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Chihuahua Appreciation Day

Kiki - Matt Orndorf.jpg
Matt Orndorff
Kiki is a cute Chihuahua that loves to play, but mostly she loves her human!

Today is International Chihuahua Appreciation Day.  The Chihuahua is the smallest of all dog breeds.  Most adults weigh about six pounds.  These tiny pups are very popular, in part because they have huge personalities.  Many have short, sleek hair but there are also long-haired Chihuahuas. 

Like any pet, a Chihuahua must be properly trained so it doesn’t become a problem. In fact, one statistic says Chihuahuas are the second most euthanized breed, right behind pit bulls.  The main reason for that is an unreasonable expectation by owners.  They may have seen a Chihuahua like Bruiser, in the movie, “Legally Blonde”, or pictures of a celebrity with a cute little Chihuahua in their purse and think they want the same thing.  The truth is that, like any dog, Chihuahuas need training, discipline, care and attention.

Regular listeners may also remember Harley, a one-eyed Chihuahua that was rescued from a puppy mill after suffering ten years of horrible abuse.  He became a finalist for the American Humane Association’s 2016 Hero Dog Awards, representing the Emerging Hero Dog category. 

A Chihuahua has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.  However this past March, TobyKeith, a Chihuahua in Greenacres, Florida, made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest dog, at age 21 years and 66 days.  That was a couple of months ago, so every day TobyKeith sets a new record!

Before you decide to get a Chihuahua of your own, keep in mind these little dogs have big personalities.  They require patience and serious training, because they can also be stubborn, and aggressive, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.  But most folks who love Chihuahuas know there is a huge and delightful personality in that tiny package.

If you think a Chihuahua is right for your household, talk to your local animal shelter or rescue group.  You just might find your own tiny friend, and save a life at the same time, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.