Chihuahua: Breed Information
- Breed name: Chihuahua
- Classification: Toy / Companion dog
- Size: small
- Coat: either short or long-haired
- Colour: All colours
- Personality: loyal, active, intelligent
- Family-friendly: best for families with older children
- Friendly with other pets: yes
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. However, don’t underestimate them! These little dogs have more than enough courage and energy to make up for their small size.
The breed's origins are shrouded in mystery, with many suggesting they first came from South America. Others believe they originated in China before being brought to South America and breeding with local dogs.
The modern Chihuahua was named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The breed was officially registered in the USA at the start of the 20th Century and has been adored by many owners ever since.
Physical Appearance of the Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are truly tiny dogs, measuring about 20 cm tall and weighing roughly 2 kg. They have pointed, alert ears, large eyes and a domed skull. Their straight, shiny coat comes in a wide variety of colours and can be either long or short-haired.
Chihuahua Behaviour and Temperament
Chihuahuas are full of energy and spunk, despite their tiny size. They adore their favourite humans and show this with intense loyalty. However, they can be nervous around strangers and should be socialised from an early age.
Chihuahua’s are brave for their size and are often unaware that they aren't as big as other dogs! As such, it’s important to be very careful when meeting new furry friends. Never leave your Chihuahua unsupervised on a walk or play date.
Training and Exercising Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas have a lot of energy for a little dog, so will need a walk every day. They are super smart and agile and can be successfully trained with positive reinforcement. It's important to be patient and consistent, as they don't respond well to harsh corrections.
Chihuahua's are also capable of becoming stubborn if over-pampered. As such, set boundaries and resist spoiling your precious pooch, otherwise, they will run the show!
Living with a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas make perfect pets for small homes and are best suited to living cosily indoors. This is also good for their safety, as they can easily escape through the tiniest crack in a fence. Notably, they make great guard dogs because of their tendency to yap loudly.
If you have young kids, a Chihuahua is probably not the breed for your family. It's easy for accidental injuries to happen due to their small size. Plus, they may nip and cause injury to your child if provoked or nervous. However, they are perfect pals for mature families that can offer plenty of love and affection.
Chihuahuas really feel the weather, so keep them safe inside in extreme conditions. Don’t overdo exercise or play sessions when temperatures rise.
Chihuahuas can live to an impressive age of between 15 and 19 years old. However, as always, there are some hereditary illnesses that you should be aware of:
- Heart problems
- Pulmonic Stenosis
- Collapsed Trachea
- Cleft Palate
- Patellar Luxation (loose knee caps)
Speak to your vet for some tips to keep your dog happy and healthy. And always use a reputable breeder if you are adopting a Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas shed moderately, but are easy to groom by brushing a few times a week. They will only need a bath from time to time, but be sure to clean their ears each week. Wipe them delicately with a dog ear cleaner and keep a close eye out for any red or sore spots.
As with many small dogs, Chihuahuas can experience dental problems. Therefore, gently clean their tiny teeth with a dog toothpaste and doggy toothbrush.
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