The Chihuahua at a Glance
The Chihuahua is a courageous toy breed that’s lively and alert. Although small in size, it is protective and not a good option for kids. However,but this can be overcome when a Chihuahua puppy grows with the children.
This breed is good for first-time owners, although training may be challenging and require patience. Chihuahuas make an excellent watchdogs, helping owners to alert them about intruders. Given their size, they are not capable of scaring off intruders.
The Chihuahua dog breed is popular, especially once Paris Hilton brought hers into the spotlight.
History of Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua dog breed has a controversial history: one theory is that is of Central and South American origin, while the other speculates that it is of Chinese descent.
The former believe the Chihuahua dog breed is a descendant of the Techichi, a breed that was in all Aztec families and that was buried with a deceased family member. The Techichi was virtually extinct by the 1500s.
However, three dogs believed to be the modern-day Chihuahua were found in a Mexican state by the same name, which led to their repopulation.
Soon after, the American border states saw a tremendous import of the dog breed and today is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US.
The Chihuahua has a temperament that’s courageous and lively. Expect this dog to bark frequently and to bite and nip while playing; discourage mouthiness by training it to bite only toys.
Moreover, the Chihuahua’s sensitivity level is high, meaning they are very sensitive to yelling. They prefer a laid-back attitude from their owners.
Although they are not ideal for families with kids, they are cat-friendly dogs, and they have a low impulse to wander.
Chihuahua Physical Characteristics
The common colors of the Chihuahua dog breed are white, black and tan, and black, but also may be spotted in various patterns and colors. Its coat is dense and long and has a compact body with fringed ears.
The typical weight of the Chihuahua is between 4 and 6 pounds and stands 6 to 9 inches in height for both males and females.
Do Chihuahuas Shed?
Shedding is to be expected but regular brushing will reduce the amount of hair shed and will additionally keep the coat softer and cleaner. The Chihuahua is not a hypoallergenic breed. It has a low-drooling tendency.
Types of Chihuahuas
The long haired Chihuahua has longer hair than its short-haired counterpart, which can be seen in the picture below. There is also the teacup chihuahua variations that’s also a popular breed.
Health and Care of the Chihuahua Dog Breed
The life expectancy of this breed is between 14 and 18 years on average, meaning its lifespan is greater than average toy breeds.
Common Chihuahua Health Problems and Concerns
They run a high risk of:
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Patellar luxation, and
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.
Additionally, they run a medium risk of other health issues including:
- Mitral Valve Disease and
- Portosystemic Shunts.
Minimal exercise is required to maintain this dog’s shape and keep it in optimal health. Apartment-living is suitable for this breed.
Chihuahuas don’t tolerate cold climates. Dress your dog accordingly with dog coats and sweaters, as required by the weather. However, this breed can tolerate hot climates.
Nutritional needs of a Chihuahua are less than half a cup of dry dog food for the average 5-pound dog.
Grooming requirements of the Chihuahua dog breed are low, and no trimming will be necessary. However, this dog breed sheds regularly, but frequent brushing will reduce shedding.
The Chihuahua dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1904.
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