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Discussion Starter #1
And which breed would you say is more cuddly and friendly/less active? I would be interested in hearing from people who own both. Thanks :)
 

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I own both, and I love both. I know what is said about both breeds--personality-wise, and generally speaking it may be fairly accurate, but from my personal experience they are very alike. Let me just share a few personal examples. I almost don't have Lulu because we had a Maltese, Lacy, when we got Lulu. When I took Lulu to the vet for her health guarantee check-up, that vet asked me was I aware that I had gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. I asked what she meant. She said did I realize I was bringing the worst-tempered dog into the household with the mildest-tempered dog. She told me she supposed it was possible but would require endless training and endless socialization on my part. I had already read that Chihuahuas were clannish, yappers, territorial--all not favorable reviews of the breed. I told my husband Lulu loved Lacy now at 9 weeks old, but what if she turned on her at 6 months old? I couldn't take a chance, and we gave her back. Long story short, we couldn't live without her, and decided whatever it took we would make it work. Lulu loved Lacy until Lacy died, and she mourned Lacy so much her personality changed, BUT until the day Lacy died, Lulu could NEVER touch her if she was just lay down without a growl. When we lost Lacy we got Gidget, another Maltese. It took Lulu a month or so to get used to Gidget, but she loves and protects her now. Also, Lulu has always let Gidget lay all over her without a sound. Gidget is a TERRIBLE resource guarder. It doesn't matter if it's food, toys, or antlers. Lulu will back up and let Gidget have her food. Lulu by herself barely barks if someone knocks or comes in the door, but Gidget barks a lot and loud and Lulu will bark more with Gidget around. They are both equally cuddly and adoring of us, but I think Lulu sits in our lap longer/more at night. Gidget will get down and get in her bed sometimes. I said all this to say--do NOT let a vet give Chihuahua a "bad wrap," and don't believe everything you read on the internet concerning the breed. I love them both, and if you are up for the grooming the Maltese require, I would suggest one of each.
 

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I would also say the major difference in those particular breeds is the amount of grooming required. Chis (even the long coats) are a low maintenance breed, Maltese are the opposite, and will require a lot of work and the services of a professional groomer.
You also ask which is the least active, the answer is neither, both are lively, intelligent breeds who need physical and mental stimulation. If you want a low-energy breed, you would be better looking at much larger breeds of dog, they tend to be a lot lazier. Small breeds like Chis and Maltese are easy to exercise though, if you have a reasonably sized garden (or a big house even) you can wear them out with a game of fetch. They don't need hours of walking like a lot of breeds.
 

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We had a few dogs while growing up, including a maltese. I'd say they are similar breeds, but personally I prefer chihuahuas. I find them quirkier, funnier and I prefer the look of chis. Not to mention they require less grooming.

Every dog is different though so I can't really pin point one breed as more or less active/cuddly/friendly. In my experience they are both small dogs who will love to spend a lot of time cuddling and require a similar amount of exercise. My current chi Lilo is so lazy and never wants to go for walks whereas my previous chi Coco was the opposite. Our maltese was somewhere in the middle. They are similar so at the end of the day don't worry too much... if you've wanted a chihuahua for a long time (I think I recall you saying that in another thread) I'd say go for it! :)
 

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Can only say from a Chihuahua perspective...mine love to walk and I walk them everyday, but they are ok on days when thats not possible and are happy in and out the garden some are more active than others, the younger ones tend to be on the go constantly and my older ones are happy to sit about more but do still enjoy playing they all love a cuddle I do find most of my girls go more to my husband and the boys me ... I don't think I could manage the grooming required with a Maltese but I have no personal experience of them
 

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I am looking forward to Mona Lisa's mom opinion since she has 3 very adorable malteses.
Every maltese I have ever met I have loved, I think they are great and very well behaved, but that's just my experience.
 

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I can't help it, but Chihuahua is the only small doggi i like hihi...for myself that is. I think others furbabies are adorable :) other breeds I love are pitbull, staffordshire terrier :)

Good luck with your choice :)
 

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Thanks to everyone who replied. I may have given the wrong impression, asking which was the least active breed. I do know that chihuahuas are full of energy and need exercise having read just about every book I can find on them and that is what I am looking for in a dog - I don't want a cuddly toy. This is also why I have been in love with the chihuahua breed for years and years. However I would also like my dog to enjoy my company and was somewhat taken aback when a so called "friend" greeted the news of my upcoming chi puppy with "Oh, they're horrible mad things which bite" and proceeded to exhault the pros of a maltese. I now see that temperament is individual to a dog, not necessarily a breed. All the chihuahuas I have met have been gorgeous and very well behaved so I shouldn't let one ignorant person's remark stop me from following my heart. I'm sure there are some wonderful maltese out there but I honestly couldn't get excited about them in the same way that I could a chihuahua. Also, my neighbour owned the most adorable jack russel who never bit a soul and from my research, they don't have a particularly good reputation at all! So breed stereotypes are probably just rubbish at the end of the day and only useful to a certain extent. Nothing will stop me from getting my chi pup :-D
 

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was somewhat taken aback when a so called "friend" greeted the news of my upcoming chi puppy with "Oh, they're horrible mad things which bite" and proceeded to exhault the pros of a maltese.
Unfortunately it's a common misconception about chihuahuas, but it couldn't be further from truth, so long as they are well socialised/trained. :) This applies to all dogs whatever the breed, it's just that too many people don't train chihuahuas properly because of their small size and it gives the breed a bad reputation. The maltese we had when I was a kid was kind of horrible. lol She only liked my stepmum, was possessive, barked and growled at everyone else. She pretty much hated me. haha She fit the awful description people sometimes give chihuahuas, but that's not a reflection of the breed, just of the way my stepmum didn't train her properly. It sounds like you're aware of all this and would make a good dog owner so I'm sure your future chi (if you decide to go for one) will turn out just great. :)
 

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Chihuahuas need a lot of socialisation as puppies. If you choose a puppy from a really good breeder then a lot of the work will have been done for you. You need to introduce the pup to as many sights, sounds and smells as possible, and make sure these are positive experiences. It is easy to be intimidated by new experiences when you are less than 6 inches tall!
Also remember to treat a toy breed the same as any other dog; it isn't a fluffy toy. If you wouldn't let a large breed puppy do something, the same rules should apply to your Chi.
 

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Unfortunately it's a common misconception about chihuahuas, but it couldn't be further from truth, so long as they are well socialised/trained. :) This applies to all dogs whatever the breed, it's just that too many people don't train chihuahuas properly because of their small size and it gives the breed a bad reputation. The maltese we had when I was a kid was kind of horrible. lol She only liked my stepmum, was possessive, barked and growled at everyone else. She pretty much hated me. haha She fit the awful description people sometimes give chihuahuas, but that's not a reflection of the breed, just of the way my stepmum didn't train her properly. It sounds like you're aware of all this and would make a good dog owner so I'm sure your future chi (if you decide to go for one) will turn out just great. :)
Thanks for the heads up! People can be really judgemental and aggression should not be an in-born trait of any dog breed (if they are from a reputable breeder/background) so I hate it when assumptions are made that just because one dog behaves a certain way, they all will. I mean, you could say that if one dog bites then they all will, regardless of breed, but people know that is a stupid thing to say. And generalising about breeds is no different! The more I think about it, the more unkind it was of said "friend" to say those things when she knew how excited I was. Maybe I should have a "love me, love my dog" policy :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Chihuahuas need a lot of socialisation as puppies. If you choose a puppy from a really good breeder then a lot of the work will have been done for you. You need to introduce the pup to as many sights, sounds and smells as possible, and make sure these are positive experiences. It is easy to be intimidated by new experiences when you are less than 6 inches tall!
Also remember to treat a toy breed the same as any other dog; it isn't a fluffy toy. If you wouldn't let a large breed puppy do something, the same rules should apply to your Chi.
Yes, they are definitely proper dogs with fiesty personalities (just in a smaller package lol) and I have had experience with (though admittedly I haven't owned) larger dogs before so I do know what steps to take in training and socialisation. I currently have 7 books on chihuahuas, dogs in general and puppies which I have read multiple times from cover to cover. Even the lists of all the diseases! I know I'm nowhere near qualified as an expert yet and reading is no replacement for actual experience but I hope you guys can help me there and if there are any other books you have found useful I would love to hear about them. I am well aware that this is a living breathing animal which requires boundaries, structure, proper care and affection in the correct balance and I want to be prepared for taking on the responsibility.
 

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As others have said I don't think that it is really chis that are predisposed to being aggressive- it is that people are predisposed to raising little dogs poorly! Not to say that some dogs wont be shyer than others or more clingy- there are personality differences- but generally you can raise a chi to be a well behaved dog. I got my Kerrigan at 12 weeks from the pound, and we went to puppy class, enforced rules just like a bigger dog, did plenty of training and now she is a therapy dog and loves people. She also hikes and goes on vacation with us and is just a joy to live with. You will see nearly every chi on this forum is happy and behaved like Kerri is- so we all can't have anomalies right?

Also cause you asked about books, I think the best book out there that every dog owner should read is called "For The Love of a Dog" by Patricia McConnell ( For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend: Patricia McConnell: 9780345477156: Amazon.com: Books) , she is an amazing behaviorist and while the book is a little dry and sciencey it really talks a lot about dog emotions vs human ones, how dogs bond with each other and people, it is just an amazing book. Not as much a training book but more about how dogs (and peoples) brains work. Great useful stuff. Her other book that is mostly on dog body language is also amazing, it is called "The Other End of the Leash." (
) If you are one to read books, read both of them!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you doginthedesert, your Kerrigan sounds like a joy and I agree that everyone else's chis here are wonderfully behaved too. It was silly of me to worry about the stereotypes other people impose on chis such as them being snappy because this actually appears to be the exception rather than the rule. Thank you so much for the book reccommendations also - I will be ordering them from Amazon pronto ;-)
 

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Growing up I had several "bad Chihuahua" experiences and developed a very negative view of them. Then I met an adorable dog and couldn't believe when owner told me she was a chi. He politely informed me (and spot on, the truth) that this was what a well bred, well socialized chi was like. Well, 6 months later my hubby happened onto a chi for sale. He's now ours and just a sweet as the one we met. (They have now met and play together hehe). I really believe it's all about socialization with chis. If they are treated badly, they become reactive. If well treated they are sweet little lovers. BTW, we didn't even know what his bark sounded like 'till someone tried to break in our house. (He scared them away!) He makes friends very easily and has a fan club. Don't know anything about Maltese, but just like men, you have to judge each individual.
 

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Growing up I had several "bad Chihuahua" experiences and developed a very negative view of them. Then I met an adorable dog and couldn't believe when owner told me she was a chi. He politely informed me (and spot on, the truth) that this was what a well bred, well socialized chi was like. Well, 6 months later my hubby happened onto a chi for sale. He's now ours and just a sweet as the one we met. (They have now met and play together hehe). I really believe it's all about socialization with chis. If they are treated badly, they become reactive. If well treated they are sweet little lovers. BTW, we didn't even know what his bark sounded like 'till someone tried to break in our house. (He scared them away!) He makes friends very easily and has a fan club. Don't know anything about Maltese, but just like men, you have to judge each individual.
I'm the opposite, I've only met lovely chihuahuas but I am constantly hearing horrible stories about ones who were out of control. Maybe the people where I love just don't like chihuahuas but hopefully my chi will change that :-D
 
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