Chihuahuas Need Socialization

Yesterday, I met a wonderful Chihuahua named Belle.  She is a two pound, kissing machine.  The pup wiggles her entire body when she meets a new person and then showers  them with affection.  I wish all Chihuahuas were as well-behaved as Belle.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  I learned that the hard way.

  Isn’t Belle photogenic?

I met my first chihuahua on an emergency visit.  Carlotta came into the clinic in full blown seizures after whelping two puppies.  She had eclampsia caused by low blood calcium levels from producing milk for her offspring.  Carlotta responded well to treatment.  The seizures stopped and her body temperature returned to normal.  Six hours later, she was ready to go home.  When I opened her cage door, Carlotta charged my hand with her teeth barred.  I managed to close the door before the little “land shark” made contact with my hand.  With my ego bruised, I retreated to the lobby, hoping she would be better with her family.  When her owner opened the cage, Carlotta leapt into his arms and covered his face with kisses.  On the way out of the clinic, she spotted me walking behind her family and gave me one last growl for good measure.  What a character!

All chihuahuas need socialization.  Socialize, socialize and socialize some more to keep them well-behaved.  Correct aggressive behavior immediately with gentle but firm commands.  Growling is just as much of a problem in a toy breed as a giant breed.      


Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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