Chihuahuas are loyal dogs that usually prefer one to two masters. They are noted for their fierce personalities. They are said to be high strung and not a good breed to introduce to children. But with proper training and socialization, a Chihuahua can learn to adapt to just about any environment.
Chihuahuas and Children
Chihuahuas tend to be nervous by nature and may bite at the slightest provocation. Chihuahuas are not recommended for households with children under the age of 12.
A responsible pet owner should also teach their children the proper way to handle their pets as an added precaution and a moral obligation towards the animal's wellbeing.
Socializing your Chihuahua
The best time to bring a new Chihuahua puppy into your home is between the ages of 12 and 20 weeks. Once your Chihuahua pup is settled, you must begin the socialization process immediately. Since Chihuahuas tend to prefer only one to two masters, and other Chihuahuas, it is imperative that they learn to get along with the entire household; adults, children, pets and even visitors.
One of the first things your Chihuahua must get used to is being handled by family members and visitors alike. Habituation to handling will eliminate the animal's fear and prevent it from becoming started, growling, bearing teeth and biting. It will also facilitate the veterinarian's ability to examine your pet.
To begin the process your Chihuahua must get used to being patted and to having its ears, teeth, and feet examined. After your puppy is comfortable with these gestures you can allow different people to hold your tiny animal friend.
Having Food Taken Away
The Chihuahua puppy must also learn to accept the fact that food might be taking away. If you have several animals in the house, it is possible that another animal may eat from your Chihuahua's dish. Praise your puppy when he does not show aggression towards the other animal.
Your Chihuahua and the Public
Train your Chihuahua to habituate to noise and strange sounds as much as possible. A Chihuahua pup accustomed to a quiet home will have a harder time adapting to a public outing. You might also consider taking your pet out on a leash and allowing strangers to pat it. This will also facilitate socialization.
Traveling With your Chihuahua
Since Chihuahuas can be timid or aggressive in large crowds, it important to introduce it to public transportation. This training becomes very valuable if public transportation is the only method you have to bring your pet to the veterinarian. Always carry your pet in a carrier, large enough that it can go to the far end of the carrier to find a secure place.
Similarly, a Chihuahua must habituate to the motion of a moving car, if you are planning to transport your pet to the veterinarian by this means of transport. A frightened dog can urinate in the car, vomit, bark or whine, and jump around distracting the driver. Start with short trips around the block and encourage your pet to sit or lie down in the car.
You will also need to stop your Chihuahua from unnecessary barking. Chihuahuas make vigilante watch dogs, alerting their owners of prowlers by barking. The downside is that they bark because they are being patted or they are cold, overexcited, lonesome or bored.
Your Lonesome Chihuahua
Many Chihuahuas bark when they are left alone. They suffer from a condition called separation anxiety. Habituate your pet to spending time alone first by leaving for short intervals and gradually extending the time you spend away from him.
A well trained pet will eliminate most of the Chihuahua temperament issues.