Table of Contents
Hey! My name’s Jen and I’m from Connecticut. Being a freelance web-designer and living on my own (not married yet), I decided to get myself used to being responsible. Such a challenging job as mine requires some dedication and adherence to deadlines, but sometimes I feel like my life is dull and incomplete. One day I will become a loving mom, occupied more with household duties than Photoshop, but right now I want to bring new emotions into my life. I guess my desire to fulfill my life has lead me to adopting a Chihuahua puppy. One may ask, “Why a Chihuahua and not a long-eared Spaniel or Dachshund?”
Here’s your answer: I’m a fit blonde, standing at only 5 feet 3 inches tall, so it would be rather ridiculous seeing me wandering along Elm Lane with a big Rottweiler pulling me after him. I’m a minuscule fairy, so a Chihuahua is the best choice because we are both shorties and will understand each other for sure.
I’ll tell you more about Chihuahua puppies, but first there is something I would like to share. I think there is some sort of compatibility between owners and their dogs and sometimes one can take traits from the other or even have the same appearance. Google “dog owner resemblance” and you will see what I mean. It’s really funny and strange at the same time.
Even though I’m not a writer, and all I can do perfectly is draw logos, I tried to find great information for you about Chihuahua puppies. Some proved facts that I’m going to support with my own experience, so I hope you’ll find this article rather helpful and informative.
Chihuahua Puppies: Before Bringing Them Home
If you think that any dog who is about to be brought home is the same critter demanding attention, food, water and play, you are wrong. Bringing home someone to take care for was, for me, not challenging at all, but imposed questions such as..
- What do I do?
- Does it need particular comfort?
- How can I ease his/her first days of stay?
You should always remember that a dog is not a guest like your friends or a distant relative. From now on it will be your best friend and truly a member of your family, so you should understand that it will require all of your attention and care if you want to raise a truly devoted and active dog.
Remember that almost any animal can go without food, but not without water.
I found some material online and began thoroughly examining it. Of course, I began with pages such as, “Chihuahua for dummies” and “Bringing your dog home for the first time,” and I found many short directions on how and what to do, but real-life experience is a far more eloquent demonstration. I surfed through several forums and this is what I found:
- Get all of the supplies you need before welcoming the pup
First, you want to get dog food for puppies. Spend some money and get something of premium quality for the first several weeks and, as the pup grows, his digestive tract will be ready for something containing more carbs, protein, fats and fibers (learn more from Best Puppy Food: How Much, Schedule, Tips and Tricks). Every puppy owner should always begin with special dog food based on the age and demands of his/her particular dog.
Second, prepare a sleeping place. Get a small bed and make sure it’s washable in case of an accident.
Third, always keep clean bowls filled with water nearby. While you can control your pup’s appetite and thus begin his training from an early age, his thirst is solely up to him. Remember that almost any animal can go without food, but not without water.
- Prepare the home and make the home puppy-proof
- Every puppy is a creature who wants to bite off anything that it can reach. It is common with every animal, and especially with dogs. All table and chair legs will, for sure, get bite marks on them, and anything that can be swallowed will be devoured without munching, so it’s potentially risky for the animal as anything swallowed that cannot be digested will be extracted through surgery. So what should you do?
- Hide all breakable objects
- Hide all electrical cords
- Keep household chemicals away from the dog’s reach
- If you have house plants such as Oleander, Dumb Cane, Azaleas, Poinsettias, Rhododendrons, and Ivy – keep them out of reach, as they are potentially lethal for such a small being.
- Got a pool or hot tub at home or in the yard? For puppy’s sake, please cover them safely (DPCA shares how to make a puppy-safe home)
- Let your family know that they are about to get a new member.
A dog is a living being that requires special attention due to its size. Like any other dog, a Chihuahua puppy is playful but, considering their size, you can easily harm them. Be tender and gentle and don’t let kids play with your pup aggressively. Tell them that a Chihuahua is fragile, like a rabbit, which means no grabbing, throwing, squeezing, and no hugs. A Chihuahua is a dog and, like any dog, it must be treated as such. It must be played with, trained, and walked. One should look at this breed as an expensive accessory. Such consumer attitude may be considered wrong, but look at the size of the full-grown dog. It’s not a hunting or burrowing breed – it was bred for decorative reasons. However, you can put your soul into his training so that, in the end, you will have a mature dog who is your best friend and who you can take out with you wherever and whenever you want. If you live alone, know that feeding and walking won’t be the minimum of what you’ll have to do. There’s also bathing and grooming ceremonies to do.
- Set up the spot
First, you should know that accidents will be happening every day, so you’d better have a tile or linoleum floor instead of carpets. If you have carpets all over the house, you can take a couple of linoleum mats and place them around the puppys bed or, to make things even simpler, organize the crib and the spot close to the family’s one.
Second, every pup must be kept in his or her premises, so a pen is always the best way to control him and his movements. Set up a pen so that it comprises of the cradle, a puppy’s loo and some space for walking. It may sound harsh and be an illusion to some as an inmate in jail, but it is a necessary measure against too much freedom, which can be fatal for the puppy.
- Customize the spot
- Customization is optional but I suggest doing it. When I see my Sparky digging under the blanket with me, I can see how comfy he is feeling. Not a burrowing animal, you say? Ha! With a rare coat, he is very sensitive to cold so a blanket or a tiny cover should always be near. Here are some tips I followed before my Sparky turned 6 months old:
- Set the crate/cradle on one end of the pen.
- While your puppy is still under 6 months of age, feed him freely. Limiting his food intake can lead to hypoglycemia.
- A pee tray should be put on the opposite side of the pen. Dogs never soil where they sleep.
- Place some toys in there to keep him occupied and active while are Small stuffed toys and rope bones are the best, but be sure to avoid plastic pieces that may be easily chewed off!
Every point stated above is really easy to do – just do it once and forget it! It’s as easy as that! No need for observation – just check on the pup every 2 hours to see what he’s occupied with and whether he needs water and food or demands some attention.
Long Hair Chihuahua Puppies
I’m not a breeder (God deliver me), nor a geneticist, so I don’t know if any differences between long-haired Chihuahuas and short-haired ones really exist, but I do know that all dogs within their own breed are genetically 99% alike and only the 1% left makes them unique in their character, behavior, and look, so there could be no big difference between them, but I was baffled to learn that there are some unique traits typical for every breed of lovely Chi.
My Sparky is a short-haired Chi boy and I’ve seen some long-haired ones, so the difference for me, at first sight, was the coat condition and hair density. Once seeing a long-haired Chi, I decided to walk up to the owner and ask her about the dog. We sat on a bench at the park and, while her Chi was staring at me with undisguised hostility, his owner, a lovely woman in her mid-40s, shared some curious information with me. So I summarized her thoughts and will present them to you so you can read and understand what long hair Chis are all about.
Long-coat Chis needs less trimming and grooming than their short-coat counterparts
- When I asked her a question regarding the difference between long hair and short hair Chihuahuas, she corrected my terms, saying, “It’s correct to name Chis as long-coat and smooth-coat types, not long and short hair.” Now you know too.
- A long-coat Chi’s hair texture is similar to smooth silk and may sometimes even look fluffy. Smooth-coat Chis have hair which isn’t that smooth – it’s actually needle-like.
- Long-coat Chis are smoother and shed less hair than smooth-coat Chis do which is the exact opposite of what you may think. Thus. Long-coat Chis needs less trimming and grooming than their short-coat counterparts.
- If you live in a house with a garden or a yard, constantly brushing your long-coat Chi after a walk will become sheer hassle as prickles and dried grass will stick to his hair.
- Chihuahua’s with a smooth-coat shed more than Chis with a long-coat, so you should consider buying a small vacuum cleaner.
- Long-coat Chi puppies, before they turn 1, have rather long fur instead of a complete coat. Later, the puppy will lose this fuzz and one day you may wonder if the puppy is long coat at all. Don’t worry – it’s quite a normal transition from adolescence to maturity.
Now you understand that there is no significant difference between the two types of puppies. Only thickness and overall look of coat is the distinguishing feature.
Teacup Chihuahua puppies
What does “teacup Chihuahua” actually mean? Is it a legitimate term, or yet another fashion invention? Some people think the term “teacup” signifies its size when reaching maturity, yet others think it’s just a universal term for describing a dog that is smaller than its non-teacup counterpart. There exists so much controversy that I decided to do some research on the topic.
After some examination, I found out that it’s mainly an American term and is used for describing the size of a dog who is even smaller than his non-teacup counterpart. The same publicly-invented terminology can be seen when we speak about apple-head or deer-head Chihuahuas, that differ one from the other only by the form of their craniums. To say that a teacup Chihuahua is another breed is complete nonsense. Any young Chi can be considered to be a teacup specimen. Weighing in at roughly 2 pounds, they are so tiny that they can be placed in a tea cup, thus the term appeared. So you should understand that a “teacup Chihuahua” simply hasn’t grown yet. Give it a year and you will see a normal-sized dog weighing slightly above 3 pounds.
I’ve also come across a rather disturbing fact that if you don’t nourish the puppy properly from birth, it may not grow to its full potential, though it’s unlikely to happen with responsible owners. The controversy around teacup dogs has led to new scam schemes where puppies are sold as “teacup dog offspring.” As you now know, it’s got nothing to do with reality. The seller is just seeking a higher price. Any teacup, toy, tiny, mini, miniature, pocket-size, micro and so on, puppies are all the same breed – don’t be fooled by the label.
What works just fine with crops and big cattle may not work with something that is already tiny. The rule of genetics works like this: science can alter, enhance and improve features of something. It means that a big bull can become a bit smaller, but making him even bigger will be challenging. So making an already tiny Chi even smaller, so that it fits in a cup at full-size, is practically impossible. The fact is, a teacup Chihuahua pup is a real being that remains such only for some period of time. All other facts are merely figments and wild guesses.
Chihuahua Mix Puppies
In the previous passage, I told you that getting a genuine genetically modified teacup Chi is practically impossible. Science is not ready to invest money and time into such a plan that has no real practical use for mankind, but some breeders have made other changes to the Chis and have revealed many curious types of mixed breeds. Chihuahua mix puppies are a universal answer to any potential buyer who wants to own a dog that virtually differs from the usual Chi but has its tiny size. Thus have appeared the following mixed-breeds:
- Yorkshire Terrier – Chorkie
- Toy Fox Terrier – Taco Terrier
- Shih Tzu – Shichi
- Scottish Terrier – Scotchi
- Pug – Chug
- Poodle – Chi Poo
- Pomeranian – Pomchi
- Pekingese – Cheeks
- Miniature Pinscher – Chipin or Minchi
- Labrador Retriever – Labrahuahua
Dear readers, I could continue with this list but there is no point in naming them all. Just believe me – there are dozens, and if can think of it, it probably exists! Google any mix on Google and it will show you funny and yet plausible pictures of different mixed-breed dogs who are no bigger than a traditional Chihuahua. Despite the genetic difference, mixed-breed Chis look very decent, have distinct traits of both initial pre-crossed breeds, and have appealing appearances. Despite the thought that such an interference may provoke unexpected health issues that would normally never occur with uncrossed species, the practice shows rather good statistics. Only 2 out of 10 puppies show untypical conditions.
Considering feeding and training routine, mixed-breed puppies are all alike. Follow my advice in the passage “Care tips” and you will see that it’s not challenging at all. A decent schedule and good responsibility is all it takes for your new puppy.
Chihuahua Puppies: Character, Behavior and Temper
Every dog is a unique soul kept behind devoted eyes, and it is duty of every owner to reveal it. You may think like I did at first, that your dog is just a friend who you have to take care of, but I was, as you will be, mistaken. My Sparky is one of a kind. He is so energetic, as if he drains energy right from the air, and enjoys making hide-and-seek surprises. When I have a break at my job, I go to the kitchen to have a snack, or stand up to warm up my numb back, and he’ll hide somewhere behind the sofa, armchair or door, and when I pass by he’ll suddenly squeal just to frighten me. Thankfully I’m already used to his tricks, but someone unprepared, without steel nerves, could have a cardiac arrest. Despite their tiny appearance, Chis have outstanding intellect and, sometimes, I’m really terrified of the way he looks at me when I speak to him with complex phrase.
They are so loyal that it may become an obstacle
Can you believe that he knows what a “yummy from mommy” is (a spoon of ice-cream or a small square of chocolate) or a “walkie-walkie” (going out for a walk)? Or that when I wave my index finger and tell him “nah-ah,” that he shouldn’t behave badly with a guest, he understands everything? Of course it’s, partially, repetitions and training, but it’s rather surprising that he understands complex phrases instead of the common “Hold!” or “Stop!” My points is, all dogs have their own unique traits of character within their breed and they are, in majority, all alike.
Speaking of a Chihuahua puppy, I should say that:
- They are all timid and cautious in an unfamiliar ambience – just like cats. Should they get used to it as they get get older, they can recognize their favorite spot and toys, and manifest interest by wiggling their tails.
- Puppies always inherit the temper of their parents, so one day your beloved pup could show quite extrinsic behavior (The BCC brings more facts), but such a trait can be attributed to puberty as well. Suddenly or gradually your puppy can turn into a spoilt teenager.
- Puppies begin growing into adults close to 1 year. Small dogs live longer so you can see all of the stages of growth that are particularly observed with us humans.
- Genes are decisive. If your pup is an offspring of somewhat “inadequate,” quarrelsome parents, you better prepare. Training will barely soothe his character.
When they reach puberty and transition into adults, you will notice dramatically positive changes:
- They become good companions.
- Despite their size, all of them are courageous, lively and entertaining.
- A pup gets to be very affectionate and smart, and even becomes manipulative.
- Their devotion can be rivaled only by jealousy towards any living being that you may be touching or simply talking to and even looking at! They understand when you pay attention to anyone else but them.
- They are so loyal that it may become an obstacle.
But there is also dark side of the Moon:
- Jealousy can push them to instinctively search for their owner’s approval, so someone at home can get bitten. Having a Chi at home may not work with little children.
- Not all of them are easy to train or trainable at all. It’s hereditary.
- If you don’t train them, they tend to be extremely yappy with high-pitched barking that can shatter your eardrums, especially at night.
- Every Chihuahua has a natural instinct to be ferocious and intolerant to other dogs. So if your Chi is too noisy and loud and can’t stop yelling at every passerby, choose another time in order to cross with as few people and dogs as possible.
The fact that your Chihuahua is still a puppy doesn’t portray him as a toy pet. Sometimes they are “larger” than people tend to see them. Whether you look at Chi’s love, manners or intellect, it is a dog who wants to be noticed, so from now on the universe has its center in your living room, right over there in the cradle.
Chihuahua puppies are demanding creatures who sometimes need an exclusive approach.
Let me tell you what I have learned from my own experience:
- Feeding: A puppy who hasn’t reached the age of 6 months yet should be free-fed. You should leave fresh food for the pup near his sleeping spot. Chihuahuas have a very fast metabolism, so they spend tons of energy daily. If you want to keep him fueled, think about leaving snacks constantly available for him. Or, if you work at home like I do, just give him a meal every 2 hours. When your Chihuahua reaches 6 months of age, you can stick to feeding him 3 times a day.
- Should you accidentally skip his meal time or simply forget to feed your puppy, he can show signs of hypoglycemia, where he becomes weak and dizzy, his feet tremble and he has trouble walking. If such a state occurs, rub a drop of honey onto his gums and take him to the closest veterinary clinic. When the pup is adult (1+ years old) you can feed him 2-3 times per day, making the snacks caloric but not with a heavy surplus of carbs and protein.
- His thirst: Despite the potential feeding schedule, water should be available at all times. Especially if you live in an area with constant hot climate.
- Bathing: Regardless of his coat condition, you should bathe your puppy every 2 weeks. Though his coat may be not thick, the pup still requires gentle scrubbing to remove all dirt, debris and dust. When the bath is over, wrap a towel around him and softly rub until the coat is relatively dry. Don’t use a hair fan, because it can scare him easily and he won’t trust you again. After you’ve dried him, use a comb, going against the grain, thus cleaning his skin.
- Exercise: Everyone needs physical exercise, even dogs, no matter their size. Once 2 weeks has passed since the arrival at his new home, you can get out for a walk. Before going out in public, prepare a harness that is designed for walking with cats. A Chihuahua’s neck is straw-like and you can harm it easily if using a collar harness and not a shoulder one. For the first time, you can go for a trip in your own yard or garden, and sometime later practice long walks in the park.
- Sleep: While adult gods sleep half of their life, Chihuahuas, having such an enhanced metabolism, can spend far more time sleeping, especially when they’re puppies. They can sleep anywhere from 16 to 21 hours daily, which includes a daily nap and nighttime sleep. With every passing month, his need to sleep will shorten and, when becoming an adult, 10-14 hours will be enough. If your Chihuahua has sleeping issues during the night, it’s really helpful to go for a short walk or play a little before bedtime. This rule works fine with me! We both go for a walk around our block and, just 15 minutes later, all we get under the blanket and go out like a light.
- Schedule: My Sparky has a unique inner time clock. He is used to having breakfast later than I do – at 9 a.m. precisely. Any other owner would expect his dog to get up earlier and whine or bark, or even try to hop into bed and wake them, but for some reason it’s not the case with Sparky. I usually get up at 8 a.m., do some stretching, and prepare my own breakfast – the day has just begun and I don’t keep quiet. Of course, I don’t ignite fireworks at home nor do I turn on music or the TV set. I just walk around, but he won’t get up till 9 a.m. I wish I had his timing and didn’t have to turn on the alarm every morning. So what I want to say is that schedule is the first big step towards the pup’s socializing and learning. He knows that the food bowl should be put down and will always hold me accountable when I’m staring at the screen and he wants to go for a walk. Such behavior is partially his intellect and partially a habit that altogether has become our common schedule. If you train him step-by-step to set his feeding/playing/bathing/walking/grooming schedule, it gives the dog some sense of order. But you should have yours as well.
- Visiting a Vet: As you visit your doc for health precaution you should absolutely do the same for your puppy. Going to vet is not reserved for ill dogs only. Preventive care will help a lot in extending life of your Chihuahua. Always remember that preventing costs less than healing.
- Noise: You know that all Chihuahuas have a nasty character and don’t welcome guests, passers-by, or other dogs – simply no one but the owner. Your pup’s character can worsen dramatically or get reversed – from constant anger and mistrust to constant fear of all suspicious sounds. In order to avoid any trauma to his mood and not trouble his impressionable nature, never expose him to any negative experience involving sharp sounds, screeches, and screams. Turn the TV volume down, close your windows or even install multi-layer windows, and get some rest form noise pollution that both your ears deserve.
I tried to give as much practical and grouped information as I could but I got carried away at times. Sparky helped me to complete the article with some helpful advice. I hope you, my attentive readers and dog-lovers, will get your own Chi and will share many funny and lovely moments together.
Sincerely yours, Jen and Sparky.
P.S. I’m trying to teach him to say “Mama” but “Ma” is already a victory.
Read also about other puppy breeds: