The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed. They have either a smooth, short-haired coat or are long-haired. They have two types of head shapes: deer head and apple head which, as the name implies, is more rounded. Chihuahuas can be several colors, including solid colors such as fawn, red, cream, black, brown, and white. They can also have a patterned coat such as splotched.
The Chihuahua is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, where the breed originated. They were integral to religious ceremonies in Central American cultures and many small dog toys that resemble the Chihuahua have been unearthed in archaeological excavations in the area. There are several theories surrounding the origins of the Chihuahua. An ancient dog breed, Techichi, from the Toltec civilization in Mexico, is thought to be the most likely ancestor of the modern day Chihuahua. This lovable and loyal breed has been widely popular as a pet in Central and North America.
Chihuahuas can be exceptionally loving and require care and attention. However, if not trained correctly as a pup, they can develop neurosis and suffer from stress. The Chihuahua is loyal to and protective of his/her caregiver. Properly trained Chihuahuas get along fine with children but small children should be taught to handle them gently. Chihuahuas can be particularly strong-willed and require strong leadership and proper socialization.
- Height: 6 – 10 inches
- Weight: 4 – 10 pounds
- Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
- Grooming: Brush long-haired Chihuahuas daily and short-haired ones occasionally. Bathe monthly and clean ears once a week.
Care & Health
Chihuahuas are prone to several diseases, many of them related to their small size. Health concerns include eye infections and injuries, dental issues, joint injuries, and chronic bronchitis. To avoid dental disease, Chihuahuas should receive expert veterinarian care, including cleanings. Also common among Chihuahuas and other small breeds is tracheal collapse, in which the cartilage surrounding the trachea weakens, allowing for the trachea to flatten. Animals with this condition require long-term vet care and may require medications and possibly surgery.
Chihuahuas need to eat often to avoid hypoglycemia but care should be given not to overfeed them. Chihuahuas can easily become overweight if not fed properly and given enough exercise. Being overweight and even obese can have serious health repercussions. Even though Chihuahuas like to cuddle up and be carried by their pet parents, it is necessary for them to have a daily walk for exercise. Chihuahuas will shiver and shake when exposed to the cold so they require a warm environment and find comfort under blankets. They are well-suited to apartment living as they do enjoy lounging about and are small in stature.
Your Love Match
The perfect pet parent of a Chihuahua: