In March I adopted what was thought to be a “Chihuahua/Cairn Terrier” cross when he was 2 months old, and he’s now just over 3 months. He’s a feisty little guy, 6 lbs., who is all puppy teeth and hasn’t quite figured out potty training yet. I adopted him from our local Animal Control shelter because those animals have a harder time than our SPCA rescues being adopted, plus the price is reasonable, and their care good.
Anti-vivisection groups have reported on abuse of animals inside testing facilities. In 1997 footage secretly filmed by a freelance journalist inside Huntingdon Life Sciences in the UK showed staff punching and screaming at beagles. Consort Kennels, a UK-based breeder of beagles for testing, closed down in 1997 after pressure from animal rights groups.
Some of these tendencies can be helped through early training and socialization. Unfortunately, too many people with Chihuahuas allow them to become little tyrants, displaying manners that would not be acceptable in a larger dog. This dog needs gentle and consistent training from puppyhood on to control his nipping as well as any tendency he has to fight with other dogs. Like many small dogs, Chihuahuas aren't aware of their own size and won't hesitate to challenge a dog many times larger than themselves. Also, like many small dogs, Chihuahuas are difficult to house-train without a lot of consistency and patience.
Apart from different types of Chihuahuas, breeders across the world started cross-breeding Chihuahuas with other dog breeds in order to create breeds of mixed traits. The result of cross-breeding Chihuahuas with other dog breeds such as Pomeranian dogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Boston Terriers, Pugs and so on, usually ends up in a dog breed of a Chihuahua's body size and the other parent breed's coat color and fur traits.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know about the Chihuahua’s health.
The merle coat pattern, which appears mottled, is not traditionally considered part of the breed standard. In May 2007, The Kennel Club decided not to register puppies with this coloration due to the health risks associated with the responsible gene, and in December of that year, formally amended its breed standard to disqualify merle dogs. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale, which represents the major kennel clubs of 84 countries, also disqualified merle. Other countries' kennel clubs, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, have also disqualified merle. However, in May 2008, the Chihuahua Club of America voted that merles would not be disqualified in the United States, and would be fully registrable and able to compete in AKC events. Opponents of merle recognition suspect the coloration came about by modern crossbreeding with other dogs and not by natural genetic drift.