Chihuahua, Small Dog Breed with Big Personality
Chihuahua is a breed that loves to burrow below everything and is one of the breeds in the toy group. Although it is the world’s smallest breed it has a big personality, loyal to her owners and a great therapy dog. Makes their presence felt in any home as they love to entertain.
Mostly, an indoor dog, known for being loving and devoted to their owners. Additionally, it is alert, playful and one among the oldest breed of dogs in America.
Key Breed Facts
- Energetic and playful
- Smallest dog breed in the world.
- Excellent companion dogs who love attention.
- Ideal city pets and can fit well in an apartment.
- Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions.
- Weight 2-6 pounds.
- Height 6-9 inches.
- Life expectancy 15-20 years.
- Compact, alert and confident.
- Playful, sassy and fun companion.
- Worlds’ smallest breed.
- The American Kennel Club in 1904 recognized the first long coat Chihuahua named Midget in Texas.
- Miracle Milly a female Chihuahua holds the title of being the world’s smallest living dog due to her height.
- The Chihuahua is the only breed of domesticated dog that is truly indigenous to the North American continent.
- Its unique feature is the apple head structure.
The name Chihuahua comes from a state in Mexico. Their ancestry the Techichi can be traced back over 1000 years ago.
The dog breed has a big personality despite being small. Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico also known as a great state. Pictures of the dogs resembling Chihuahua appeared in ancient paintings in Mexico.
Additionally, the breed came to the USA through travelers who were passing through Mexico and found the breed being sold. These dogs have been called many names from Texas dogs, Arizona dogs to Chihuahua dogs.
They became the most common domesticated dog breed in 1800 in North America continent. Thought to have been used to cross over their owners to the land of the dead.
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 as a Toy breed.
In the 1940s and 50s, the famous bandleader Xavier Cugat did much to popularize Chihuahuas. More recently, they stole the show in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and legally blonde.
The Chihuahua comes in two official varieties according to AKC; the long coat variety and smooth coat variety.
Moreover, their coat can have four common colours from, tan, black, white and brown.
The ears are usually erect and very large in relation to its small head and body giving them a powerful hearing sense.
Her big eye has an intense gaze makes them look alert and ready for anything.
Without a doubt, he has a moderately long tail, carried sickle either up or out, or in a loop over the back with tip just touching the back.
Not only is this dog breed known to be alert, lively, confident, courageous, loyal but also self-reliant has terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Unquestionably, they are good companion dogs they also love attention/pampering and personal affection.
Despite their small size, they can be domineering to their owners and large breed dogs. Hence need to be properly socialized to make them all-rounded and prevent bad behavior like excessive barking.
Excellent watchdogs due to their alert and confident character, they are a vocal breed and can bark a lot.
Chihuahuas are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Intelligence / Trainability
Comparing with other breeds Chihuahua is not the brightest one but is one of the easiest to train. Nevertheless, they love to play, run and need a lot of social interactions to cope well with other dogs and children.
Due to their big personality can feel like the biggest dog in the room and challenge larger dogs.
Try to make training fun as they can sometimes be challenging to train and this will make them eager to please you.
They need to be trained on obedience and socializing when very young to ensure they grow up well mannered.
Children and Other Pets
Chihuahua is known to be affectionate by need proper socialization and training to act well with children, especially near small children. They can snap easily to strangers and disrespectful children.
Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed.
Nonetheless, they do not suffer from many health problems, although can suffer from the following:
In some toy-breed dogs (for example Poodles, Pomeranians, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas), a hereditary structural defect can allow the trachea to collapse during panting or rapid breathing. your dog can have difficulties in breathing, honking cough, increased mucus and if severe fainting.
Like most dog breeds, vaccination can prevent common canine diseases. Importantly, longhaired Chihuahuas are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as parvo, rabies, and distemper.
The disease usually begins early in life and typically progresses. The head gets swollen up due to the pressure of the watery fluid on the brain and spinal cord in the dog. Predisposition to the disease may be associated with the small size of the Chihuahua.
Although Many toy breeds are born with a palpable open fontanelle and a small opening. The simple fact that a Chihuahua has a domed head with an open molera does not predispose it to hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus is characterized by the presence of an abnormally large volume of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) present within the brain or between the skull and the brain of the toy dog.
Symptoms include pain, seizures, enlarged head, blindness, and later death as it is difficult to eliminate the condition.
Most toy breeds puppies like Chihuahuas can be affected by low blood sugar due to their body size and low-fat levels.
Symptoms can include low heart rate and breathing causing the puppy to be weak, disoriented, shivers, and can be unconscious. Give sugar shots recommended by your vet early when she becomes unconscious.
Patellar luxation is one of the breed’s most common health condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place, which is frequently off to the side. You might notice your Chihuahua hopping while holding one of their back legs up due to pain and discomfort.
Surgery is recommended for serious cases of patellar Luxation. X-ray test can be carried out to determine the real extent of the damage to the leg.
Affects dog breed like Chihuahua, Samoyed, mastiff, cocker spaniel, boxer, beagle, wirehaired fox terrier, and miniature schnauzer.
Early detection of all these health issues is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule a routine checkups.
Caring for a Chihuahua
Chihuahua needs affectionate and attention, they are sensitive to attention and love personal companionship. This is a breed that loves to go for works with you, play at the park with you or just get a stroll with you in your neighbourhood.
They require exercise and training to be all-rounded health-wise and physically. They sleep 12-14 hours and are average energy level dogs.
As much as this dog breed is good with other household dogs and pets it is reserved with strangers. Some try to be protective and act as watchdogs, but they are not very effective as they are considered more indoor dogs. During winter or cold weather you can dress them up with a sweater, boots, and jacket to keep them warm. Their small bodies do not retain heat.
Due to the closeness with their owners’ Chihuahuas tend to have separation anxiety when left alone and can lead to chewing furniture and jumping on the owners when back.
Chihuahuas shed none to minimal fur and require minimal grooming considering they are indoor dogs.
This breed requires minimum grooming as they are indoor dogs and are relatively clean. Regular brushing of the coat keeps it healthy and you are able to remove loss hair, dirt, and matting.
Depending on the variety you have, the long coats variety needs 3 times brushing more than short coats on a weekly basis. Short-haired Chihuahuas require very little effort in terms of brushing. Nonetheless, brush them once a week and brush all over the body including the tail and belly.
For the long-haired Chihuahua, you will be required to be a little bit more proactive in the brushing. Use a damp cloth before brushing to clean off dirt and loosen the matted hair and try to untangle the knots with your hands.
You can bath your Chihuahua when necessary or muddy at least every 3-4 weeks. Rinse the dog coat thoroughly you can use a compressed shower and a non-slid mat as you clean.
For the nail use a good nail clipper and smoothen with a file. Do not cut it too short so as not to damage the nerve and hurt your dog.
Use a hair shaver to trim the hair on the dog paws and around the toes.
Their long erect ears need to be cleaned weekly to avoid ear infection and building up of wax.
This is a breed that needs exercise and training, although small. Exercise is good for those developing muscles and enhances good physical health and sets up a healthy life for the Chihuahua.
Nonetheless, her prey drive is minimum compared to other breeds but still playful.
Regardless of this, you can still find them chasing, small birds or cats, but do not leave them outdoor alone as the big birds and large dogs can chase them.
Due to his tendency to become hyper, this dog needs to have daily outdoor activity in order to release pent-up energy.
For puppies, one should be careful when allowing them to walk outdoor. It would be advisable to give them daily walks after they have received all of their vaccine shots, to prevent common canine disease that they are vulnerable too. The walks should be short and limited until the puppy grows older. Keep her on a leash and harness when outdoor to restrict movement.
Over-exercising the puppy can lead to growth impairments and later health disorders. Keep the exercise to a minimum as a puppy.
After 1 year you can take your dog for a 30-minute walk, a swim in her dog pool, a game of fetch at the park or running.
Feeding a Chihuahua puppy the right foods in the proper amount is very important due to different growth stages. The calories taken should be recommended according to their weight and size to avoid overfeeding.
Even though they are small you feed the recommended amount of 1/4 to 1/2 cups of high-quality dry food daily.
Furthermore, this breed may need special dietary needs like other toy breeds.
Find out the type and amount of food your puppy’s been eating from the breeder and any food changes should be introduced gradually.
This will prevent stomach upset and check on your puppy weight to avoid undereating or overeating.
The food sizes should vary in relation to your dog size, age, activity level, and metabolism.
A puppy should be fed small, 4-5 frequent meals if under 3 months. Into adulthood, the meals should reduce from 3 to 2 daily after 1 year.
You can feed them more due to their small size leading to obesity. Leading to numerous diseases ranging from arthritis, diabetes, heart and thyroid problems.
Average Cost to keep/care for a Chihuahua
The rich and famous love Chihuahua as they are charming bubbly, full of life, and sassy.
The initial cost of the puppy and other cost includes puppy shots, vet exams, flea and tick treatment, worm treatment, pee pads, high-quality puppy food, dishes, bed, and towel.
For grooming, you will need to incur the cost of grooming to buy supplies, for instance, shampoo, nail clipper, hair shaver.
The dog will need accessories to keep her comfortable at the home from toys, tracker, harness and leash, coat,
The cost may be at least £500.00 to £1,000.00 above the cost of the dog itself. Other factors can increase the cost, for instance, medical care if your dog is unwell. Be prepared financially as well as physically.
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Buy a puppy from a reputable breeder with relevant documents. Do not purchase a puppy you have not seen to avoid being scammed.
Get to visit the puppy at the breeder and ask to see the parents if they are there to check on temperament. buying from a puppy mill might lead to future health issues as most breed for profits, not dog welfare.
Check to see that all the vaccination have been given and are documented before taking the puppy home. To be on the safe side it is good to buy a Chi puppy that meets the Kennel Club standards.
Subsequently, teacup size Chihuahuas often develop serious health issues like fragile bones and affect the dog’s wellbeing later on.
Lastly, know specifically the amount and feeding schedule as well as the diet that the dog is eating and follow the breeder and vet’s recommendations to avoid tummy upsets.