Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we will attempt to answer the most commonly asked questions.

PLEASE read the entire page if you are going to apply to adopt. This page will answer some of
the questions you may have.

Can I get a dog for free? How much is the adoption fee?

NO, you can’t get one for free. The adoption fee varies from dog to dog, but is generally between $200.00 and $275.00. The adoption fee for each dog pays our vet, so that we can help the next little Chihuahua or small dog that needs us. If we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t be able to help ANY dogs, and THAT would be horrible.

You have to keep in mind that: If you got a dog from a shelter, you’d pay an adoption fee. Also, your local shelter doesn’t often know as much about the dog as we do, as they have theirs for about a week. Our rescues stay with us a MINIMUM of one month. We want to know as much about the dog as we can. We also have any and all medical procedures needed done. Your local shelter more than likely gives the first set of shots and maybe will spay/neuters the animal, and anything over and above that is UP TO YOU to pay for. We also provide after adoption services if needed. If you ever have questions we’re here for you…..for the LIFE of the dog.

Can I get a dog I can breed?

NO! All dogs that come into Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue, Inc., are spayed/neutered first. The total number of dogs euthanized each year reaches into the millions. There are simply TOO MANY dogs in the world as it is. There are not enough rescues and shelters to provide a safe haven for all the animals out there, think about what happens to the rest of them who aren’t lucky enough to find themselves at a shelter or rescue. If you consider that there are 10,000 human babies born each day and 70,000 puppies and kittens, the numbers just don’t add up.

If you’re planning on breeding your little “Fluffy” because she’s the best dog you’ve ever had and you think the world needs more dogs just like her THINK AGAIN. Take one day a week and visit your local shelter. See the WONDERFUL DOGS that ended up there because their owner wanted to breed THEIR dog. Look at all the puppies and kittens that come to the shelter and don’t get adopted, and are put to sleep because there just AREN’T enough homes out there for them all. THEN consider that EVERYONE wants puppies…..if there aren’t enough homes out there for THEM… many homes are there out there for adult dogs and cats? Ask the shelter staff how many dogs they put to sleep a day because there are just too many to find good homes for. Why bring a litter of 2-10 puppies into the world and take away homes from the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens that are ALREADY looking for new homes? It just doesn’t make sense.

Can I come and pick out a dog today, and take it home today?

NO, sorry. You can’t do either. We do not have a shelter that you can visit to “see” the dogs. All of the dogs in our rescue are in foster homes, where we can get to know them as family pets, not to see how they can handle living in a dog run. You can come to one of our Meet & Greets to visit with our little ones, but you still cannot adopt the dog today unless you are an approved adopter. Once we have an application from you, we will follow the adoption steps outlined in ADOPTION PROCESS. Because we require vet checks, home visits and landlord contact.

Are the dogs purebred? Do they have papers?

That depends, and usually not. If by “pure” you mean are they Chihuahuas….YES, unless they are designated as “Mixes” on their website, both their mother and father were Chihuahuas as far as we know, and they APPEAR to be 100% Chihuahua. If they are designated as “mixes” then they are just that…..Chihuahua mixed with another breed. If you, as a potential adopter, don’t know a purebred dog of the breed you want to adopt when you see one, we suggest that you do some research before adopting a dog of that breed. Appearance is just one of the things you should know about a breed before you adopt. You should also understand the expected life span, temperament, and common medical problems of the breed.

As, to do they have papers, NO. We do on occasion have an owner turn in their dog with all the AKC papers, medical history, etc. When we are given papers, those papers are sent to the AKC and we let them know that the dog was turned into rescue, and has been spayed/neutered and that no puppies should be registered to that dog in the future.

Can I get a puppy?

Occasionally puppies are available in rescue. Most times this is because a female has come into rescue pregnant. All our dogs will be spay/neutered prior to adoption, so the earliest that you could adopt a puppy would be when the puppy reached 4 months old.

Can I get a two year old female that is house trained, good with kids and dogs, and is black and tan?

Well, I suppose it’s possible, but it might take some time. We can’t go out and “get” a dog that is everything that you’re looking for. We are here for the dogs that are in NEED. If a two year old female that is house trained, good with kids and dogs, and is black and tan needs rescue, we’ll be there to help. But we can’t custom order a dog….. please think about that. These dogs need a loving home, food and shelter, vet care, and attention. Would you love your children any less if their hair color didn’t match your couch? Did you expect your children to come already potty trained? Did you expect your children to know everything you expected from them as soon as they came home from the hospital? NO….of course not. Then why would you expect anything more from a dog who doesn’t know you from the last person that gave it up? They all just need a little time and understanding. With these things, and love, they’ll blossom to be the best, most loving, most loyal dog you’ve ever had.

I want a puppy, because an adult isn’t trainable they’re set in their ways aren’t they?

No. Actually an older dog will learn faster than a puppy. Think of it like you would a child. Would you rather potty train a 5 month old child, or a child that is over a year old? A puppy has an attention span of about 4 minutes. Don’t believe me? Play fetch with a puppy…..a few minutes later he’s off doing something else and has forgotten about you and your game of fetch. Now, if you were playing fetch with an adult dog, chances are that you’d have a much longer game of fetch. Adults learn faster because they associate more easily. If you take an adult dog outside and he uses the bathroom, you praise him. He then understands that you LIKE what he just did. If you praise him each time he does it, he’ll want to do it all the time. If you praise a puppy, they either don’t have a clue that it is associated with going to the bathroom outside, or they don’t remember that next time they need to go to the bathroom. Puppies, like babies, also don’t have as much bladder control as adults dogs do. A puppy needs to go to the bathroom about every 2 hours (sometimes more, depending on the age). An adult dog of any size should be able to “hold it” for at least 6 hours (depending on the size, and barring any medical problems).

Adults also won’t chew your house to shreds like puppies, they don’t cry all night the way most puppies do, and many of them already know the basic commands (sit, lay down, stay, don’t jump, and quiet). Shelter and rescue dogs also bond VERY well with their new owners. They know what it’s like to lose their family, and they appreciate every little thing you do for them, unlike puppies, who think you owe THEM the world.

Do you adopt out of state?

NO: WE DO NOT ALLOW ADOPTIONS OUT OF THE STATE OF COLORADO. You can still fill out our application and we’ll keep in on file so that if we know of a group that has a dog near you that needs a home we can send your application to them, making it easier for you and for them. Please also do not email asking why we will not adopt out of state. We keep the dogs in the area that we cover, where we have foster homes and volunteers, so that should something happen and the dog needs to get back to our rescue, we are close enough that we can recover the dog with little notice.

Do I have to have a fenced in yard to adopt?

No, not at all. We do recommend it for some dogs, but it is not mandatory. Our only concern is that the dog gets daily exercise, and is kept secure at all times, indoor or out. If you can show us you can properly keep a dog from running into the road, being attacked by a loose dog, chasing children, being stolen, and not having the dog live his/her life in a crate, then you needn’t have a fence for most of the dogs that we have. If a fence is a requirement for one certain dog, we will be sure to place that information in that dogs bio. We do know the benefits of crate training, and we encourage adopters to crate train.

If the adoption isn’t working out, can I give the dog back?

Not only CAN you……our contract (which you sign at the time of the adoption) states that if for ANY reason you EVER can’t keep the dog the dog MUST be returned to our rescue. You get no pleasure out of a dog that you don’t want or can’t control, and the dog gets nothing out of being in a home where it’s not wanted and taken care of. NO MATTER WHAT ELSE HAPPENS, A DOG ADOPTED FROM OUR RESCUE MUST BE RETURNED TO US IF YOU EVER DON’T WANT OR CAN’T KEEP IT. Our rescues are like our own dogs, and if they need a home EVER we are here for them. That is our promise to THEM.

I don’t want a dog that has problems…. Don’t all rescue / shelter dogs have problems?

No, not even close. So you think that because a dog doesn’t have a home anymore that it must have been something that the DOG did, right? WRONG. If you ask any rescue/shelter why owners turn in their dogs you’ll find that 80% of the time it’s the owners that had problems, not the dogs.

The top 10 reasons dogs are given to rescue/shelters:

  • Owners moving, too much trouble to take the dog too, we’ll just get a new one THERE.
  • Owners are having a baby, and don’t have time for the dog.
  • Owners bought the dog for the kids, now the kids have lost interest.
  • The dog got too big (i.e. the owners didn’t research the breed, just thought it was CUTE).
  • The owners are getting divorced.
  • The owner is getting married
  • The owner had children and the kids are allergic to the dog.
  • The owner bought a new puppy, and was tired of seeing the old one.
  • The dog sheds too much (again…..didn’t do any research on the breed they purchased).
  • It keeps getting pregnant (UM…ever heard of spaying?).

Now, after reading these reasons for giving up dogs…..who do YOU think had the problem? Sure, some dogs are turned into rescue/shelters that DO have problems. But when you hear the main problems people turn dogs over, think about WHY the dog has this problem:

  • It isn’t housebroken (the owners didn’t take the time to train the dog.)
  • The dog doesn’t listen when I tell it to do something (again…did they TRAIN the dog?).
  • The dog barks too much (well, certain breeds do that…… RESEARCH!).
  • The dog plays too rough with my kids (but how do the kids play with the dog? ROUGH).
  • The dog bites strangers (again, the dog wasn’t trained, and felt he could do what he wanted).

Sure, there are other reasons people turn their dogs into rescue/shelters, but we can’t list them all because there are as many different reason as there are dogs needing homes. Each dog is an individual, and they have their own personalities. If the time is taken to train the dog properly, then most times the dog is a wonderful family pet. We test each dog for aggression and socialization.

We test the dogs with other dogs, cats, men, women to see how they react to each. If a dog is dog or cat aggressive (meaning that they will fight with them, we will place them into a home with no pets of the variety they are aggressive towards. We begin crate, respect and house training. We only put dogs up for adoption that we think are adoptable.

There are occasions where a dog has been through too much to change, or has been scarred by their past. These dogs are chronic biters, or are aggressive, and those dogs are not placed by CSDR. Not every dog is adoptable, either because of serious illness, or temperament problems. We keep them here permanently and they become one of the family.

I want a dog that doesn’t shed too much.

While Chihuahuas aren’t the MOST shedding dogs you’ll ever meet, they DO shed. You’ll find yourself adjusting your clothing colors to match your dogs, so that the dog hair doesn’t stand out as much. Virtually all dogs shed somewhat, and that is just one of the great things about owning dogs, they make sure that you vacuum regularly. While they aren’t heavy coated dogs, they do shed, especially when they’re nervous. You’ll get used to it, and it won’t even be noticeable after a while.

I don’t want a yappy dog. Do you have any that aren’t yappy?

Yes and actually most Chihuahuas are not the same yappy dogs that people think they are. Most people’s impression of these little dogs comes from seeing them owned by someone in their family. I can’t count the times I’ve heard “Oh, they’re mean little yappy dogs! My grandmother had one.” I hate to say it this way…..but he was probably mean and yappy BECAUSE your grandmother owned him. Chihuahuas that are well socialized and even half trained are not the yappy type. They WILL bark at the door if someone knocks, they WILL bark at strangers until they’re told to hush, and they WILL bark at other dogs. Each dog is an individual. Some are more “barky” than others, while some may bark only when they feel it is VERY important, and some may never bark at all. It all depends on the dog, and the training the dog has had (or will get).

Do they make good family pets?

Sure, as long as everyone in the family knows how to handle a small dog, and remembers that they have to respect the dog. Most Chihuahuas I know don’t really care for children. Many times this is because young kids are rough with them, and are loud. Kids also seem to step on tiny little paws pretty often, which wouldn’t make me their biggest fan either. If children are taught the PROPER way to treat animals, then most times Chihuahuas won’t mind them. Chihuahuas tend to be “one person dogs”, where as they find one person in the home and bond with THAT person more so than with any other person in the household. With 80% of Chihuahuas, the person they will bond with is an adult, and usually female. Chihuahuas are not a dog you would get “for the kids” (not that you should EVER get a dog strictly “for” the kids), since the children will be disappointed when the dog loves mom more than he loves the kids. Now, there are Chihuahuas out there that LOVE kids……but they’re pretty rare in rescue. We prefer not to place Chihuahuas in homes with children under 6 years of age, but each home is different, as well as each dog. Adoptions are based on what is best for the dog, AND for the adopters.

Do they make good watch dogs?

Well, they weigh all of about 10 pounds … would YOU be afraid of them? I don’t think that their size would be a factor in someone deciding to rob your home, but the noise they make about a stranger in the house might make someone think twice. About the only thing they would do to a burglar is pee on them, and then ask them to open the ‘fridge door so they could get some food.

Will the new dog get along with my other dogs?

Sometimes. Most times Chihuahuas get along with other Chihuahuas just fine. They seem to prefer their own breed more than any other. Of course, not EVERY Chihuahua is going to get along with every other Chihuahua. We know which dogs don’t get along with other dogs, and we make that information available on each dog’s bio. Even a dog that gets along with every dog we have here may not get along with your dog(s).

That is what the adoption process is all about. When you come to visit the dog you’re interested in, you will need to bring along any dogs that you currently have so that we can gauge their compatibility. Not all dogs “hit it off” wonderfully right away, but with a little time and teaching most dogs get along fine with the other animals in the home.

How much exercise do they need?

This really depends on the dog. Some of them have a great deal of energy, while others are couch potatoes and need minimal exercise. One good walk a day, and some toy chasing are enough usually for them, but they can do more than that if you’d like. Apartment living is fine with them, as they don’t need the room to run that a German Shepherd would need, but they do need exercise. Most Chihuahuas will also follow you around the house, everywhere you go….you might not think of it, but that in and of itself is exercise for a little dog.