Chihuahua

  • Temperament Lively, Devoted, Alert, Quick, Courageous
  • Family Friendly No
  • Trainability Somewhat Easy to Train
  • Shedding Average
  • Group Toy
  • Color Variety of Colors (e.g., Black, White, Chestnut, Fawn, Sand, Silver, and Black)
  • Origin Mexico (1200s)
  • Height 15-25 inches
  • Weight 4-6 lbs
  • Original Function Ceremonial
  • Current Function Companion
  • Lifespan 10-20 years

Origin of the Breed

Chihuahuas originated in Mexico and are named after the Mexican state. The small shrew-ish dog breed is said to be descendents of the wild fennec fox and the Techichi of the Toltec civilization in ancient Mexico. Chihuahuas are recognized as the littlest breed in the world, and have been famous celebrity pets for decades.

Coloring and Size Variations

This dog breed varies from any color of cream, gold, black, amber, steel blue, black-and-tan, and multicolored. There are shorthaired breeds, and longer hairs breeds that have a mane-like fluffiness around their collars. Chihuahuas can also be bred in the "toy" and "teacup" version.

Behavioral Tendencies

Though they are little in stature, these dogs are known for their enormous personalities. They like to be doted on, played with, cuddled, and most of all, listened to. They tend to be a "yappy" breed, and have no qualms about making their shrill voices heard. They tend to shiver and shake when they are nervous or cold, and may require a small jacket for short-haired Chihuahuas during cold winters. They are not best to pair with small children, as they can feel threatened and defensive, prone to nipping and barking. They are not always compatible with other breeds of species of pets, are indiscriminately wary of strangers. They are "warning" guard dogs that like to alert the family of the slightest suspicion. Being descendents of foxes, these pups enjoy finding a little "burrow" of cushions, pillows, laundry, etc., and making it their den.

Training Needs

Chihuahuas are difficult to housebreak initially but they respond well to consistent firm boundaries and positive reinforcement. They need to be trained not to jump up on people, or go beyond the limits of where they are allowed. Because of their size it is easy to let Chihuahuas have their run of the home, being able to jump up on people and furniture at will, and will need to be trained on boundaries and respect for their owners.

Health Complications

The small lungs of these creatures make them prone to breathing difficulties such as colds, rheumatisms, wheezing, and snoring. They suffer from dry eyes, heart conditions, and high stress and anxiety at being left alone for too long. This breed is also born through c-section, because of their large heads. Chihuahuas are also susceptible to weight gain which can lead to diabetes and shorter life expectancy.

Exercise

Chihuahuas require daily walks, and tend to get peevish if they are not properly exercised. A common misconception is that running around the house will be sufficient for Chihuahuas, however this breed requires a long walk for mental stimulation and a healthy lifestyle. They also enjoy scampering around park areas as well, and exploring new places.

Living Conditions

Chihuahuas are adaptable creatures suited for apartment-dwelling as well as living in homes with large yards. Owners should be attentive if they have a bigger living space with extensive grounds, as Chihuahuas are small and could be susceptible to danger or injury if left unsupervised for too long. They prefer warmer climes like their native Mexico, and do not appreciate cold weather without the help of a snug coat.

Grooming

Short-haired Chihuahuas need seldom brushing, and can get back with their coats being washed or wiped down from time to time, while longer-haired Chihuahuas will benefit from regular brushing. Both types will need their ears checked and nails clipped on a regular basis.

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