Taking trips to local breeders in search of a new Chihuahua puppy is an exciting time for everyone involved. Just being able to watch these playful balls of fur rolls around on one another is enough to put a smile on anyone's face. However, you'll want to think long and hard about which puppy is the best fit for your family and living environment. Some people simply choose the smallest or cutest one, but this isn't the best approach. Instead, base your decision on the following criteria listed below.
Before we begin, it's important that you spend ample time visiting the puppy litter before making a decision. Most breeders will more than likely try to encourage you to purchase a puppy on your first trip so they can bring in new customers, but you must refrain from doing so. Spontaneously choosing a puppy based off your emotions and instinct could result in the wrong match for your family. The bottom line is that you need to make several visits to the breeder's home or location to spend time with the puppies; otherwise, it's a guessing game that you probably won't win.
Male or Female - Which One Should I Choose?
Arguably, one of the biggest decisions you'll have to make when selecting a Chihuahua puppy is whether you want a male or female. As puppies, there won't be many (if any) notable differences between male and female puppies. Once they grow older, however, you will see certain characteristics associated with each gender.
Male Chihuahua puppies tend are typically more loyal and affectionate than their female counterpart. I know some people would assume the opposite is true, but it's actually males who are more loving. If you are looking for a loyal, loving family dog, there's no better choice than a male.
Be warned, though, un-neutered males are known for marking their territory indoors by hiking a back leg and peeing on furniture and furnishings. It's not a pleasant sight to come home and see your living room furniture marked by your Chihuahua. The good news is that you can potty-train them through positive reinforcement and obedience, so take this into consideration as well.
Of course female Chihuahua can also make loyal, loving family companions. Most Chihuahua breeders and experts will agree that females are generally calmer and less rambunctious, making them a good choice for apartment complexes or small homes. While they still enjoy occasional play time throughout the day,female Chihuahua puppies prefer to kick back and relax in their owner's lap.
Female Chihuahuas will go into heat around the ages of 6-9 months. Because they are still so young and vulnerable at this age, most veterinarians DO NOT recommend spaying before your puppy's first heat cycle. Talk with your vet to determine when the appropriate time for spaying is.
Puppy Health Inspection
Unfortunately, not all Chihuahua puppies are born healthy. Some of them may have worms, bone disorders, or they suffer from a certain disease or illness. Unless you want to spend thousands of dollars in vet bills and many sleepless nights worrying, you should choose a Chihuahua puppy that appears to be in good health. There's nothing wrong with purchasing or adopting an ill Chihuahua puppy, but you need to know what you are getting into.
So, how are you able to determine whether or not they are healthy? Here are some of the things you should look for when performing a puppy health inspection:
- Run your fingers through the puppy's coat to check for any fleas or ticks. Reputable breeders should raise their Chihuahua puppies in a tick and flea-free environment.
- Be on the lookout for lethargic and abnormally weak puppies, as this could be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue. Healthy Chihuahua puppies should be responsive and playful.
- Puppies should have a clean, shiny and tangle-free coat. Some puppies will roll around in their pee, but a good breeder should stay on top of cleaning them.
- Check the eyes, ears and nose for any signs of mucus buildup or discharge. Problems such as these are usually caused by infections, which the breeder should take care of.
- As the puppies play and run around with one another, pay attention to their movements. Puppies that hop or limp along may suffer from congenital defects that aren't easily fixed.
- Perform an oral examination by opening the puppy's mouth and looking at their gums and teeth. A healthy puppy should have soft pink gums, white teeth and no foul-smelling breath.
- Is the puppy a healthy weight? Ribs visibly sticking out of their chest is sign they aren't eating enough. On the other hand, a large belly could signal a gastrointestinal issue or worms.
- Vomiting and diarrhea are two problematic signs that something is wrong with a Chihuahua puppy, at least health wise.
Behavior and Temperament
Chihuahua puppies vary greatly in their behavior and overall temperament. This should be apparent from the moment you walk into a breeder's home with a litter of puppies running around on the floor. Some of them will by running around biting on the furniture or their toys, and others will be napping together in a large ball of fur. How they behave as puppies will essentially lay the foundation for their behavior and temperament as adults, which is why you must take this into consideration when choosing a puppy.
There are a couple things to be aware of when selecting a puppy. I recommend getting down on the floor and calling the puppy over to see how they respond. Even if they don't recognize the "come here" command yet, they should still notice you are trying to get their attention. Make eye contact with the puppy and pat the ground saying. If the puppy eagerly pounces towards your position, you can rest assured knowing they will be easy to train. On the other hand, Chihuahua puppies that ignore your movements and gestures altogether will have difficulty training.