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  #1  
Old 09-26-2017, 02:01 PM
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Default Chihuahua Personality?

Hi. Considdering either a Chihuahua or a Shih Tzu to add to my fur family. I'm looking for a calm one person dog that can go anywhere I do, be a bit of a med. service dog, nothing strenuous, just alerting me to times when I am about to pass out; doctor thinks it's a type of seizure but not sure what's causing it. Basically what this means for the dog is; constantly being nearby or in my lap, going everyplace I do, Not going nuts when they see other people, not really worried about running off chasing squirrels, lol. Dog must also not be the type of dog to chase my cat, who won't fight back. I think if I do go for a Chi I'd love a longcoated one. Are boys or girls more calm and "Velcro"? Oppinions welcome. I have a very small living space, no fenced in yard, so a dog that doesn't need a five mile walk every day is a must. Someone who can ride in my lap when I'm shopping would be helpful, as I'm in a wheelchair for large stores like Walmart. Sorry for so many questions. I can do all grooming at home, so that's no problem. I do keep a pretty warm house, because of my circulation issues, will this be a problem? Are chi's really barky? I've heard the term "ankle biter: and the chi's I've met don't seem to be like this, thank goodness. Are they really hyuper? Or more low energy cuddle buddies? One person, or love everyone? Also, living in ny, how would I handle potty in the winter? The bad weather might make a dog not want to go out. Thanks for any help you can offer sorry for so many questions.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2017, 12:39 AM
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You are asking a lot! ANY dog will go after squirrels, and cats too, unless they have been trained. That is the answer to most of your questions. Training. I have 3 chi's and one loves to 'chase' the cat. She got swatted at about 4 months, and knows not to actually put her mouth on the cat. Barks at her. The cat, on her part loves to tease this dog! Some chi's are hyper, some are not. Is there a vet or a good breeder around that you could talk with? A shelter dog that is grown might be a good idea too. Just tell the shelter what kind of dog you need??? As far as cold weather is concerned, all of my chi's are 'house' dogs and don't go out. I have very severe arthritis and can't walk them. I use washable human grade pee pads that you get at a medical equipment store, or at a pharmacy. There are also disposable ones. I use Isis pens and line them with the pads. The size I get are 30x36". Good luck.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:10 AM
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I have three chi's. If your going with a puppy either will chase your cat. L0L. A chi is a in your lap, follow you to the bathroom type of dog. They are lap dogs!!!! Mine are good with all family members and may sit with my husband but if I move they move. Chi's tend to have one favorite person and I am it with all three. My male seems to be more intune with me. Not sure if that is a male or female thing or personality. My male will not walk on his leash unless I am holding it. my two females are under two, my male is 9 years so devotion I see in my male I may find in a female as the grow. No grooming with chi's. My male is long and female short. Long haired handle the cold better. My chis do not bark usually unless someone enters the house. Not a sound when outside in the back yard or out for a walk. If they feel someone is coming in their territory is when they will bark. I started working on that from day one and before they found their bark. They are not hyper. My seem to run and play at 7:00pm for some reason. Otherwise in my lap. They do not like the cold or the rain. I live in ND with COLD winters and they are trained to go outside. My long haired definitely handles the cold better as I said. I have not owned a shih Tzu but have been around a few. They are nice little dogs but they were not as devoted to their owners as my chi's. But others will have more experience with that breed. For myself the chi is my number one breed. Can not say enough about them.


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Old 09-27-2017, 01:45 AM
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I don't know if either breed is right for you, honestly. Chihuahuas have such a range of temperaments, but are more likely to be a velcro dog. However, they are less likely to be comfortable in all kinds of situations and places. My Chi does chase cats and has a solid chase drive. Shih Tzus are the opposite, generally. They are somewhat aloof, but playful and happy anywhere. They don't tend to have lower prey drive. A small poodle might fit the bill better, since you are confident with grooming.

There is no such thing as "a bit of" a service dog. There are service dogs in training, which may or may not have access rights in your state. Only fully trained service dogs have federal public access rights. Here is some basic info: Please Don't Pet Me

There is no guarantee that any dog you get will be able to alert you before you have an episode, either. Do some research about self-training a service dog, specifically a medical alert dog. Many people do it, but unless you have trained a dog to a very high level in the past, you need the help of a professional trainer that uses positive methods and doesn't buy in to pack theory. (Pack theory - dominance and submission as motivators or states of mind - has been thoroughly debunked.)

I know there have been a couple service dog handlers here who have Chis as service dogs, but it is quite uncommon. If they are still around, I hope they can chime in. If you want help finding more information and resources, I would be more than happy to help!
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2017, 12:22 PM
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I described it that way so people wouldn't think I wanted the service dog to do anything strenuous...when I say Sd most people think carry a pacro pull a wheelchair. I want a follow you to the bathroom Velcro dog who doesn't really Want too many other people. I live alone. The dog won't bite others, just not go nuts and run to them expecting attention. Small poodle? Very small, as poodles need lots of exercise if they are larger. I had a twenty lb mini that would climb the walls if she didn't get out. No, the nearest closest chi breeder is 3 hrs away, and I did talk to her by phone. She seemed to think it would work ok. I do understand it is a lot of training...I guess what I meant is: I know a Jrt or something really off the wall wouldn't be right for me, to put it in perspective. Ny winters are cold, too. I do think if I get one it'll be a longcoated male. My cat WON'T fight back, no matter what. Even though he's fourteen lbs and fully claws...I wouldn't declaw him. He's also a senior so I have to look out for him. My last med. service dog was self trained, and an older mix that showed up at my door. And I have a super clicker trainer. I HATE that alpha pack crap. Everytime a friend of mine suggests it to me or does it with her dog I want to cringe. Is clicker training ok? I definitely want a lapdog, no matter what breed. How intelligent are chi's? I don't want someone to be borred or frustrated on the days I can't get out for exercise or a long walk or to the dog park. I hear you on the severe arthritis, I have that, seizures, and fibromyalgia, so a small dog and a warm house are a must. Thanks for all the help and sorry for so many questions, I just want to make sure I get the right dog, as it's a big commitment. I'll keep researching different breeds too.

Last edited by Fuzzmom; 09-27-2017 at 12:29 PM. Reason: wasnt done typing accidently posted
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2017, 02:48 PM

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Chi's have a variety of personalities. I have 2 and they are all different. Most real chis (not mixed with terriers) are pretty laid back and quiet. None of mine chase squirrels, lol. If you find a GOOD breeder, he or she may be able to recognize some of the traits you are looking for. My male has the temperament to be a service dog, in fact, he has been mistaken for one more than once. He has also alerted several times to medical issues. Finding a good breeder can be difficult and take a while. My breeder is in VA which isn't close to you. DO NOT buy a chi over the internet until you know how to spot a puppy mill. They can look really nice. The dog you are looking for will not, not, not come from a mill. You will need a dog, no matter the breed you choose, that has been properly socialized and loved. No puppy mill dog ever is. A chi's size is so portable. I can fit 2 in a medium purse. If I ever need a service dog a chi would be my first choice.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:01 PM
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Thanks very helpful. The one breeder I talked to by phone Only breeds chi's and has been breeding for twenty years. She's on the net but insists on at least one phone call before she'll sell a puppy. She doesn't even have an online application for the pups. Personality is definitely more important even then breed.
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:34 PM
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I am glad you already know what I was talking about! Yes, clicker training is great. My Chi, Gobo, is a rescue and not carefully bred, and he is the long and leggy type more than the more compact type. He is extremely smart! He does take a short time to warm to new people, but then they are his friends forever. He does use an indoor potty in the winter. I would not use a breeder that only requires a phone call, if I am understanding correctly. If the contract does not state that the breeder will take the dog back if the need arises, stay away. I would start with the closest AKC Chihuahua club. The website usually has a breeder referral contact person who should be able to connect you to a breeder that might be a good fit for you. I also ran across this breeder a few months ago that might interest you: Patricia Duffer - Medical Assistance Dogs, Chihuahua Puppies, Long Hair Chihuahua Puppies
I know it isn't close to you, but they may be a helpful resource.
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