Joey, the rescue puppy with a background that might have you wondering, “is a chihuahua a terrier?”, is currently living at Vintage Pet Rescue — a dedicated retirement home for dogs — until he finds his forever home. Born in December without front legs, Joey’s resilience shines at Vintage Pet Rescue in Foster, Rhode Island, where he first arrived as a tiny pup needing special care.

Joey’s Infectious Spirit

Despite not having front legs, Joey, possibly part chihuahua bull dog, exhibits boundless energy and a “happy” spirit that lights up the senior dog rescue. Kristen Peralta, the founder and executive director of Vintage Pet Rescue, shared, “Joey was part of a litter from a Connecticut family.

Joey, the dog terrier Chihuahua next to his new friend
Joey, the dog terrier Chihuahua next to his new friend

His siblings quickly found homes, but Joey, needing special care due to his physical condition, presented a challenge. The Connecticut Humane Society directed the family to us when they were unsure how to proceed. We’ve never shied away from special needs dogs, whether they’re dog terrier chihuahua mixes or other breeds, and we were determined to find Joey a perfect home.”

Vintage Pet Rescue, known for caring for senior and hospice dogs, embraced Joey’s younger, vibrant energy. “We generally care for dogs over 14 or those in true hospice situations, but we have expanded to include special needs dogs like Joey, who bring so much joy and vitality to our residents,” Peralta added.

The Heartwarming Impact of a ‘Happy’ Puppy

Joey’s impact on the other residents, particularly Bloo, a hospice dog, has been nothing short of miraculous. “We think Joey has given Bloo a new lease on life. Since Joey’s arrival, Bloo has found his youth again, playing and napping with the dog terrier chihuahua, and even running around in the yard. It’s heartwarming to witness the joy Joey brings into our rescue,” Peralta expressed.

As Joey grows stronger in his back legs, he’s learning to navigate his environment more adeptly. “Joey’s ability to adapt is incredible. He’s mastering the stairs and playing with other dogs. Soon, he’ll be fitted for a custom wheelchair, which will allow him even greater freedom,” Peralta noted.

Joey, the dog terrier Chihuahua in the pool
Joey, the dog terrier Chihuahua in the pool

Looking for Joey’s Forever Home

Once Joey is equipped with his wheelchair, Vintage Pet Rescue will begin the search for his ideal forever home. What they’re looking for is one that provides lots of love and support. A stair-free environment will also be a great plus, but we’re not worrying about that too much right now.

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“Caring for a dog terrier chihuahua like Joey requires creativity and flexibility, as what works one week may not the next. We’re looking for owners who can meet his evolving needs with the same joy and resilience he shows every day,” Peralta explained.

So, Is a Chihuahua a Terrier?

No, a Chihuahua is not a Terrier. These two types of dogs belong to different breed groups and have distinct characteristics and origins.

Chihuahuas: The Tiny Companions

Chihuahuas are part of the Toy Group, known for their small size and charming personalities. Originating from Mexico, Chihuahuas are named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. They are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, prized for their devotion and protective nature toward their owners.

Chihuahuas are known for their apple-shaped heads and large expressive eyes. They can come in a variety of coat types and colors, depending on their breed.

Terriers: The Energetic Hunters

On the other hand, Terriers are a diverse group of breeds that originally were bred for hunting and controlling vermin. This group includes breeds like the Yorkshire, Jack Russell Terrier, and Bull Terrier.

Terriers are generally characterized by their energetic disposition, wiriness, and determination. They tend to be more robust than Chihuahuas, with strong hunting instincts and an often feisty personality.

Is a Chihuahua a terrier? Illustrated by the dog terrier Chihuahua called Joey
Is a Chihuahua a terrier? Illustrated by the dog terrier Chihuahua called Joey

While both Chihuahuas and Terriers can be small in stature, their purposes, temperaments, and physical traits differ significantly. Chihuahuas are primarily companion animals, cherished for their loyalty and suitability to apartment living. Terriers, despite also being good companions, typically have more energy and require more exercise and mental stimulation due to their working background.

Wrapping Up

Joey’s story is not only inspiring but also a vital reminder of the importance of animal rescue organizations. “Animal welfare is more challenging than ever. With shelters full and adoption rates down, every bit of support counts. If adopting isn’t possible, consider fostering, volunteering, or donating to help animals like this dog terrier chihuahua find their second chance,” Peralta urged.

Through his courage and cheerful demeanor, Joey’s story brings us a vital lesson: to see beyond limitations and cherish every moment. His presence at Vintage Pet Rescue, challenges the typical understanding of breeds like terriers and chihuahuas, showing that every dog, regardless of breed or disability, deserves love and a happy home.

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