Chihuahuas & Children


Is it wise for a family with young children to get a small breed dog?  The answer depends on the nature and behaviour of the children.  If they are obedient and gentle, then it is very appropriate, but if they are rough and hard to handle themselves, a small dog in the mix is not safe.

I recommend that families with children under 7 years old purchase a Chihuahua that will grow to be over 5 lbs. A larger chihuahua will be sturdier. Teach the children only to hold their pup while sitting on the floor with both hands.  Puppies are expert wigglers and they could fall and break bones or worse yet, die from impact if dropped from a distance.  Children mustn’t make loud noises or chase a puppy as this will scare it. They should let the pup come to them and let it go by gently putting it on the floor.  Pups should never be allowed to jump from a lap to the floor.  Necessary supervision can be relaxed only when parents are confident that their child knows and obeys these guidelines.

When deciding to purchase a dog for your young family, remember it will grow attached to the person that sees and interacts with it the most.  It is unlikely to be attached to your children in the beginning and might not develop a strong attachment in the end, especially if the parent is the person giving the dog the most attention.   The person who feeds the dog is most highly ranked in loyalty.  Children often tire of their toys and they can equally lose interest in a family pet. Consider that the dog’s life span is 12-21 years and children grow into teenagers who may have very little time for pets.   This caution is not to discourage anyone from adopting a pet and making it an important member of the family – but rather to make the adoptive family aware that owning a dog is a long time commitment which should not be taken lightly.

It is wise to choose a dog that is neither too timid nor too dominant for an active young family.  Look for a personality in a dog that is outgoing and relaxed.   Also make sure your home can accommodate the space for the pet in terms of a safety zone and that the family can afford the expenses of a new member.

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