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9 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Make Great First-Time Pets

Last Updated: April 24, 2024

Chihuahuas are a popular small dog breed that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide. Owning a dog for the first time might seem challenging, but Chihuahuas make excellent first dogs, especially for people who prefer small-sized companions. In my experience fostering 3 Chihuahuas, I can definitely tell you that they’re fussy but amazing to be around.

Chihuahuas, as a small dog breed, are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and adaptability, making them a fantastic choice for first-time dog owners. With minimal grooming requirements, ease of training, and their affectionate nature, Chihuahuas have earned their spot as a top choice for new pet parents.

Having said that, many aspiring pet owners might wonder if this breed is ideal for beginners or to raise them as first pets. I understand that I’ve read your mind already! So, in this article, I shall cover everything about Chihuahuas that makes them good first dogs.

Interested in taking it forward? Let’s begin!

are chihuahuas good first dogs

What Makes a Good First Dog?

A good first dog depends largely on your lifestyle and the type of environment you can provide for them. Any dog will be a good dog with proper socialization and training, but some breeds might be more suitable for first-time dog owners due to their size, exercise needs, and temperament.

In this section, we will discuss a few key traits that make Chihuahuas a good first dog.

Good with People and Dogs

Chihuahuas are known to be affectionate and friendly with their owners, which makes them great with people. They may require some socialization when it comes to interacting with other dogs, but with proper training and exposure, they can learn to get along well with their canine counterparts.

According to the American Kennel Club, socializing your Chihuahua at the right time can reduce their fear levels and promote happiness in the local environment.

Their small size makes them easy to manage, and once socialized, they can make great companions for people and other pets in the household. Of course, every aspiring pet owner might want to bring home the friendliest breed, and the Chihuahua easily stands as one of the top.

Intelligent & Trainable

Chihuahuas are highly intelligent dogs, making them easy to train. They are responsive to positive reinforcement and eager to please their owners, which can make training a fun and rewarding experience for both of you.

Their small size and intelligence enable them to learn and adapt quickly, making it easier for first-time dog owners to teach them essential commands and household manners.

Chihuahuas outperform several breeds with respect to decoding complex scenarios and solving problems on the go. So, they are smart and can play tricks! Yes, seriously!

Are Chihuahuas Intelligent? Three Chihuahuas sitting.
My friend’s three Chihuahuas

Alert & Protective

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are known to be alert and protective of their homes. They make excellent watchdogs due to their keen senses and natural tendency to be suspicious of strangers. This trait can give you a sense of security, but make sure your Chihuahua is well-socialized to prevent them from becoming overly fearful or aggressive.

When considering a Chihuahua as your first dog, take into account their small size, exercise needs, and temperament. They may require less exercise than larger breeds, but they still need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Providing your Chihuahua with the right environment, socialization, and training will allow them to flourish and become a wonderful addition to your family.

Are Chihuahuas Good First Dogs?

When my friend brought her first Chihuahua home, she didn’t stop weighing up all the pros and cons. She spoke with a lot of dog owners about their experiences. Then, she assessed her lifestyle to find out what suited her best.

Honestly, this careful decision helped her to find the perfect one, and today, she has 3 Chihuahuas whom I foster regularly. I’m her backup when she has to leave home, and the little munchkins need attention.

While no breed is perfect, the Chihuahua is full of appealing qualities that make it well-suited for first-time dog owners.

Here are 9 reasons why Chihuahuas make good first dogs:

1. Chihuahuas Are Low Maintenance

Chihuahuas are relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their short coat requires minimal care, with just regular brushing to keep it clean and healthy.

Of course, you’ll still need to bathe them occasionally, brush their teeth, and trim their nails. However, Chihuahuas don’t require the extensive grooming some other breeds need.

This is probably my favorite part. As I’ve been with German Shepherds all my life, I know how long it takes to groom her each week, and sometimes, it gets tiring. With a low-maintenance coat, it’s amazing to adopt or buy a Chihuahua as your first dog.

2. Chihuahuas Can Exercise Indoors

Chihuahuas are active little dogs, yet they don’t require as much space or exercise as larger breeds. You can easily tire them out with playtime indoors or short walks around your neighborhood. This makes them a great choice if you live in an apartment or don’t have a large outdoor space for your pup to run around in.

Here’s a highly recommended toy pack to keep them physically and mentally stimulated:

3. They Can Travel With You Anywhere

Due to their small size, Chihuahuas make great travel companions. They can easily fit in a carrier and come along with you on trips, whether by car or airplane. Traveling with a Chihuahua is much less hassle than traveling with a larger dog, which might require more planning and accommodation in terms of sedation or specialized travel crates.

So, no more leaving them alone!

The only downside is to stay cautious about temperature. Although they’re handy and can be accommodated in a small crate, they can still remain susceptible to harsh weather. If you can take precautions accordingly, they can wow you during your travel.

Several first-time dog owners have already ascertained the ease this breed brought to them.

Three Chihuahuas In a Basket
Poppy, Lily, and Molly chilling in a basket

4. Chihuahuas Are Easy to Train

Chihuahuas are intelligent and can learn quickly when trained using positive reinforcement methods. As long as you stay consistent and patient, you’ll find that Chihuahuas can be well-mannered and obedient pets.

Imagine telling your little one to do something, and they don’t listen because they’re probably interested in something else or need extra time to understand it. This is where Chihuahuas come into the picture and simplify the learning process.

5. Chihuahuas Are Small, But Mighty

Don’t be deceived by their small stature – Chihuahuas are known for their big personalities! They are confident, loyal, and sometimes protective of their owners. Originating from the Mexican state, this breed has ancient roots dating back to the Toltec people and their Techichi dogs, ancestors of the modern Chihuahua.

6. They Have Good Health and Long Lifespan

Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs and can live 12-20 years, making them one of the longest-living dog breeds. Regular vet check-ups, proper nutrition, and daily exercise will all contribute to a happy, healthy Chihuahua.

“This fact alone makes me envy my friend’s three Chi’s. As the owner of a large breed, I have to accept that she probably won’t live as long.”

7. Chihuahuas Are Playful & Affectionate

Chihuahuas are charming and affectionate, bonding closely with their owners. They love to cuddle and will gladly spend time playing interactive games with you.

Their playful nature and love for human companionship make them great pets for first-time dog owners seeking a loving and entertaining addition to their household.

Need to boost your happy hormones? You should watch this video which is a compilation of happy moments produced by Chihuahuas:

8. There Is A Chihuahua For Everyone

Chihuahuas come in a variety of colors, hair lengths, and even head shapes, making it easy to find one that suits your personal preference. Whether you want a long-haired or short-haired Chihuahua, apple-headed or deer-headed, you’re likely to find the perfect one to join your family.

Do you want your Chihuahua to be even smaller than the average size? You still have the option to go with a teacup Chihuahua. Amazing, right?

9. Chihuahuas Are Known To Protect Their Owners

Chihuahuas may seem small and harmless, but they are also known to be protective of their owners. These dogs are highly alert and will sound the alarm if they sense something is amiss. While they may not be able to physically defend you against larger threats, their presence can act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.

Whenever my German Shepherd, Willow, rushes to shoo away squirrels in the garden, my friend’s Chihuahuas think that they should protect me from the squirrels! Hence, one of them runs to shoo them away with Willow. The other two guard me. Perhaps, my German Shepherd and Chihuahuas get along really well!

This is something unexpected for this tiny, cute breed!

Keep in mind that Chihuahuas, like any dog breed, have their quirks and challenges. As a first-time Chihuahua owner, you’ll want to be prepared for their occasional stubbornness, sensitivity to cold temperatures, picky eating, and their barking tendencies.

However, with a little patience and love, you’ll quickly find that a Chihuahua is a wonderful companion and a perfect breed for first-time dog owners.

Chihuahua In Garden
Molly the Chihuahua in the garden


Are Chihuahuas suitable for families with kids?

Yes, Chihuahuas can be suitable for families with kids, but you should teach your children how to handle a small dog gently and respectfully. Being a small breed, Chihuahuas can be easily injured by rough play.

What makes Chihuahuas a good choice for small living spaces?

Chihuahuas are perfect for small living spaces because they are tiny and don’t require a lot of room to move around. Their compact size means they can adapt easily to apartment living and don’t need a large yard to be happy.

Do Chihuahuas make effective guard dogs?

While Chihuahuas may not be as physically intimidating as larger breeds, they are known to be alert and protective. Chihuahuas are more likely to bark and alert you to potential intruders, but their small size limits their effectiveness as a traditional guard dog.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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