Chihuahua: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a little yet self-assured dog that enjoys giving and receiving attention. The appears delicate and little, yet it is actually rather arrogant and bold. Wide eyes and ears that are often upright and enormous in comparison to its small head and body are among its distinctive traits. The Chihuahua has a distinct character and may make a devoted and friendly companion dog.

Breed Overview

GROUP:

HEIGHT: 6 to 9 inches

WEIGHT: 2 to 6 pounds

COAT: Chihuahuas can have smooth short coats or longer fringed coats.

COAT COLOR: They are seen in many colors, either solid or a combination of two colors. Most common colors include black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red.

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 20 years

TEMPERAMENT: Loyal, alert, lively, attentive, bright, companionable

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: Mexico

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Characteristics of the Chihuahua

Because of how well-liked they are as pets, chihuahua owners consider themselves lifelong admirers of the breed. Chihuahuas are adored for their feisty (and even snarky) personality, which more than make up for their little stature.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Low
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua's native state in Mexico is where it first appeared. The Techichi, a holy dog of the ancient Toltecs, was most likely the breed's progenitor. Some people think that the Chihuahua's smaller size may have come about as a result of breeding with Chinese crested dogs, but others think its forebears may have existed before the ninth century.

The Chihuahua is one of the tiniest breeds in the world and one of the oldest on the American continent, having been first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904. With its little stature and huge personality, it is also quite recognized. The popularity of the breed increased in the 1990s and the early 2000s because to Taco Bell commercials using the breed and reality television shows that starred Chihuahuas as the handbag dogs of wealthy, well-known young ladies.

Chihuahua Care

The friendly and attention-seeking characteristics of the Chihuahua make it a cuddly dog that likes to be handled and caressed. The Chihuahua may be a fantastic companion for a variety of homes if grown and managed properly. Although not all Chihuahuas will naturally get along with youngsters, they may be socialized and trained to do so. It is frequently advised against adopting a Chihuahua into a home with young children since the youngsters might not handle a little dog with the necessary care to prevent harm.

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Exercise

It's common for people to undervalue the need for exercise in tiny dogs, but giving your Chihuahuas frequent exercise is crucial. Chihuahuas have a moderate to high degree of energy, and if not provided proper exercise, they may exhibit behavioral issues. Your dog's physical and mental health will be maintained with exercise and mental stimulation. When you are walking a Chihuahua, be careful since if they are not properly taught, they might get violent with larger dogs. To keep your dog out of any possible conflict, you might need to be on guard.

Grooming

Due to their short hair, smooth-coated Chihuahuas require nothing more than routine basic care. Long-coated Chihuahua breeds, in particular, require more frequent maintenance, particularly regular hair combing. Because of its small size, the Chihuahua's nails don't naturally wear down, therefore it's crucial that you trim them frequently to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.

Training

The feisty temperament of the Chihuahua necessitates thorough obedience training and appropriate socializing. Without sufficient socialization, the breed may develop defensiveness and anxiety, particularly around unfamiliar people or animals. Untrained Chihuahuas may display stubborn or defensive behavior toward their owners and other individuals. The breed is intelligent and may become well-behaved with commitment and persistence, while occasionally being obstinate. You must also train your Chihuahua to accept handling from an early age, especially for grooming and maintenance procedures like nail trimming.

Common Health Problems

Breeders that practice responsible breeding work to uphold the highest breed standards as set out by organizations like the AKC. These breeding guidelines reduce the likelihood of inheriting health issues in dogs. The following are a few genetic health concerns to be aware of in Chihuahuas:

  • Patellar Luxation: This is a dislocating kneecap, which causes the dog pain. You may notice your dog holding its foot off the ground, and its kneecap may pop back into place when its muscles relax and lengthen.
  • : This is a restriction of the windpipe that is often seen in small dogs. Coughing when pressure is put on the trachea is a sign of this condition—if you notice these symptoms, you should discuss it with your veterinarian urgently.
  • Hydrocephalus: This can be noted in puppies with signs of an abnormally large head as fluid accumulates.
  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar can affect Chihuahua puppies, and they may need a sugar supplement.
  • Chihuahuas like to be warm and they don't tolerate cold well. You may need to put your dog for walks in cold weather. You'll note that your dog will seek out warm places in your home, like near the heat, in the sun, or on a blanket.
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Diet and Nutrition

Chihuahuas only require 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry food every day due to their little size. Given that obesity may shorten a dog's lifetime, you must keep an eye on your dog to make sure it does not get overweight. If your pet is overweight or has a health issue, talk to your veterinarian about a suitable diet.

Since a Chihuahua's jaw is so tiny, frequent dental care, including as cleaning, will be necessary to support your pet's teeth. Dental chews and a diet that demands chewing are recommended since they both naturally contribute to plaque reduction. The chunks in a good dry dog food for Chihuahuas should be big and thick.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Chihuahua

Due to the popularity of the Chihuahua breed, there are several accredited breeders all across the nation. Make sure the person you work with can give references and medical records for their canines. As an alternative, there are several specialist Chihuahua rescue groups all across the nation.

  • The Chihuahua Club of America offers resources, including a list of reputable breeders.
  • Chihuahua Rescue and Transport has regional groups that feature dogs looking for their forever home.

Chihuahua Overview

Pros
  • Cuddly

  • Intelligent pet for the right owner

  • Small and easy to transport

Cons
  • Does not tolerate cold temperatures

  • Requires a high level of physical exercise

  • Can be aggressive if not properly trained

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Take the time to do your homework first if you want to live with a cute Chihuahua. To find out more, consult your vet, other Chihuahua owners, reputable Chihuahua breeders, and Chihuahua rescue organizations.

If you're interested in similar breeds, check out:

There's a whole world of potential dog breeds out there. With a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • Are Chihuahuas good apartment dogs?

    Yes—Chihuahuas are great apartment dogs thanks to their small size and easy care. It's important to train your Chihuahua properly so you keep the noise and barking to a minimum.

  • What were Chihuahuas bred for?

    Chihuahuas are said to have been bred for companionship and religious ceremonies, as opposed to working dogs or service dogs. They are believed to be the ancestors of the ancient Techichi and have a distinguished history as "lap dogs."

  • Are Chihuahuas good family dogs?

    With a few restrictions, chihuahuas may make excellent family pets. First and foremost, kids should be integrated into the family while they are young so they do not feel overwhelmed as they grow up among the other family members. It's also crucial to teach any young children in the family how to handle and play with a pet responsibly, especially with a dog the size of the Chihuahua.

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