Chihuahua

Appearance

A small Chihuahua
Chihuahua Quick Summary
Also Known As
OriginMexico
LineagePedigree
SizeSmall
Height (at withers)6-9in (15-23cm)
Weight3-7lbs (1-3kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, fawn
Lifespan15-20 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size1-4
SheddingLow
GroomingLow
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Chihuahua is a very small and fragile looking dog, but although small in body and size, it is actually quite strong and robust. The body is longer in length than in height, and the head is rounded with proportionally large ears and dark, wallowing and protruberent eyes. There are two types of Chihuahua: the long coated variety and the smooth coated variety. The long coated Chihuahua has a soft and long single or double coat, and the smooth coated variety has a soft, thick and short coat. The colouring includes brown, fawn, chestnut and black and tan.

Temperament

Chihuahuas are lively and affectionate dogs, and also very entertaining and bold for their size. They make great companions and love giving and receiving attention, and will tend to follow their owners around the home and love cuddling up on a lap. Intelligent and eager to please, these dogs are very responsive, playful, quick to learn and respond well to firm and gentle training. However, they have a stubborn streak and housebreaking can be difficult and so these dogs are best suited to more experienced dog owners. Chihuahuas will get along with older, more considerate children and will tolerate other pets when properly socialised. They can be reserved, wary and yappy around strangers unless socialised early too. It is important to know that Chihuahuas become very attached to their families and often develop jealous streaks if they feel another person or pet is receiving the attention they should be receiving. These unlikely little dogs are very territorial and make good watchdogs as they will bark to raise the alarm is something is amiss.

History & Skills

Chihuahuas originate from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, after which they are named, although speculation is rife regarding their true origins. Some schools of thought have it they were pets of the Aztecs and Toltecs, and others that they existed thousands of years ago in Ancient Egypt. Whichever is the case, they were named after the Mexican state from which they were first exported to America in 1898. These days they remain to be popular companion dogs, especially for single people and the elderly.

Breed Specific Ailments

Chihuahuas tend to live between 15-20 years are one of the longer living breeds. However, they do come with some health related problems and disorders, many of which are down to their small size. These include luxating patella, entropion, heart problems, trachea problems, low blood sugar, dental problems, sensitivity to chemicals and medications, and open fontanel. Chihuahuas have fragile bones and protruding eyes, and care should be taken to ensure they are not dropped or treated roughly, as this could lead to injury.

Grooming

Chihuahuas are medium shedders but don't take very long in terms of grooming thanks to their small size. The short coated variety sheds all year round but will simply need occasional brushing and a wipe down with a damp cloth. The long haired variety sheds on a seasonal basis and will need more regular brushing, and grooming may need increasing with the double coated variety because shedding may be heavier. The eyes should be checked regularly seeing as they protrude, because this increases the risk of contracting eye infections and problems.

Exercise & Environment

Chihuahuas tend to live indoors, are suitable for small homes and do not need a large amount of exercise. A daily half-hour walk will suit most of their exercise needs but they should be walked using a harness rather than a leash because of their delicate windpipes.

Recognition

FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

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