Living Life with a Chihuahua

Smallest Dogs, Biggest Attitudes

Photo by Nishizuka 

Chihuahuas are infamous for being aggressive, hostile, and combative, despite their small size. In fact, there are studies that show Chihuahuas as being more aggressive than pit bulls, citing the fact that they almost always show dominant behavior around dogs they have never met. What they lack in size, they make up for in sound. Have you ever met a Chihuahua? Chances are, if you have, they hunched down, bared their teeth, and gave the most menacing growl possible for a five-pound dog. 

Chihuahuas are also extremely intelligent. They are able to pick up tasks quickly and are also known for their agility and speed due to their small size. They are adept at completing obstacle courses and agility races for those reasons. The breed is named after the Mexican town Chihuahua, where they originated. If you have a pure Chihuahua breed, you will receive all of these qualities plus countless others. I have met some Chihuahua mixes that are part Terrier, Corgi, or Pomeranian that have much different temperaments, but it all depends on which breed you get. Each are fiercely loyal and will protect their home turf. 

I personally live with a Chihuahua. His name is Buddy, and he is exceptionally kind to the four people that live in the same house with him. The story of how we came across him is amusing, as a matter of fact. When I was in the fifth grade, my mom owned a gym. One of her clients came in with her hands behind her back and started off by asking my mom if anyone she knew needed a dog. Coincidentally, we had just put down our 13-year-old Schnauzer a couple of months before that and were looking for a dog to keep our other one company. Out from behind her back comes a dog the size of a teacup; he was just sitting in her hand looking shockingly adorable. He was a dog that a family bought for their elderly grandma to keep her company, but she ended up dying in hospice. This poor dog had nowhere else to go, so she brought him home (without telling anyone). Little did we know of the journey that awaited us ahead.

Photo by Nishizuka

Buddy is one of the most interesting dogs you could find. He is the most loyal dog I've encountered, but only to the four of us that live with him. This includes me, my mom, my dad, and my brother. All else who enter are considered intruders. Every. Single. Person. All who walk through our doors are guaranteed to be greeted with persistent barking and growling until our sweet little Buddy gets too tired to continue. Even then, if the intruders get too close to the cage to which he has been relinquished, and if he smells them, they will get growled at. Numerous training methods, treats, and desperate pleas have no effect. It just comes with the personality. 

When alone with us, Buddy is the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had. The only reason he is ever callous is because he is protecting those he loves and his territory. He will cuddle between your legs and nap for hours just to be near you. When one of us comes home after a long day, he will run up to the door and greet us with the utmost love and affection. This dog will find the largest, heaviest blanket possible and burrow. He will burrow until completely invisible; there have been numerous occasions where we have accidentally sat on him. When he licks your face, he tries to get right up your nose because his tongue is so small. He loves chips but hates wheat thins. He loves the beach but hates the ocean. He loves peaches but hates watermelon. 

Over the years, we have had many experiences with this dog. We have found out through trial and error that he is not very friendly to animals that are not of the Mammalia genus, given our recent acquisition of lizards. In our home, we own two bearded dragons as well as a few fish, birds, and two dogs. At first, he did not seem to realize that these were actually living creatures in place of toy figurines. When he realized, he was wary. It was absurdly amusing to watch this tiny dog prance around like a boxer in the ring just waiting to see who would make the next move. At first, he would sniff them for a second and hop away. He would then work up enough courage to give them a lick or two. Then, when the lizards moved ever so slightly, he would run away into the next room for any type of shelter that he could find. That is the thing about Chihuahuas, they are all show. He might throw in a few growls, get close enough to nip you, but he could never do any real damage. That however, is a concept few who enter our house are fortunate enough to grasp. While a seemingly terrifying experience for all who enter to have this dog going berserk on them, it is quite comical to the four of us who live there. 

Another time, I had a friend over to my house before we went out to the movies. Now Buddy has an uncanny ability to sense fear. Chihuahuas have to be able to read a person's body language for any change in emotion, otherwise they would have never survived in the wild. He has the ability to scrutinize and sniff out any slight trepidation you might have about being around him. If he finds any, he persistently chases them around until caught by one of us four. One day, my friend had just gone to the fridge to grab a drink of water when Buddy rounds the corner, slowly at first. He will do that to you, lull you into a false sense of security until he is close enough to strike. That is his trademark. He crept right up behind her then started barking up a storm, scaring her into dropping the water and frantically clambering up onto my countertop. I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard. I can never understand how this five-pound dog strikes fear into the hearts of all who enter. 

If you are looking for a lap dog, a dog to keep you company, a dog to chase away rabbits, warn of any entries into your house, or, if you are looking for a friend, you have a perfect fit in a Chihuahua. These are some tales of our special, exceptional pet who I am happy to have in my home.

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