Chihuahua Puppy Guides?
July 22, 2012 9:51 PM   Subscribe

In the wake of a recent hoarding incident in Pennsylvania a local shelter has a large number of chihuahuas who will soon be needing permanent homes. I have previous experience dogsitting a family member's chihuahua for long periods of time so I know how to take care of adults, but some puppies are also available for adoption and I think that might be a rewarding experience. Everyone in the household has experience with dogs, but we have not raised a puppy. I was wondering if you could link me to the best guides for what to expect and how to raise a puppy, and specifically for the unique challenges of a chihuahua puppy.

And before you question my fitness, that other incident did not happen while I was dogsitting!
posted by furiousxgeorge to Pets & Animals (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
(I just realized I phrased that as if I was only looking for links, but personal knowledge is also welcome, as well as the pros and cons of adopting a puppy especially when so many older dogs are also available)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:57 PM on July 22, 2012

Keep in mind that even the adult dogs here will likely need to be treated like puppies due to the hoarding. They will likely need housebreaking and socialization. Chihuahuas are a lot of dog in a tiny fragile package. They can tend towards being hyper. They also tend to favor persons of their own choosing and can be possessive and/or territorial. All of these things can add up to them being delightful or asshole-ish or even a delightful little asshole. You have got to be diligent with chis. They can be super stubborn. Don't believe the hype about chis not being able to get housebroken, either. It's doable with your effort! I love Chihuahuas but they are not for everyone.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:15 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

We have a friend who rescues chihuahuas and they're great little dogs. Get your doggie into obedience training asap, and work to socialize him/her with other animals.

Based on the story it seems like they're doing well and will transition well to living with you. You might want to get two, especially if they're litter mates. This way they won't be so needy with people (or you can have two needy little dogs).

All puppies are pains in the ass. They're high energy, inquisitive and chewy. Expending this energy in a positive way is super-important. Supervised play and walks are key to insuring that your doggie is tuckered out appropriately.

Look into crate training, this will ease some of the destructo tendencies of your puppy and also give you some hyper-dog-free time.

You're a real mench. These dogs look like lovely animals and it's great that you're rescuing one (or two).
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:08 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

We've been raising a super active, smart, stubborn puppy this past year (not a chihuahua but an alaskan klee kai) and have had great success with positive reinforcement training (as opposed to dominance training) and implementing nothing-in-life-is-free concept since we brought him home (also known as "learn to earn" - scroll to bottom of the entry for a link).

Resources we used pre and during puppyhood include: Dog Star Daily, which has great advice about raising puppies and dog care/ training in general. We also like Dr. Sophia Yin; she has a good blog and we've found her book to be informative (if you have a Kindle, you can download a sample).

The fact that you're even asking these questions suggests you'll be a great great dog owner. Your future doggie is lucky to have you as their human!
posted by kitkatcathy at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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