock)

So we’ve reached the end of our article on Chihuahua pros and cons.

As you’ll now know, these Mexican dogs can make great pets but there are a number of things to consider before you bring one of these dogs home.

If you want to learn more about Chihuahuas and what life is like living with one of these dogs, you could always contact a Chihuahua owners on social media.

In our experience, dog owners are usually more than forthcoming with helpful information. After all, who doesn’t like to talk about their dogs?