Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization

Gender: Female

Training: Attended conferences / shows

Quick to learn and train


Emotionally stable


Family oriented


Child safety


Safe with small pets


Doesn’t bark a lot




Easy to groom


Great watch dog


Great guard dog


Long Haired Chihuahua Rhys Taught Me A Lesson In Socialization.


United States

Posted June 20, 2016

Oh Rhys. Most beautiful little girl but wow what a temper.

Rhys's pregnant mother came to me as a foster dog, she was a beautiful long haired chihuahua with just the sweetest temperament. She gave birth within 4 days to 4 little puppies, all were full chihuahuas (you never know in rescue), 3 short haired and one long haired little girl. They were a tiny litter, so I had them until they were 4 months old before I could have them spayed/neutered due to their size. Rhys I had to wait a little longer, until she was 6 months old, she wasn't even 2 lbs until 6 months.

I followed all socialization rules, had friends over, took them places, took them to work, anywhere I could to ensure these little pups were well socialized and happy little puppies. Rhys was a little off from 2 months on, she was hypoglycemic and I had to watch that constantly, making sure she was eating mini meals throughout the day. She came daily to work with me and ran the office, meeting and greeting everyone happily.

But then at about 7 months, right when she was going up for adoption (the other 3 were long adopted) Rhys took an unpleasant turn. I shook it of as puberty, and continued on her constant socialization. This became difficult as she would randomly charge other dogs, even though she had met so many already and I had my own plus a few rotating fosters. She also became very vocal with people and became a total ankle biter. And it wasn't for show, she would bite as hard as she could.

This didn't seem to let up, ever. Rhys's eyes would glaze over and she would completely shut me out if I tried to give her a command to distract her, or a toy to distract her and move her away from the situation that was troubling her. The intensity became worse and worse with her biting, her barking, her erratic behavior. She would bark non stop long after the stimulus was gone or she was taken to another area to calm down. I sought professional training, they were at a loss after working with her too.

So I learned from this (and Rhys lived 15 long years with me), that nature and nurture comes in to play with any animal, just like people. Genetics play just as important a role in their behavior. Socializing sure helps and is necessary, so is training, but some genetic traits, you cannot overcome.

I have had many many chihuahuas through me foster doors, and have shared me life with a few fabulous ones as well. This isn't always typical of the breed, but they definitely have a tendency to be high strung and stubborn.

3 members found this helpful