Beverly Hills Chihuahua opened in movie theaters this weekend. Chihuahua lovers everywhere have flocked to see it. People in the dog business have mixed feelings when we see dog movies. The dog-lover part of our personality is glad to see an oh-so-cute dog movie. The part of us that cares about the dogs cringes, because we know that the next thing that will happen is that people will be getting Chihuahuas, Dalmations, etc. for their children and then promptly returning them to the shelter when they turn out to be less fun than the movie actors. Yes, those dogs are actors! Even Chihuahuas can act!
If you want a Chihuahua, great! Just be sure that you know that Chihuahuas are still dogs, in a little package. The tinier the package, the more likely a Chihuahua will have health problems. They’re cute, but Chihuahuas can be feisty (translation: fear aggressive) with people and other dogs and need socialization and training to be good companions. You may be tempted to get a Chihuahua puppy, but there are a LOT of Chihuahuas at shelters. They are the 5th most populous dog at shelters, in fact – though a lot of them are then taken by groups like Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue and fostered in homes.
If you’re reading this post by email, you just missed a little star-studded video about adopting Chihuahuas in the wake of the Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie.
We also have an article on How to Pick a Shelter Dog, with lots of local dog rescue contact information. It may turn out that the best dog for you isn’t a puppy, or even a Chihuahua.
Still convinced you need a Chihuahua Puppy? Hint: That pet store that sells puppy? Keep walking by. Don’t go in, or you may end up falling for the cuteness and buying a puppy. But if you do, you’re supporting Chihuahua slavery, as the mothers are bred over an over again in puppy mills. If you get a Chihuahua puppy from a pet store, you may help that particular dog, but you’re paying the people who breed the mothers in awful conditions. And if you can’t meet the parents, you don’t know what kind of temperament you’ll get. Pet store puppies are also *much* harder to house train, as a general rule.