If you want a tiny dog with a big personality, then you should adopt a Chihuahua. These cute, small dogs are easy to care for and are great little companions. You can easily take them with you as you travel or do errands and they do well in a small home. They are loyal, intelligent, and feisty.
Chihuahua became quite popular after being featured in several entertaining Taco Bell ads in 1997. Unfortunately, as this breed became exceedingly more popular in the early 2000s, many of them also ended up in shelters. Due to their small size, they have become a popular dog breed often seen toted around in a celebrity’s handbag. But people who adopt Chihuahuas do not always realize that, like any dog, these cute pooches need to be trained and properly cared for. It is in their nature to be very vocal and protective, and they are so much more than a stylish accessory to be carried around.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to adopt a Chihuahua is that the shelters are full of them, and they are in desperate need of loving homes. These independent, tiny dogs have big personalities and can be wonderful furry pals if you want a small dog.
Why Chihuahuas Make Great Pets to Adopt
These cute little pooches come with a powerful personality. They are great guard dogs and will bark vehemently if frightened by a potential intruder. Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are not afraid to charge after another dog who seems like a threat–even a dog who is three times bigger!
Chihuahuas are great pets to adopt if you want a loyal, cuddly, lap dog, who will provide comfort and affection. Additionally, they are particularly comforting if you happen to be sick or live alone and need a warm, furry, best friend. They can be well suited for seniors who want lovable, small, lap dogs.
Because of their small size, Chihuahuas do well in small spaces and are easy to exercise. Everything you purchase for them including food, treats, and equipment will be scaled down and less costly than a larger dog.
Here is a list of a Chihuahua’s best traits:
- Charming and small
- Active and fun
- Easy to manage and care for
- Less expensive
- Independent and feisty
- Great guard dogs
- Loyal and loving
- Great lap dogs and companions
- Long life up to 20 years
- Easy to transport
- Short hair and easy to groom
Because Chihuahuas can be aggressive and will sometimes bite, they may not be good around small children. They can become frightened and bite or nip at a child who plays too roughly with them. Additionally, their tendency to take off after larger dogs can not only be annoying but can turn into a dog fight resulting in serious injuries.
These small pooches love to chase after critters and they can run fast! They have been known to be great escape artists and will find any small hole in the fence to squeeze through. So make sure you secure your yard and get your furry friend microchipped!
One reason that these dogs are often overlooked for adoption is that they tend to shake a lot. But, contrary to what people may think, it is not because they are sick or overly afraid. Rather, shaking is their natural reaction to just about anything! They have a high rate of metabolism and will shake when they get excited regardless if they are happy or frightened. Even dinnertime can bring on some trembles! They are a little more sensitive to temperature changes and may need an extra blanket or a vest to wear in cold weather.
Where to Adopt a Chihuahua
I have listed some reputable rescue groups that I have researched or become familiar with. But I also urge you to check with your local shelter, as they may have the type of dog you are looking for. And, you may save a dog’s life. Some shelters have a “kill” policy after long stays or when their facility reaches capacity.
Many shelters are currently bursting with several varieties of Chihuahuas due to overbreeding by unscrupulous and greedy puppy mill breeders. Because of the popularity of these “designer dogs”, too many puppies are bred for sale and sometimes get abandoned or dumped at shelters due to oversupply. See this shocking post by Madelaine Healey at TheBoldItalic.com about celebrity adoption of Chihuahuas.
You may also be surprised who you fall in love with or feel drawn toward when you visit a shelter. Be sure to see my post Everything You Need to Know About Adopting a Rescue Dog for a comprehensive guide.
My links below to organizations are just a sampling. There are many additional organizations that you may also want to work with. Make sure they are a reputable organization registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can check their status on Guidestar.org which often includes 3 years of tax returns.
One additional note, you should steer away from private groups, especially those online, since they may be puppy mills in disguise. Also, buying a dog from a pet store probably saves that dog’s life. But just know that pet stores usually get their dogs from puppy mills. So, in the long run, don’t support retailers who sell dogs by buying their products.
Two very reputable online services include Petfinders.com and AKC Rescue Network. They can help you find breed-specific dogs of various ages, including puppies and seniors.
Texas Chihuahua Rescue
This compassionate and caring nonprofit organization was formed in 2015 in San Antonio, Texas and they rescue and place hundreds of dogs in caring homes each month. Due to the abundance of Chihuahuas in Texas, they work with partners in Canada and the Northeastern United States to place dogs in foster and forever homes.
All rescues receive medical attention and special care when they are first received. They also take in other small breeds and those which have special needs or serious medical problems.
They are a top-rated organization with Great Nonprofits and have a platinum status on Guidestar. What I appreciate about Texas Chihuahua Rescue is the large-scale reach of its operations. Since 2015 they have saved 4,100 lives and facilitated 3,900 adoptions.
Texas Chihuahua Rescue is comprised of passionate individuals, dedicated to saving the lives of the second most euthanized dog breed in Texas.
We strive to educate our community, assist our shelters, and continue to grow our organization. TXCR is here to help small dogs live big dreams.
512 Ridgeview Drive
Pleasanton, TX 78064
Chihuahua Rescue & Transport
This great rescue has been around since 1996 and it has placed thousands of dogs in homes in the Midwest and Southwestern United States. They are a top-rated nonprofit with Great Nonprofits and have a Silver status with Guidestar.
They provide initial medical care and spaying/neutering for every dog and work with hundreds of foster families and volunteers who transport rehabilitated pups to their new homes.
Chihuahua Rescue & Transport has no paid staff, no buildings and spends 90- 95% of its money on veterinary care. It was founded after the Taco Bell ads produced a dramatic increase in impulse buying of Chihuahuas, many of whom were later “dumped” as people discovered that even small dogs need care and training. CRT helps in the effort to control dog overpopulation by spaying/neutering all dogs in its care and by educating/encouraging the public to do the same. We also strive to raise public awareness of animal neglect and abuse.
PO Box 2844
Durham, NC 27715 USA