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Chihuahuas in the limelight

If you’re a Chihuahua these days, you take the good with the bad. They’re the topic of a soon-to-be-released major movie, devoted to their churlish, tenacious and persnickety ways. But they’ve also taken some raps in recent studies.

First came this one — designating Chihuahua’s second only to dachsunds on a list of the most aggressive dog breeds. The study rated the aggression level of 33 breeds and concluded smaller breeds might be more genetically predisposed towards aggressive behavior.

Now, a study by Esure, a British pet insurer, has ranked them second again — this time to Great Danes — in terms of destructiveness.

According to the survey, Chihuahuas destroy $1,376 dollars worth of stuff during their lifetimes, compared to $1,420 dollars for Great Danes.

Bulldogs, dachshunds and beagles also made the top 10, with pugs, saint bernards and pointers among the least ruinous, according to an article about the study.

The survey of more than 3,000 UK dog owners found the items most often damaged were soft furnishings and electrical goods – used as makeshift chew toys – and vases and lights, knocked over by wagging tails.

Most of the damage was done during puppyhood, according to the study, which concluded a dog’s size had little bearing on its wrecking ability.

So, take note — and take a pointer, Weimaraner, or Rottweiler – all you apartment owners, hotels managers and others who set an arbitrary weight limit on the dogs you allow. Size, at least in this particular area, doesn’t matter.

And take note, too, all those who might fall into the trap of rashly getting a Chihuahua when the movie propels the breed into even more of a fad. Make sure you’re willing to invest the time. And money. Chihuahua’s are also atop another list, as the most expensive breed of dog to maintain.

Comments

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time September 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I know we almost never talk about Cesar Millan, but he makes a couple of interesting points about Chihuahuas. I think that, because he’s from Mexico, he has a bit of a soft spot for the little guys. Regardless of how tiny they are, they’re still dogs. They need the same combination of discipline, a firm hand, and love–or he would say, exercise, discipline, and affection–as any other dog of any size. And they can’t be allowed to get away with undesirable behavior just because they’re so tiny. It stops being cute pretty quickly.

He has also mentioned at some point that nobody quite knows how they got to Mexico and that genetically they have quite a bit in common with dogs found in China. That’s pretty interesting. Did they wander over on a land bridge with humans, or are they the relics of visiting ships? Either way, they have a long association with humanity in this hemisphere.

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