What kind of dog is Josie?
Josie is a long-haired Chihuahua. There are only two official designations for Chihuahaus – long and short-haired.
Where did you get her?
Is she a teacup?
“Teacup” is a marketing term, with no official meaning. At 3.5 pounds, Josie is on the small size, but I know of two-pound Chihuahuas, and the maximum size to show them in the ring is six pounds.
Does she shed much?
Yes. Yes, she does.
Why doesn’t she shake like other Chihuahuas?
She does occasionally shake, either from cold or excitement. Because we take her out so much and introduce her to so many new things, it takes a lot to make her shake from excitement, and her long coat keeps her warm.
Why isn’t she mean like other Chihuahuas?
I know a ton of Chihuahuas, and not one of them is snappish or mean. Chihuahuas can become snappy when their owner doesn’t scold them for posessiveness (“Aw, isn’t that cute? She’s trying to protect me!”) or because they’ve had bad experiences (often with children), or because they’re kept in the house all the time and become neurotic. Assuming a Chihuahua has good genetics and hasn’t been abused, there should be no tendency toward bad temper. Treat your Chihuahua like a dog, walk it regularly, protect it from little grabby hands, and you’ll have a friendly, well-adjusted dog.
Why is your dog screaming at that other dog?
Josie has mostly grown out of this, but the fact is, most Chihuahuas don’t care for other dogs, especially big ones that get in their face. On the one hand, Chihuahuas are a little territorial, and on the other, they know they’re small. When Josie used to freak out, I always imagined her simultaneously thinking, “My space, get out! Oh, God, I’m going to die!” If you want a dog that gets along fantastically well with all other dogs, get a Golden Retriever. Goldens are Josie’s favorite breed, because they cruise by like beautiful barges, ignoring her completely. She hates Boston Terriers, because they get right in her face and keep advancing. I think either they don’t see well, or they’re just extra curious. On the plus side, Chihuahuas are known for getting on well with cats.
Do you ever carry her in a purse?
We mostly keep Josie on her leash, but I do have a dog sling I occasionally use. People have a perception that Chihuahua owners carry their dogs in a purse because they think of them as an accessory, but the first time your Chihuahua is attacked by a larger dog or stepped on in a crowd, you’ll run out and buy something that gives you the option to get her off the ground. It’s a safety thing.
Do you ever dress her up?
On rare occasions, I put a sweater on her when it’s very cold and we’re going somewhere in the car. She can’t run around to keep warm in that scenario. But on walks, she’s fine down to 32 degrees F. That long coat is great for Colorado winter temperatures, and it doesn’t bother her in the summer. Chihuahuas are very heat tolerant. They seek out sunny spots like a cat.