Chihuahuas are charming, smart, and sassy. Small in size, but big in personality, Chihuahuas are beloved by owners for their unique appearance and entertaining attitudes. Learn more about living with this pint-sized breed.
Chihuahuas vary in appearance, as some have a shorter, smooth coat, while others have a longer coat. They also tend to live longer than many breeds.
They are busy dogs and like to be close to their owner, often underfoot. Chihuahuas are also good watchdogs thanks to their stranger danger tendencies. More than just a “purse dog,” Chihuahuas are a very alert breed that loves to be on the go with owners. Get ready for people to “ohhhh” and “awww” over your pooch. Rest assured your Chi will love it.
Chihuahuas are also fast learners. They can compete in agility and obedience trials with just as much enthusiasm and success as larger dogs, and remain curious and bold throughout their life.
Thanks to their petite size, Chihuahuas are ideal pets for apartment dwellers, students (Elle Woods was on to something!), or those in a smaller home. Of course, having to take a dog outside when it is cold and wet—no matter where you live—is never any fun. Chihuahuas could not agree more. “If you don't like taking the dog out on cold winter days, Chihuahuas are ideal since they can be taught to use a litter box or wee wee pad,” George says. When you do take them out to do their business or to get some exercise, don’t leave them alone in the yard as they could be attacked by a bird of prey or larger dog.
Chihuahuas will definitely rule the roost, so to speak. Keep in mind Chihuahuas can be unfriendly toward other dogs if they haven’t been socialized from a young age. If they get into a scuffle with another dog, even a much larger one, they won’t back down. But if they are socialized, they will do well with other dogs in the home (especially other Chihuahuas), and even with cats. Of course, they will insist on being the boss.
As charming as Chihuahuas are with their owners, they can make strange with humans they don’t know. And they are not an ideal dog for families with young children as they are too fragile for toddler playtime. A Chihuahua may leap from a child's hands and injure himself if he's not being held correctly, and he won't hesitate to defend himself if he's being mistreated. Chihuahuas do best in families with quiet, older children who understand how to interact with them.
A double coat means double the fun when it comes to grooming your Chihuahua. Their undercoat is soft and dense, while a Pom’s outer coat is long, straight, and coarse. Luckily, they are small and the coat is deceptively easy to groom so it doesn’t take too much of your time. Their ample coat should be brushed a few times a week—start at their head and work your way down their body—with a medium to hard brush that can get all the way to their skin. This will help reduce their shedding. They only need to be bathed every couple of months. Make teeth brushing part of your regular routine, as Poms are prone to dental health issues.
Thanks to their short, little legs, Poms don’t require a ton of exercise and are happy to go on a short walk or two each day, although they have the stamina to go on longer walks if you’d like. People love to watch them trot along, holding their head high with pride.
They love to both snuggle up on your lap and play around the house. Making Poms the center of attention by teaching them new tricks is a great way to help them exercise and bond with the family. They don’t have long attention spans, so keep your training sessions short and fun, with lots of treats. Top priorities should be training them to walk on a leash and come when called. They can be a bit tough to housebreak, as they aren’t fans of going outside when it's cold or rainy. And you should not allow them to jump on and off furniture so they don’t injure their joints or break any bones. Early socialization is essential, too. Poms can become yappy dogs, so introduce them to lots of different people, places, and experiences when they are young so they know how to interact with the world as they get older.