Chihuahuas make great companion dogs. They have a strong drive to please their master, and they love affection. Chihuahuas are extremely courageous, lively, proud, and adventurous little dogs. They are very brave, despite their small size. They will often stand toe to toe with other, much bigger, animals. They are a very loyal dog, and will become very attached to their owners. This is one reason why it is important to socialize them well. If they are not socialized, they can become very yappy and protective when other people or animals are around.
Chihuahuas can be difficult to train for some, but they are very intelligent dogs. They can learn very quickly and respond best to proper, firm positive reinforcement training. It is never good to hit or strike dogs, and it is especially important to remember that with a chihuahua. They are small and very fragile if mistreated. It is important to not let chihuahuas get away with things that you would not let a big dog get away with. Jumping up on humans, licking, and other things of this nature should not be allowed. This is allowing dominant behavior, and if allowed the dog will believe it is the pack leader and develop other behavioral issues. For instance, a chihuahua who is the pack leader may snap at children.
This breed is generally not recommended for children, not because they aren't good with children, but because of the fragile nature of the small dog. Chihuahuas tend to be babied because of their small size. It is important to not let them get away with bad habits because they are so small. They should not get any different treatment than a large dog. Also, chihuahuas tend to be walked less because humans assume they get enough exercise just running around the house. Walks are still important because in addition to providing more exercise, they also provide mental stimulation for the dog. It helps to satisfy the migration instinct all dogs have as well. This will help chihuahuas have a better overall temperament as well.
It has been stressed multiple times already, but the key to getting the best temperament out of your chihuahua puppy is to treat him like any other larger dog. The owner who treats their chihuahua like this, and becomes the clear pack leader will get a much more appealing temperament out of this wonderful little dog.