Chihuahuas are wonderfully spirited little dogs full of love and energy! Anyone who knows them can tell you how lively their personalities are. I have 5 chihuahuas, 3 of which are puppies. Susu, Ginger, Cori, Fen, & Cinna. I'll be sharing my thoughts here on everything from health issues, to food, to fashion and fun for the small dog.

I hope you enjoy the blog, leave me a comment and follow along!!

-- Michelle K.

While the main dog here is the Chihuahua, I believe the information here is valuable and entertaining to any small dog owner.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Does Your Dog Have ESP?? Mine might!

I was sitting in Barnes and Nobles checking out some dog books when this one caught my eye.

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals

Well if that title doesn't get you thinking I don't know what would.   I was pretty intrigued.  It's a great little interesting read all about animals and dogs that know when people are sick or when their owners start heading home for the day.  Even dogs that knew when their owners died in wars hundreds of miles away.  

But that is only half the story.  You see I have a little boy Chihuahua.. my Susu who always knows when we are going to be sick. He velcros himself to the soon to be deathly ill person about 24 hours before the current plague hits.  A clingy Susu often means it's time to get some extra vitamin C and clear your schedule for the week because you are going down.  

However, he cannot fathom what on Earth I could possibly be yapping on about whenever I say something simple like... oh, I don't know SIT.... !  Always thought that one was supposed to be easy but not so much around here.   The boys are so opposed to sitting that I'm starting to think the cold floor is just not getting along with their hoolahs.. so they are just like.. 'uh.. nope.. not gonna do it.'  

But while I was reading about dogs that knew when their owners were coming home.. dogs that can predict seizures.. and all the other amazing things that dogs can do I had that grand 'light bulb' moment of all moments!! 

What if I close my eyes really really tight and focus all of my mental ESP energy on Susu sitting.  Would he then suddenly be like 'Oh so THAT'S what all the fuss was about' and just sit??  It's a long-shot but if it worked, this would revolutionize my life with dogs..  

It would be like using The Force on the Chihuahuas.. How awesome would dog training be then.

Anywho, I'm gonna go try to 'use my mind' to get my dogs to do stuff and I'll get back with you in a few days on this.. I'd love for you to try it too and let me know if it works.  Afterall, this Jedi Mindtrick stuff is only gonna be as good as the mind doing it and well.. I'm currently going to try using my nonexistent Jedi powers to get my dogs to sit so what does that tell you??   

Have a great day everyone and Go Have Some Fun!!  It's SATURDAY!!  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Mischief: There's a Sandwich in the Crate.

Okay, we are currently out of town (big high five to hubby for making the internet happen).  So we get all packed up and have this awesome idea that the crate set up in the back seat will be perfect for the 3 Chihuahua puppies to ride along on this 5 hour drive.

That lasted almost to the end of our very short driveway.  Fen was howling.  Cori was crying. And well Cinna was looking about as annoyed with all that racket as we were.

So as our babies are rather spoiled, out of the crate comes everyone.  There nice laps to sleep in.  Happpy little Chis everywhere.  Well, mostly on me.  I held 4 chis on the drive and Bill got one.  Jordan decided she was a 'no doggie zone' as that really interferes with playing on the 3DS.  (insert loads of eye rolling here please)

But, not to worry, the crate served its usefulness anyway.  Since we had 5 dogs roaming around the car the crate became a safe haven for the food.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Free-feeding and Why It Works!!

When we got our first Chihuahua puppy we were told to free feed him until he was least 2 lbs or 4 months of age.  Six years later and now with 5 chis, we are still free feeding.  And it works.

It's common advice out there that you should never free feed your dogs.  There are those who will tell you that you are destined to have overweight dogs if you free-feed or worse..  Your dogs wont see you as the 'alpha' because they wont know that the food comes from.  Somewhere in dog land there is this myth of magical bowls that just generate kibble entirely without the help of humans and if you have one of those bowls you are lucky and just misbehave all you want and still eat!!  Hahahaa.. how glorious that must be!

But interestingly enough, I have been free-feeding for years and find that not only do I NOT have those problems but I don't have a lot of problems that schedule feeders have.  hmmm....  Maybe there is something 'magical' about this food bowl after all!

The truth is that dog really do see you put kibbles in the bowl.  They are pretty smart little chibabies after all!  And they actually monitor their food intake on their own pretty well too.  They eat when they are hungry and they stop when they have had enough.

I don't have overweight dogs.  Little Susu is just as scrawny as he ever was and while Ginger is a hefty girl she is not overweight just more of the 'Chi-nocerous' build. Free fed dogs never feel that the need to just eat everything in the bowl.

I also don't have dogs that fight over food or feel the need to resource guard because they know there is plenty for everyone.  They snack and munch on kibbles whenever they want and it works great for us.  Dinner is never 'late' and no one ever goes hungry.  (See scowler to the left)

And I don't see the behavior problems some like to toss around either.  My dogs know that the food comes from us because well they are smart like I mentioned earlier and they do see who fills the bowl and all.  But I really don't see how feeding on a schedule could suddenly create well behaved dogs anyway and from what I've seen there are a lot of poorly behaved schedule fed dogs roaming around waiting for dinner.

The bottom line there is if you want well behaved dogs you need to take the time to train them.  Free feeding or schedule feeding will have very little to do with overall behavior.  

However, dogs who are free fed do not feel a need to fight or quibble about food.  Fighting over the food bowl is a major issue in a lot of multi-dog households and its one I'm happy to say that we don't have.