This dog breed is very alert and playful. Often referred to as a ”tiny dog with a huge personality”, they tend to have a charming, graceful, and sassy personality and can be bold or shy. Socialization early and often ensures they are confident, regardless of whether they have a bold or shy nature. They tend to be gentle with children and other pets. However, a poorly socialized and poorly trained Chihuahua can develop “small dog syndrome”, which will cause them to be potentially aggressive towards other people or animals and to bite or nip when nervous.
Chihuahuas are moderately adaptable. They do well in apartments as well as houses. They can adjust to almost any lifestyle as long as they get plenty of attention. However, their small size does not make them a good fit for roughhousing with children. They are also extremely sensitive to the cold, so special care must be taken when temperatures start to drop.
Overall, the Chihuahua is a healthy dog breed. As with any dog breed, there are some breed-specific health issues to be aware of. Some of these health issues include heart problems, like mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus, patellar luxation, idiopathic epilepsy, and eye disease. Reputable breeding cuts down on a lot of the concern for these issues as it ensures puppies are as genetically sound as possible. Asking the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and to see any relevant health tests can allay concerns about these health issues.