All About The Chihuahua Dog Breed
The Chihuahua is originally from Mexico and is one of the world’s smallest dog breeds. Known for its big personality within a tiny body, the Chihuahua is a bold, intelligent, energetic and fiercely loyal breed of dog that is easy to care for, relatively healthy and has a long life span. These are just a few of the main reasons why the Chihuahua is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
The dog is named after the Mexican state that bears its name. The Chihuahua is thought to have descended from the Techichi, the sacred dog belonging to the ancient Toltec civilization of South America. American visitors to Mexico began bringing Chihuahuas back home with them, starting in the mid nineteenth century. Their popularity started to take off during the 1930s and 1940s due to the dog’s association with Xavier Cugat, a popular Latin music bandleader and dance king. Today, the Chihuahua is one of the world’s most popular breed of dogs.
Chihuahuas can either have short or long hair. The coat can also vary from smooth and glossy, to soft and straight, or wavy with fringe around the ears. Chihuahuas come in many different colors, including white, black, fawn, chestnut, sand, sable and black and tan, along with a wide array of patterns. They have small and compact bodies and are longer than than they are tall. They range in height from 6-9 inches and usually weigh 2-6 pounds.
As one of the world’s smallest dogs, the Chihuahua is easy to care for and transport from place to place, which adds to their popularity. Their size also lends itself well to apartment living or homes with small yards.
Temperament and Personality
The Chihuahua is renown for having a big personality in a small body. They are very friendly and love to receive and give affection. Chihuahuas are very loyal and can easily grow very attached to their owners. For such a tiny dog they also are very bold and can be very strong willed as well. With strangers they can be reserved or protective. Like all dogs, proper socialization and training is necessary. Chihuahuas do tend to get along better with their own kind than other breeds of dogs, but with proper training can co-exist with other breeds.
Chihuahuas can be a bit of a challenge to train. However, they are intelligent dogs and learn quickly. They respond well to positive reinforcement, including treats and praise. On the other hand, they do not respond well at all to punishment or negative reinforcement.
It is important to not let a Chihuahua become dominant or a pack leader. Sometimes people let small dogs get away with behaviors that they wouldn’t allow a big dog because they think it is cute. However, a dominant Chihuahua may develop suspicious, aggressive or jealous tendencies and may not do well around other animals or strangers.
Like all dogs, it is very important to start the socialization and training process at a young age. That way the Chihuahua can co-exist and interact well with animals and people. Chihuahuas do make great family pets, but they are not recommended for households with small children.
Care and Grooming
Chihuahuas tend to be mostly indoor dogs and prefer warmer temperatures over cold climates. In cold weather, they may need a sweater or other covering to keep warm. The smooth, short haired Chihuahuas require very little grooming. Long haired ones should be brushed several times a week. They should be bathed about once a month. Keep nails trimmed and check their ears on a regular basis. In terms of exercise, playing and running around the yard or house can be sufficient. However, going for walks on a regular basis is also a very good idea.
Chihuahuas do tend to live long lives, averaging 14 to 18 year lifespans. Some of the minor health ailments that they may suffer from include glaucoma, gum problems, rheumatism, hydrocephalus, collapsed trachea or hypoglycemia. The key to having a healthy Chihuahua starts with get your dog from a reputable dog breeder and making sure all shots, vaccinations and regular trips to the veterinarian are done on schedule.
The Chihuahua is a very popular breed of dog due to its great personality, size, ease of grooming, good health and long lifespan, just to name some of the main great characteristics that this breed of dog has. They are suited for many different living arrangements, except for households with small children. They make great companions for the elderly and are also great dogs for those who live in apartments or want to be able to take their dog with them on errands or when they travel. All in all, the Chihuahua is a great dog to consider as a pet who will make a faithful companion for many years to come.