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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there - looking for some opinions....

I am not new to small dogs and had a chi as a child. Recently lost our old min pin to cancer. Also am a vet tech (prior to having kids).

I have been hoping to add a chihuahua to our family. Family includes two children aged 5 and 7 - rather gentle children and in my opinion are very good with small dogs.
We recently tried out a 2 year old chi from a breeder - turned out that the chi had a strange quirky biting behaviour whenever someone leaned their face too close - strange because most of the time she snuggled up and kissed and loved - then out of the blue would nip at faces - kids and adults. So we returned her to the breeder and were offered a puppy.

Some here have offered advice to me that I should not bring a chi into our home because of the kids....
Wondering if anyone here has any experience with chis living/growing up with kids.
Thanks
 

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Hiya,
Im sure their will be other people who can give you advice but i thought id comment as i have a chi x and 3 children, ages 4,6 and 9. My children have been brought up around animals all there lives. Our first dog was here before them but they have always been big breeds.
Fiona is our first miniture and they have are perfect with her. i think mainly because we set rules before we even brought her home and sat them down and explained how delicate she is and what they can and cant do. Just an example, they are not allowed to pick fiona up. We also took them with us to the breeder and let them ask questions.

I can completely understand why some breeders do not home their pups with families with young children as not all could be trusted not to be to heavy handed and un intentionally hurt the pup. Having said that i think you will know your children better then anyone else and if they will stick to rules and understand how careful they have to be with a Chi :)
 

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Depends what the children are like with animals,we got our first chi many years ago for my daughter who was 6 for her birthday,she mothered it and the smile on her face didn't fade,she was always gentle with the cats we had at the time,you are the only person who knows if your children will be gentle and ok with a small chihuahua,if not i would go with a larger breed.
 

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Hiya,
Im sure their will be other people who can give you advice but i thought id comment as i have a chi x and 3 children, ages 4,6 and 9. My children have been brought up around animals all there lives. Our first dog was here before them but they have always been big breeds.
Fiona is our first miniture and they have are perfect with her. i think mainly because we set rules before we even brought her home and sat them down and explained how delicate she is and what they can and cant do. Just an example, they are not allowed to pick fiona up. We also took them with us to the breeder and let them ask questions.

I can completely understand why some breeders do not home their pups with families with young children as not all could be trusted not to be to heavy handed and un intentionally hurt the pup. Having said that i think you will know your children better then anyone else and if they will stick to rules and understand how careful they have to be with a Chi :)
Just read your post after i did mine,same as what i said you know your own children and if you can trust them with a tiny chi:p
 

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We just got our chi on Friday. I have a 2 year old and 7 month old. I ha our 2 year old practice with a friend's mini dachshund before hand. He's very gentle with the dog, crouches down when he talks to him or pets him. Knows not to pick him up and knows he can only hold him if he's sitting down and we place him in his lap. The dog is great with both our kids, even the baby who likes to grab his ears (which we stop).

I'd say it really depends on the kids and the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You know in all honesty, I am sure my kids are more than careful and will never disobey the rules when it comes to handling the pup. I would actually be more concerned as to whether or not the chis can be accustomed to children and be non-nippers...
My kids were great with the chi we had here for 2 weeks, gentle play, and holding her on the couch.
So for you with children, do your dogs like your kids, let then snuggle them, kiss them, and such?
 

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Fiona adores my kids!! the amount of times i find them snuggled up together! its adorable!
only pic i could find on the website already..


also you might want to read a post.. i think its called my dogs good deed for the day.. :)
 

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My Chihauhua has been pretty good around little ones. I do not have children of my own so she always gets a "break" but when we're around nieces/nephews and friend's newborns/toddlers she is great! Gentle, not nippy. It's almost like she knows that this is a precious little thing and not to hurt it!! Sometimes they tend to be a little too rough, though, so really push the whole "it's a baby like you!!!" thing. It really depends on the personality and if it raised around children though, I suppose.
 

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My girls LOOOOOOOVE kids!











They have been raised around my neighbor's 2 kids for the past year. They are now 2 and 5 1/2. I also did daycare the entire time I have had them for a sibling set of 2, 4, and 6 year olds. They loooooove kids! I think if you get a Chi as a puppy and raise them around kids, they'll be great with kids. I always watch the smaller ones with the Chis ALL the time. My 2 year old neighbor, when she was a lil younger, tried to pick Izzie up by the neck once, but we were right there. You just never know what can happen. I trust the older kids, 5+ with them no problem, they have always been AMAZING with them. My 2 year old neighbor likes to feed them, she'll pick up kibbles and the girls will eat them out of her hand.. :)
 

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I would say chi's are fine with SOME children. For me, it would be toddlers that would be the real danger. They have very little (sometimes no) impulse control. As anyone that has kids knows from witnessing their little temper tantrums and meltdowns. ;) It's not the toddlers fault, it's just the way kids are.

From a reputable breeders website ....

Children:
Children and Chihuahuas do not mix. This is not necessarily because the Chihuahua might be aggressive towards children, but because toddlers and small children can easily fall or drop a toy on a Chihuahua, or kick a Chi when suddenly racing across the room, or slamming a door on it. A Chihuahua can instinctively sense that a toddler or child is comparatively speaking, uncoordinated and "out of control" and can pose a danger. This is especially true as children are more uncoordinated and clumsy than adults. Chihuahuas are not only small, but the vast majority of Chihuahuas have a soft-spot on top of their head, making them more prone to injury. Even a child that means well and loves the little dog can accidentally hurt the tiny breed by hugging a Chihuahua too hard or dropping it. Also, children move quickly and impulsively, and can kick or step on a Chihuahua when they run across the room. An active family, however well-meaning, can be very hard on a Chi. The mother, who already has enough to do in the family, would have the worrisome task of "watching out for the Chihuahua" around the clock on a daily basis added to her responsibilities.
For families that wish to get a small dog, we would recommend either getting another small breed such as a Bichon Frise, a Pug or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that might be able to withstand children better, or at the very least, a larger sized Chihuahua that is a little more sturdy. These other delightful breeds are also loving and make great companions for the whole family. The bonus would be that daily life at home would be more relaxing while the children grow up.

Of course there are exceptions, but I will have to be with the camp that says little kids and chi's do NOT mix. Yes, you may have very gentle sweet kids who are TRAINED to handle the dog well, but what about when their friends come over? Will you be there at all times to supervise? Will the children be reliable to put the dog in a crate or safe place when friends are over? Every single time?

What about the temperament of many chi's ... while many of them are super loving and trustworthy to their families, many of them are stand offish with strangers. Especially children who dart around, and are loud and wild. What will you do when your chihuahua bites a neighbor or a friend's child? The dog is not to blame. If the dog is sat on, picked up by a stranger, or accidentally stepped on - it may whirl around and bite.

We have had numerous accidents and incidents involving kids and dogs here. One memorable one when a toddler picked up a chi, was told to put the dog down, and she (being a typical bratty kid) THREW the dog down out of her arms. He fell wrong and broke his leg. His broken leg did not heal. His leg ended up being amputated. It was a long and heartbreaking process for this owner and also for Willy. Read about it here ....

http://www.chihuahua-people.com/chi...after-surgery-*warning*-graphic-pictures.html

For me, the risks aren't worth it. I would want a bigger sturdier dog around small kids. But each person has to decide for themselves. Just be aware of the risks of children around small, fragile dogs.
 

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I think it depends. On the children and on the dog(s).

There are people that I respect on this board who breed and by contract will not sell a pup into a home with children under a certain age (I do not know that age). Yet there are others who I think of as respectfully who mix kids and Chis and it all works out.

I have no patience for undisciplined children nor undisciplined dogs.

I have 2 that LOVE LOVE kids and we no longer have any at home so it is not exposure, it is just their personality/disposition. We have one who is afraid of kids. Not a biter but a barker who scares kids back.

If it were me, I'd mix the two but as has been stated, respectfully and with education and not unsupervised for some time.

This is one of my "loves everyone" pups. She was 3 or 4 months old and my granddaughter was about 6 months old here. This was their first meeting (granddaughter is several states away). I was anxious. The pic sums it up:


The thing we had to watch is that Hope insisted on grooming the baby. She had the cleanest mouth, ears and nose when she visited!
 

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I absolutely agree with Tracy on the accidents with Chis and kids. I have not been here very long yet have read my share of posts where a child dropped or injured a puppy. The parent never seems to know how the child got the puppy or the puppy is injured yet none of the kids (who were alone unsupervised with the puppy) seems to know why the puppy is limping or crying.
Then the parent explains that with the cost of their children they cannot afford to take the injured puppy to be seen by a vet and asks if we know what could have happened or what could be wrong.
 

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I absolutely agree with Tracy on the accidents with Chis and kids. I have not been here very long yet have read my share of posts where a child dropped or injured a puppy. The parent never seems to know how the child got the puppy or the puppy is injured yet none of the kids (who were alone unsupervised with the puppy) seems to know why the puppy is limping or crying.
Then the parent explains that with the cost of their children they cannot afford to take the injured puppy to be seen by a vet and asks if we know what could have happened or what could be wrong.
I always think of Willy, when it comes to little kids and chi's but yes, there are numerous other examples. It wasn't too long ago that someone's child 'accidentally' knocked the chi off the deck. Yep, broken legs again. :(

I would say that if someone elects to purchase a chihuahua puppy that has kids that they have a credit card or a dedicated savings account set aside for emergencies. There's nothing worse than reading about someone whose dog was injured by a child and they don't have the money to take it to the vet.
 

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I thought I would add to my post... I take a lot of precautions as well. We have a rule at my house that kids are NEVER allowed to pick up the Chis. I think that is very important. They can sit down and call them over, but they can't force them on their lap. Toys also stay in the kids room only and it is baby gated off so the Chis are never in the kids room. As careful as we are, accidents have still happened though... so you really have to always pay attention.

I think with kids 5+ years you will be fine getting a Chi. But younger then that, I wouldn't recommend it. 2 and under especially and Chis do not mix. What Tracey said was true. They are uncoordinated and just can't help it. Not if you wanna be able to take a shower and make food and clean and whatever without crating or penning up your Chi. I have 2 Chis, obviously, and have no kids right now. But I am only 24 and will have children, and of course I'll still have my Chis. But if I had a baby before I got the girls, I wouldn't have went out and bought a Chi, I would have waited til they were 5+ or gotten a bigger breed.
 

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My niece has a 4 year old daughter (i'm a great aunty at 28 years old!) and desperately wanted a Chi but ended up going with a Chi x Jack Russel Terrier because she wasn't comfortable with having such a delicate dog around a small child. Even though little Taylah was already great with the cat and was very gentle with my Chi when we visited for a weekend when a kid is around a dog 24/7 they are going to play with it and accidents can happen. Their Chi x JRT Bentley is a gorgeous dog and still little but is twice the size of my Chi puppy who is a week older than him. They still have a little dog who is easy to care for and has the 'my people are the centre of my universe' personality of a Chi but in a package that is a bit sturdier for a 4 year old to handle.
 

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I don't have any children living in my home, but my two Chis are great with my 6 month old grandson. They are both relatively young, though. Diesel is 7 months and Gracie is almost 2 years. They love him to pieces, and believe that his little lap is a perfect snuggle spot...Unfortunately, they believe they both fit into his lap at once.

I'm always on top of it, though, and we're teaching him early to be gentle with animals, as the whole family are animal lovers, and he's going to be around them his entire life. (My daughter thought a dog was called an "easy" until she was 3!)

That being said, I've raised Golden retrievers and turned potential buyers away who came in with children who obviously did not know how to treat animals. You know your kids!

And, there are LOTS of Chi mixes out there that need adopting. I'm always for a rescue, and you might find a mix that isn't quite so delicate!
 

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I have a 6 year old ~ from birth she has known to love and care for animals just as my 20 somethings were taught/shown.

When we brought the pup home we all followed the "rules" because it didn't matter the ages of those who wanted to know/love/ have fun with the pup, her needs, safety & security came first.
1. We didn't pick her up and tote her around as she had twice as many legs as we did she was twice as capable of walking as we were.
2. She wasn't to be put on furniture (bed, couches, chairs). She needed to remain at her level to learn her surroundings and get her bearings in her new place.
3.Everyone slid their feet until knowing where she was at at all times became a habit / automatic impulse. It takes time to adjust to knowing you have a pup in the house ~ regardless the size. A little bell on her collar (a breakaway cat collar was the only thing we could find that fit) helped us hear where she was at at all times. And she never had free run. She still doesn't as she is 95% house-trained but she isn't 100% so she hasn't earned it yet.
4. Anyone who wanted to play with her / love / cuddle had to do so on the floor. I made one exception for my 95 year old Grandmother who obviously couldn't get down on the floor but for everyone else they got down and played at her level and learned to see things how she sees them.
5. No flopping or sitting without checking to see who had her / where she was at. It really doesn't matter the breed if an adult/ larger child flops down on a pup it's going to more times than not end in a serious injury or fatality.
6. No shutting/ slamming / opening any door in haste ~ they are dangerous. The doors we use have a set of sleigh bells on them so the animals learn to move away when they hear them. We have a "stop" on the main door we all use so the critters can't get smashed when they are opened quickly and the wind catches them.

We all followed these rules until it became habit and natural for us to know we had her in our home and we needed to be aware at all times.

To be honest ~ everyone got sick of hearing me say Watch the Pup, Watch the Pup, it was my mantra. I am the only one out of the family who ever made her cry ~ I caught her with my slipper. Out of everyone from age 1 to 95 and me being most aware of her and how delicate she is, reminding everyone to be careful I caused her to whimper.

Anyone can have an accident with a dog. That's why they are called an accident ~ they aren't defined by age as they are totally unforeseen or unplanned. A child should not be left alone with any new animal brought into the home ~ if it's a St. Bernard a child should always be supervised. And they should be taught to be extra super careful, but even if you put that same child with a goat ~ it should be taught the same thing.

For some homes, it probably isn't advisable that child and chi live together, but in that same home if child and chi can't be together in all honesty child and Great Dane shouldn't be together either. I don't think it should ever be looked at as a small animal can't be in the home but it would be acceptable for a sturdier breed to be there. A puppy is a puppy Chi, Yorki, Pug, Lab, St. Bernard, Great Dane. They are babies and there isn't one of them that it should be termed "safe" to be with a child who isn't taught something that is equally as important as oral hygiene, manners, Stranger Danger, etc.
 

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i think it can work with older dog savvy kids.
Just to say that my most child friendly Chihuahua also has a quirk of looking like he is going to bite faces!! If you put your face down he will bite at your nose, however if you dont move your head all that happens is that he gently puts his mouth around your nose then licks your face!:rolleyes:
I wouldnt trust him around kids though coz he has no sense of self preservation. He will go up to any child no matter how loud or bouncy for a cuddle. Ive actually seen him yelp when he was squeezed too hard by a strange kid and still go back for more!
 
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