Chihuahua Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- The smallest of dogs, with an apple domed skull and smooth, fine coat. The long coated Chihuahua should have a flat or slightly wavy coat, preferably with an undercoat. The ears should be dripping with fringe, a substantial ruff must encircle the neck and the legs should be well feathered. They have round apple-heads, large protruding eyes and a short, stout muzzle. Their bodies are slightly longer than they are tall, and ears are large and flaring. The Smooth coat has a glossy, soft, and close coat which is full textured over the entire body, but quite scanty on the head and ears.
- Other Names:
- Country Of Origin:Mexico
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Toy
- Either coat type comes in a variety of colors such as fawn, brown, black, and white. The coat may be solid in color, marked with splashes of color, or tri-color.
- The Chihuahua is deeply devoted and fiercely loyal. They typically become extremely attached to one or two people. They are bold, fearless, and highly protective of their masters. Chihuahuas thrive on inordinate amounts of attention. The Chihuahua is by nature gentle, loving, and sweet-tempered. Although playful, Chihuahuas are not to be messed around with. They can be aggressive towards other dogs and wary of strangers. On top of that, they are quite fragile and do not tend to realize it when picking a fight.
- Care and training:
- The Chihuahua requires minimal grooming. The Smooth coat variety requires only occasional brushing. The Long coat variety should be brushed several times a week with a soft bristle brush. Both varieties only need bathing once a month using a mild shampoo. Special care must be given to not get water into their ears as they are prone to ear infections. Chihuahuas do shed, but being small, there isn't much hair to lose.
A clever breed, the dog can take well to training if it is begun early on. Some Chihuahuas have been trained to use a cat tray, while others are never house trained at all. The Chihuahua can be difficult to train, but with patience, love, and consistency do well. They respond best to positive reinforcement. Chihuahuas can be housetrained by either the crate method or the paper training method.
- Overall Exercise:
- 20 - 40 minutes per day.
The Chihuahua can adapt to however much exercise you would like to give it, within reason. Chihuahuas tend to have bursts of energy where they play excitedly, but do not need a lot of walking. It is recommended that Chihuahuas wear a harness instead of a collar due to their fragile tracheas (windpipes.)
- Feeding Requirements:
- These little dogs are relatively easy to feed. As a breed they are known to suffer from hypoglycemia so it is advisable to feed 2 small meals each day.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:High
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:Low
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:1-4
- Life Expectancy (yrs):13
- Health issues:
- Collapsing trachea. heart problems, hydrocephallic, and patellar luxation. Other health concerns include eye problems and hypoglycemia. Chihuahuas are very fragile dogs whose bones can break easily.
- Discovered by Americans in Mexico around the mid-nineteenth century, around 1850, the true origins of the Chihuahua's ancestors still remain a mystery. Several theories seem to indicate that Spanish traders may have brought a small dog from China to Mexico in their explorations, and from there that small dog bred with the local dogs, possibly the Mexican Hairless Dog or Techichi, a breed kept by the Aztecs and Toltecs. Others say the breed was mixed with the Chinese Crested. The Techichi was a breed, in legend, used by the Aztecs and Toltecs as sacrificial dogs and possibly even as food. Chihuahuas' coats were the determinate for whether they lived or died, according to myth. The Aztecs are said to have believed that Chihuahuas born of blue coat were sacred, while those born of a red coat were sacrificed on funeral pyres.