Ask the gal with a feral chihuahua

A little while ago someone posted about the 174 feral chihuahuas in a shelter in the States. Much fun was made at the idea of the wild little dogs

Well yesterday I got a call from a kill shelter I work with, and I know am the proud care giver of a small female feral chi.

So, in the interest of combating ignorance in all its forms, I am now prepared to answer any questions about wild chihuahuas that you all might have.

(And in all seriousness if you have questions about animal shelters and rescues in Ontario, I can probably help you out that way too…I worked in a high kill shelter, and now run a private rescue that is a registered charity in Canada)

Any stats on feral chihuahuas?

And difference between feral chihuahuas and other feral breeds?

How long til she’s domesticated/socialiized?

How long was she quarantined before being made available for adoption? More than your average shelter dog?

I’ll be back with more questions.


There, right off the bat I was unclear. This female chi is not part of the group in the states, she is a totally independent wild chihuahua. Last I heard the large group was still being held, but a mill was raided and another group of 50 wild little dogs were released and are now being sent to various rescues in the US and Canada.

But to answer your questions 11811 I once rehomed 60 wild Siberian Huskies, and never once got bitten. I did get peed on often. This dog has bitten me about 20 times already. She’s got no teeth, so it doesn’t hurt, but she is trying.

Dogs that are seized can be held anywhere from a couple of weeks to months and months depending on what the owner does, if they decide to fight the court case it can really drag on. Wild dogs that end up in shelters are usually seized. Sometimes they are put up for adoption, but typically they are put to sleep (from my experience).

In theory this dog could legally be adopted out now, but I wouldn’t adopt out a dog in shape this bad.

Dammit. Now I’ve got this running through my head to the tune of Guantanamera: “Feral chihuahua! I’ve gotta feral chihuahua . . .”

Ooh, a feral chihuahua!

When I was a kid, we adopted a feral chihuahua that my uncle had found and took in. It eventually became a right friendly little thing, although it never stopped trying to get loose every chance it got. It also exhibited other wildish behaviors, like always always trying to bury at least half of every meal, and winning a fight with an enraged boxer. My parents after several years tired of its semi-wild ways and gave it to a shelter :frowning: I still miss that little dog.

So I guess I can answer any questions you might have about wild chis, as well.

How’s it getting along with the cat that lives under your sink?

How do you keep the cat from killing the chi?

That was a concern Bosda Di’Chi of Tricor (hey, your name has chi in it), I was a bit worried about what Bill The Cat would do, since the dog is about half the size of him, and Bill usually hates dogs. Thus far he has ignored her. And she spends her time hiding under the computer table anyway, so really their two worlds haven’t collided. But I am closing the hall door now that separates the computer room from the rest of the house, so if they both did decide to come out there wouldn’t be a small dog fatality when I wasn’t home.

I’ve never heard of this before. Forgive the impertinent question, which I’m sure has been asked mny times before, but What does a Feral Chihuahua Eat? It seems damned near everything is bigger than they are. Two of our cats outweigh most of the chihuahuas I’ve seen.

How does a Chihuahua even go feral? I mean, I get feral cats and ferrets (kind of a problem in NZ, as they then eat native bird eggs), but Chihuahua’s? Wouldn’t they all freeze to death or something? How do they survive in the wild? And are you planning on, um un-feraling it? (Taming? Re-taming?) it? Can that be done to feral animals?

What’s the difference between a feral chihuahua and a domesticated one?

I only ask this because every chihuahua I have met (and I’ve been introduced to a few in my time) have ALL exhibited ‘feral’ tendencies…like wanting to rip my nose off my face, or hump my leg.

As you can tell, they are not my favourite breed of rat.

So, why the hell did you adopt a bloody chihuahua? :smiley:

CalMeacham asked

In some cases where a large group pf dogs are left on their own, they start to eat each other. Often the females are pregnant, and when and if puppies are born, they usually get eaten.

In the case of some wild dogs that I have seen (the huskies) the owner would kill a dear every so often, and leave it for the dogs.

manx asked

Well in some cases the dogs are from the souther states, so it doesn’t get cold enough for them to freeze. But dogs like chis can be wild even living inside a house, which was the case with this dog and the rest that were seized with her. The owner was living by herself, started out with a couple of dogs, didn’t fix them, they bred, she couldn’t/wouldn’t give the puppies away, 6 months later they bred and it very quickly became more than she could deal with, and this went on for years. So you have a large group of animals living in a home that have never had any vet care, and many that have never had any human contact. This lady had no idea how many dogs she had, she never saw most of them.


It depends on the animal. I have seen people have great luck with wild cats, but it can take months. With dogs it is much more iffy. In the case of the huskies they will never act like labs, but the ones that got adopted don’t pee themselves when they see people coming anymore, unless the person makes sudden, jumpy movements.

Small dogs are tough, because like kambuckta said, they tend to be a little less social anyway. But being fed regularily has a great positive impression on these dogs too, and i hope that when Bitey here feels better, she will act better.