Brazen & intelligent, Chihuahuas get what they want and make good watchdogs
- Good for new owners
- Adapts well to small living spaces
- Does not like to be left alone
- Does not do well in hot or cold weather
- Sociable and friendly
- Easy to groom and care for
- Official Mascot of Taco Bell
- Does well with children and other pets
The Chihuahua does not have a well-known or understood history, which leaves some of us to wonder. There are some theories about how the Chihuahua came to be. The most believed story is one where the Chihuahua descended from one of the South or Central American dog called the Techichi. The second theory is that China brought over small hairless dogs to Mexico and they were traded and bred with local dogs.
No matter which of the theories you choose to believe, the Chihuahua was discovered in about 1850. The Chihuahua made its way into the United State by the way of Mexico. In fact, tourists would visit Mexico and then bring these dogs back to the states with them.
The first Chihuahua was registered with the AKC in 1904. The breed had a popularity boom in the 1930s and 1940s. Due to this popularity boom, the Chihuahua is considered one of the most popular breeds. In fact, they rank 29th out of all dog breeds registered with the AKC.
Personality & Temperament
The Chihuahua is not shy by any means and packs a bold attitude. In fact, many people often say that the Chihuahua has the attitude of a terrier. While small, this breed is not afraid to act as a watch dog and he or she is naturally alert and suspicious of those that are considered strangers.
The Chihuahua often forms a strong bond with one person in the family, but will be sociable and friendly with others in the home as well. Your dog will also get along well with other people that you introduce to them and you should not run into a problem when you take your pup to the dog park or out in public.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that the Chihuahua needs to be socialized early on in life with people and other animals, otherwise, he or she may be shy and timid.
Appearance & Grooming
The Chihuahua is considered to be a tiny toy dog, which means he or she is small in nature. This dog will weigh anywhere between 2 to 6 pounds when fully grown. There are two types of Chihuahuas which include a long coat and smooth coat variation.
The smooth coat Chihuahua has a soft, shiny, smooth coat that surrounds the body. The fur that appears on the ears and head is thinner than the rest of the body.
The long hair coat Chihuahua has a soft coat as well, but it may appear slightly curly and flat. This coat does need more attention than the shorter coat and may become snarled if not brushed.
Chihuahuas come in a number of colors including black, white, tri-color, fawn, gray, and more. They may have additional markings on them as well.
The Chihuahua is easy to groom and only requires a weekly brush for the short coat. If your Chihuahua has a long coat, you should make sure to brush it a few times per week to prevent tangles. You only need to bathe your pup when he or she is dirty. When you do bathe him or her, make sure that you choose a mild shampoo that does not strip the oils from your dog’s coat and skin.
Lastly, you need to make sure to clean your Chihuahua’s ears once per week and trim his or her nails as often as needed to maintain a healthy length.
The Chihuahua is considered to be a healthy breed, but poor breeding can lead to inherited and genetic conditions that may be passed down to your puppy. It is vital that you work with a reputable breeder to prevent any of these problems.
- Hypoglycemia - is a condition where your pup has low blood sugar. This is often a problem in toy sized breeds, so you will need to be cautious. Spikes in blood sugar can be deadly for your pup, so if you suspect that there is a problem, you need to let your veterinarian know right away. This condition is considered to be easily treatable.
- Patellar Luxation - This condition is best known as a dislocated knee. If your pup does dislocate his or her knee, you will notice that your dog does not use the leg as much and may avoid putting any pressure on the area. Lameness is one of the first signs that there may be a problem. If your Chihuahua does have a luxated patella, you should have it corrected right away as persistent rubbing of the knee cap can cause joint pain and arthritis.
- A collapsed trachea is common in small dogs and may occur with your Chihuahua. This condition causes the trachea to flatten, which leads to impaired breathing. The cause of the condition is unknown.
- Shivering - is something that is common in Chihuahuas. It is unknown why Chihuahuas shiver a lot, but it is thought to be caused by stress, excitement, or cold weather.
Exercise & Care
The Chihuahua needs exercise and will become bored without it and may be destructive within your home. This breed does have a lot of energy and will run, jump, and explore outside. You do need to be cautious as your pup will chase small animals such as squirrels.
Chihuahuas do well in small apartments and condos, but they do need to receive a walk or two for at least 20 minutes per day. Training your Chihuahua is an easy task and not considered to be too much of a challenge. You will find that your pup does like to perform for you and please you.
As you train your Chihuahua, make sure that you do not become frustrated or have a heavy hand as this will only lead to your puppy not training properly. Training should be done in a consistent and firm manner.