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Why Are There So Many Chihuahuas in Shelters?

Have you happened to walk through an animal shelter?

If you have, you probably agree that Chihuahuas are the most common dog breeds ending up in shelters.

But why are there so many Chihuahuas in shelters?

Perhaps, it has something to do with this breed’s rise in popularity due to Hollywood’s depiction of the breed.

Often, Chihuahuas are presented more as accessories rather than as dogs on tv and in movies.

Why Are There So Many Chihuahuas in Shelters

Understanding the reasons why there are so many Chihuahuas in shelters is essential in making positive change.

So why are so many Chihuahuas up for adoption?

Aggression Towards Other Animals and People

Chihuahuas are beautiful and lovely dogs.

However, pet owners who understand this breed know that they can be a handful.

They are not ideal for first-timers.

Chihuahuas tend to become feisty and stubborn.

These traits are one of the answers to why there are so many Chihuahuas in shelters.

These dogs can become the complete opposite of the gentle companion that is well behaved when in a bag all day.

Surprisingly, Chihuahuas can bite and love a good chew.

They can be destructive and can quickly turn into a nightmare, especially when not appropriately trained.

Potty Training

Many pet owners struggle with potty training for their small breed dogs.

And the Chihuahua is no exception.

These puppies can only hold their bladder for about 10 minutes.

That’s why a lot of owners find it challenging to potty train them.

Since Chihuahuas can be pretty stubborn, they can decide to do their business wherever they feel like it.

Experienced owners know that a litter box or paper training can help deal with this issue.

However, for inexperienced pet owners, surrendering their dog quickly becomes a viable option.

Fashion Mindset

Chihuahuas gained popularity with regular exposure from celebrities who treated them as accessories for their expensive designer bags.

But unlike these bags, Chihuahuas can live for 20 years.

Once the novelty has worn off, they become a burden to inexperienced pet owners who continue to treat them only as accessories.


When Chihuahuas gained popularity, they were seen by some as money makers, making them the target of puppy farms and hobby breeders.

Unlike responsible breeders, no screening process takes place to assess the buyer’s capabilities to take care of the dog.

As a result, the lucky ones end up in shelters, while the unlucky ones get dumped on the street.

Public Misconceptions

Another answer to why there are so many Chihuahuas in shelters is public misconceptions that have haunted this small breed dog for a very long time.

Chihuahuas can be aggressive, and inexperienced owners might get shocked when their Chihuahua bites.

Typically, a bite like this, which many owners find unpredictable, results in Chihuahuas being dumped onto shelters.

Moreover, it is entirely natural for this dog to shiver a lot because it’s their natural response to being happy, excited, cold, or scared.

It is a common characteristic of this breed and not a sign of any health problem.

People can be put off by this behavior, which sometimes leads to rehoming this dog.

What Can You Do to Help Chihuahuas in Shelters?

This breed is not for everyone, especially for the inexperienced, because they are often misunderstood.

This type of dog needs an owner who understands its characteristics and is patient enough to adjust to its high-spirited personalities.

If you plan to adopt a Chihuahua, do your research first.

Make sure that this dog breed fits your lifestyle.

If you take the time and effort to research this breed and training tips before getting one, the reward can be a lifetime of enjoying the best canine companion and unconditional love you could ever ask for.

With some understanding and effort, you can help stop people asking, ‘why are there so many Chihuahuas in shelters’ and enjoy your lifelong companion at home.


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2 thoughts on “Why Are There So Many Chihuahuas in Shelters?”

  1. I have a chihuaha male about 9 years old. He is clean, does his business in the same place, is loyal, does not bite, loves to get under blankets and pillows and and at nighttime is the first to run into the bedroom to hop into bed. Its not the dogs that are neurotic, its the owners. Mankind is the worse creature ever that has evolved on earth.

  2. So happy that you are enjoying your Chihuahua….I am still mourning my most recent loss and while I am an old man, am not at all embarrassed to admit my love for my Teddy2…yes two, same name over time.
    I believe having owned three of the Darlings that it is the owners who ruin them in a whole lot of different ways.
    The Dogs are Precious and truly Sweethearts.
    I hope I live to won another one…we’ll see. Merry Christmas


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National Canine Research Association of America