Thinking about adding a Chihuahua to your family and want to learn more about the breed? You probably have plenty of questions like do Chihuahuas do well with kids? Do they require a lot of grooming attention? Are they easy to train? Do Chihuahuas bark a lot? This guide to Chihuahua will answer these questions and more.
Do Chihuahuas Bark a Lot?
Chihuahuas are a very protective and territorial breed. They tend to bark at everything and are often referred to as “yappy dogs.” Of course, like all dogs, your Chihuahua barks as a way to communicate with fellow canines, other animals and humans. However, Chihuahuas take barking to new heights. The reasons behind the barking can be a number of things like he lacks socialization, he’s bored or wants your attention, fear, aggression, separation anxiety, and dominance.
While in your frustration you may be tempted to yell or use physical corrections on your Chihuahua, this may confuse your pet and encourage him to bark more. Proper training, on the other hand, will reduce or eliminate your Chihuahua’s excessive barking.
How to stop Chihuahuas from barking?
A tired Chihuahua is a good Chihuahua. Regular daily exercise and mental stimulation will ensure your dog training is successful. Always remind yourself that dog training to stop barking and other unwanted behaviors takes a lot of time, patience, and consistent corrections. Don’t give up!
First, once you identify what triggers your Chihuahua to bark, you can look for ways to eliminate those events. Or, if you can’t remove the sights and sounds, you can distract your pet. For example, if your Chihuahua goes ballistic when the mailman delivers to your house, take her for a walk before the mail time. A regular routine can wear out your chihuahua so she doesn’t care as much about the mailman and learns to understand the mail delivery is not a threat.
Second, we recommend using a train, treat, repeat training technique laid out in our barking guide. This method uses positive reinforcement paired with firm voice commands and rewards. Train with the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool to interrupt your dog’s unwanted barking. Then, heap plenty of praise and reward with treats. Obesity can be an issue with small dogs like Chihuahuas, so don’t overdo the treats.
Third and last, you want everyone in your household to be on the same page with your approach to training your pets. Chihuahuas are smart, and they’ll quickly figure out who is a soft touch and who doesn’t let her get away with bad behaviors.
Facts About Chihuahuas
Although the smallest of all breeds, Chihuahuas have huge personalities. They are alert, sassy and agile. The intensely loyal and very protective Chihuahua suffers from “small dog syndrome” and has no problem letting larger dogs know who’s in charge, which makes this breed one of the best watchdogs. Chihuahuas are also temperamental and can quickly dominate their humans. While they get along with people of all ages, Chihuahuas tend to snap at small children if they feel threatened, so this breed is best suited for a family with older kids. Daily exercise like a walk or a game of fetch is necessary, but watch the temperature as Chihuahuas don’t do well in colder temps. When in doubt put a sweater on him before heading out. This breed is at risk for several health issues such as hypoglycemia, luxating patella, eye problems, periodontal disease and hydrocephalus. Talk to your vet if you have concerns.
- Size: The average height range for Chihuahuas is 5-8 inches with a weight range of 2-6 pounds.
- Life expectancy: The average lifespan for a healthy Chihuahua is 14-16 years.
- Coat: The Chihuahua can have either a short and smooth coat or a long and soft coat. Both come in a variety of shades.
- AKC group: The Chihuahua belongs to the AKC toy group.
Are Chihuahuas Easy to Train?
Chihuahuas are eager to learn and train best with positive reinforcement. Early socialization and puppy training go a long way with this breed. Although you see humans carrying their Chihuahuas in purses and other carrying bags, Chihuahuas should be offered the chance to walk on a leash so they can explore their environment, like other dogs. Plenty of praise is needed for this breed along with high-quality treats. However, take care to give your Chihuahua very small treats or parts of a treat to prevent weight gain.
Do Chihuahuas Need Grooming?
All Chihuahuas shed year-round, with heavier shedding in the spring and fall. The type of grooming your Chihuahua needs depends on his coat type. Because Chihuahuas are so small and have sensitive skin it’s crucial you use the proper brush like a bristle brush for short-haired Chihuahuas and grooming combs, pin brushes and slicker brushes like the BarxBuddy Self-Cleaning Brush for the long-haired Chihuahua.
A rubber curry brush can be used on both coats. Short-haired Chihuahuas require weekly brushing. Long-hair coats need brushing a few times a week to prevent matting and tangles. Bathe your Chihuahua every three months or more often if needed. Keep nails trimmed and frequently brush your Chihuahua’s teeth. Watch for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease as this breed is prone to periodontal disease, which can lead to other life-threatening health issues.
What If My Breed Is a Chihuahua Mix?
Chihuahuas have become a popular choice for designer dog breeders. Since a pup inherits traits from both parents, a Chihuahua mix can give you the best of both worlds, small-sized pet, large personality and fewer health issues. However, thanks to genetics, you never really know what you’re going to get, except a cute dog and catchy breed name.
Here are some popular chihuahua breed mixes:
- Cheagle — Chihuahua + beagle
- Chigi — Chihuahua + Pembroke Welsh corgi
- Chipit — Chihuahua + pitbull
- Chipoo — Chihuahua + poodle
- Chiweenie — Chihuahua + dachshund
- Chorkie — Chihuahua + Yorkshire terrier
- Chug — Chihuahua + pug
- Jack Chi — Chihuahua + Jack Russell terrier
- Labrahuahua — Chihuahua + Labrador retriever
- Pomchi — Chihuahua + Pomeranian
- Rat-Cha — Chihuahua + rat terrier
- ShiChi — Chihuahua + shih tzu