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Hello everyone!
So I've had some dogs before, big ones and smaller ones, but I didn't treat any of them like I treat my little chihuahua.
Since I'm not the only one, (I saw pictures here of dogs in the cutest dresses and with their own kingsize bed) I was wondering how come we sometimes think our canines are little baby's.

In my opinion, it's because my chi is really feeling the same way. When there's snow outside and he's shaking, why not put him in my coat where he falls asleep and doesn't want to come out? When it started to get cold outside, my vet told me to get him a coat, why not choose a cute one?

So my question for you, is your chihuahua a dog or a baby?:D
 

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Complicated question!

Calista is my baby in some ways... I honestly feel about her as I would feel about a baby (maybe because I don't have one) and I love to baby her with cuddles, clothes etc.

However... I also let her be a dog. She likes to run around outside off the leash, get muddy, chew sticks and rough play with other dogs.

I want her to have the chance to be what she is, I know there is a danger of me treating her like a baby substitute. I think she gets the best of both worlds this way! :D
 

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Baby, but I don't have human children.
Cosmo had a lot of personality, so he was happy in any situation. Bianca is extremely skiddish and if she gets scared or thinks she's hurt she'll hide for most the day. But Ripley is my first big dog with big dog energy. The first year or so my husband referred to me as her wet nurse. She takes so much time and has never given the signals for potty like the other two.
 

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Lilo is a dog, not a baby.

She does have some clothes that she wears when it gets really cold out and a few for cuteness but I'm under no illusions that she is my baby. She is treated the same as my bigger dogs. She is expected to be obedient, sit when told, down when told, walk nicely on a leash like a big dog, doesn't ride in a bag, does agility like the big dogs and shows successfully. She goes to the park and plays off leash with the pack happily. She swims in the lake in the summer and romps in the snow in the winter. 6 mile off leash hikes are no problem for her. She is crate trained and fully house trained, potties outside at all times, and can hold it for 8 hours while I'm at school with no problem. She loves everyone, never barks or growls at anyone while walking or coming in the house.

I think it's because she is treated like a dog first that makes her such a pleasant little girl to be around. She knows her place in life and in my house (bottom of the pack order below all the border collies since she was the last one added to the house) and never questions it. Our house runs constantly under Nothing in Life is Free and everyone knows where they stand. I really think it is healthiest for these little guys to know they are dogs and not to be baby substitutes for us. This is just my opinion, and is not intended to start a huge argument, I know everyone has different thoughts and opinions.
 

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I agree with omguthrie.

Brody is a dog. A very cute and adorable dog, but a dog he is. Not a baby. Not a baby substitute. He is not a person, he is an animal.

I wouldn't trade him for the world. I love him more than words. I hold him upside down and whisper sweet things in his ear and kiss his little cheek. But he is not a child. He is a dog. :)
 

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I did want to add that I do love my dogs more than is good for me. I kiss the spots between their ears, they all sit in my lap and I tell them what wonderful dogs they are and how my heart wouldn't be complete without them. They are my life. I do not have children and am not married, they are my family.

I had to throw this in lest anyone think I don't love my Lilo because I think of her like a dog, not a baby.
 

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omguthrie, You said it better than I could.
While I do treat Calista as 'my baby' she is very much a dog.
The biggest compliment I get is when people come over and say how she is not like other pampered chi's they have met!

She gets walked every day once if not twice... proper walks, not strolls.
She eats like a dog
She does obedience training and knows lots of commands.
Treats don't come free!!!

I am not afraid to let her play with other dogs etc.

when I say 'baby substitute' I was saying that I am aware in my make-up there is a tendency I could treat her that way, because I can't have kids etc. So, that is something I guard against!! I don't want to be that way with her.

Lilo is a dog, not a baby.

She does have some clothes that she wears when it gets really cold out and a few for cuteness but I'm under no illusions that she is my baby. She is treated the same as my bigger dogs. She is expected to be obedient, sit when told, down when told, walk nicely on a leash like a big dog, doesn't ride in a bag, does agility like the big dogs and shows successfully. She goes to the park and plays off leash with the pack happily. She swims in the lake in the summer and romps in the snow in the winter. 6 mile off leash hikes are no problem for her. She is crate trained and fully house trained, potties outside at all times, and can hold it for 8 hours while I'm at school with no problem. She loves everyone, never barks or growls at anyone while walking or coming in the house.

I think it's because she is treated like a dog first that makes her such a pleasant little girl to be around. She knows her place in life and in my house (bottom of the pack order below all the border collies since she was the last one added to the house) and never questions it. Our house runs constantly under Nothing in Life is Free and everyone knows where they stand. I really think it is healthiest for these little guys to know they are dogs and not to be baby substitutes for us. This is just my opinion, and is not intended to start a huge argument, I know everyone has different thoughts and opinions.
 

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My Chi gets treated exactly the same as my wild African dogs.
No she's not an untrainable hunter, but I find it essential that
she gets the same treatment. All three of them get hours of
walks, tons of playtime, exercise, running, training, etc.
All three are disciplined and trained the same way, with
positive reinforcement. Around our home the rules apply
to all three equally. All three eat raw, all three get to
socialize and explore, they get to wrestle and play rough,
but when mama says stop it all stops. Yes my Chi wears
clothing, and so do my bigger boys, in order to protect
them from the brutal Canadian winters. And yes I prefer
to buy cute coats and sweaters, as long as they protect
against the elements. My dogs are dogs, but they are also
my friends, and at times I call them my fur kids, because they
are treated in a similar way. Meaning they get the best nutrition,
best vet care, tons of stimulation, education, structure, exercise,
love, affection, etc. I give it my all in order to have well mannered,
good dogs. They are not just animals, they are a part of our family.
 

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Spacely is a dog, not a baby. When we go out, he walks on a leash, he is not carried. He has to sit and wait until I release him before he can approach his food dish. He waits until I go in/out the door before he does. I am not going to put him a stroller to take him for a walk or put him in a purse. He is not allowed to sit at the dining room door when we eat...he has to be in his bed.

While he does have a sweater to wear when it is cold out, he does not routinely wear it in the house. He sleeps in a crate at night (although he certainly loves to nap on the bed). Basically, we are teaching him the same things we taught Tinsel as a puppy.

When my kids try to baby him, my line is always "He is a dog, let him be a dog! " I think because he is treated like a dog, he is not the sterotypical yappy, annoying little dog.

Now, that does not prevent me from cuddling him, giving him kisses or telling him what a handsome boy he is. I do the same thing with the 43 lb dog though....yes, she crawls into my lap to be cuddled on.

Neither Tinsel or Spacely is the boss in the house, they are not even #2...they are the bottom 2 in the family.

He seems to be a very happy little guy with his position in the family.
 

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She's our "baby", but we love Odie because she's a dog.

In my past experience as a wildlife educator, anthropomorphism was a big problem with guests. I think it's just people's natural instinct to want to treat an animal like a human, which totally makes sense. Obviously you treat a wolf different than a chihuahua, but still. We talk to Odie all the time, and the only benefit is to us. Haha.
 

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Lilo is a dog, not a baby.

She does have some clothes that she wears when it gets really cold out and a few for cuteness but I'm under no illusions that she is my baby. She is treated the same as my bigger dogs. She is expected to be obedient, sit when told, down when told, walk nicely on a leash like a big dog, doesn't ride in a bag, does agility like the big dogs and shows successfully. She goes to the park and plays off leash with the pack happily. She swims in the lake in the summer and romps in the snow in the winter. 6 mile off leash hikes are no problem for her. She is crate trained and fully house trained, potties outside at all times, and can hold it for 8 hours while I'm at school with no problem. She loves everyone, never barks or growls at anyone while walking or coming in the house.

I think it's because she is treated like a dog first that makes her such a pleasant little girl to be around. She knows her place in life and in my house (bottom of the pack order below all the border collies since she was the last one added to the house) and never questions it. Our house runs constantly under Nothing in Life is Free and everyone knows where they stand. I really think it is healthiest for these little guys to know they are dogs and not to be baby substitutes for us. This is just my opinion, and is not intended to start a huge argument, I know everyone has different thoughts and opinions.
Venus is treated like this, but she is also a "baby" or a "puppy" in our minds. She does get dressed up and carried around, but she can't do things that are not acceptable for the big dogs that we used to have such as barking her head off at inappropriate times and jumping up on people.
 

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Okay...I call them babies...The first thing I say when I walk in the door is "How are momma's babies???"

I love them dearly, but realistically speaking there is no comparison between the way I feel about my human children and the way I feel about my furry babies.

But, my human children are grown - they will ALWAYS be my babies, and I'm old and senile, so I'm allowed to call my dogs 'babies' if I want to! :D
 

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Okay...I call them babies...The first thing I say when I walk in the door is "How are momma's babies???"

I love them dearly, but realistically speaking there is no comparison between the way I feel about my human children and the way I feel about my furry babies.

But, my human children are grown - they will ALWAYS be my babies, and I'm old and senile, so I'm allowed to call my dogs 'babies' if I want to! :D

Haha, Kim you're adorable! :) Made me laugh.
 

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Cricket is my "baby". Frisco was too. And so is Oreo. I kiss and love on them as if they were babies. If Oreo were smaller, I'd let him crawl in my lap, but that goes the same with my son also. Cricket does get carried around, but that's mostly because we don't have a harness for her yet. She does get playtime and exercise. But I can't have anymore children, so yes and I know I shouldn't but I do treat them all as if they were my children. I train Oreo myself, just as my husband trained Frisco. Cricket isn't allowed in my lap at dinner time, but she does sit on her blanket next to us. She isn't allowed to beg, but I usually feed them at the same time as we eat so they don't need to beg anyway. Both her and Oreo are my babies, but they know they are dogs too.
 

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While I know my dogs are dogs, I still refer to them as my kids. The little one does go in my purse sometimes so I can take her in places where she really shouldn't go. Both my dogs do wear clothes and most of those clothes are more for my benefit than theirs. Like children, they are happiest with consistent rules and routines so I give them those. I know they are dogs and I encourage them to act like dogs but yeah they are kid substitutes for me. It gives me great pleasure to spoil them.
 

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Oh, they are definitely my dogs. The two with the blue gene and basically no hair wear jackets all day and so does my old man with the bad arthritis. If they don't get their jackets on, they sit and shiver and look miserable. Only ones that get carried is the new baby because she needs one more set of puppy shots and Twiggy, who is disabled. All others are expected to walk. They are in the dog room when we eat. And if I eat in the dog room they are not allowed to beg. I'm still trying to teach Pepper that one though. lol
 

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I was just thinking, does anyone really put their dog in the carrier and keep
him/her in there the entire time of a walk or trip??? I am a strong believer that
exercise is a key to a well mannered, happy dog. Therefore my dogs are walked
for 6-8 hours per day, on leash walking, hiking, running, playing in the dog park,
etc. I have a few carriers, but they all serve one purpose, which is to travel by
taxi, bus or metro. Because in these three places dogs aren't allowed unless in a
carrier. Simple as that. That's why I don't see anything wrong with carriers. I
mean does anyone really pull a "Paris Hilton" and use their dog as a purse
accessory? :confused:
 

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We don't use a carrier. I don't like crating Cricket. Even if we have to leave her at home we put her in the bathroom because its secure, and if she has an accident its easier to clean. She always has water and her blanket and toy, so she won't feel so lonely. I don't think we would get one unless we had to fly somewhere.
 
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