Chihuahua Dog Breed Profile
Chihuahuas are extremely small dogs that are fierce and loyal to one person. While they can be a great dog to an entire family, a Chihuahua likes to have one extremely strong bond with an owner. Chihuahuas have been known to be spunky and lively, which can result in them having a bit of an attitude at times.
History & Origin
The Chihuahua has extremely old roots that link back to Mexico in the 9th century AD, with images of dogs similar to that of a Chihuahua appearing in ancient Mexican wall paintings. The Chihuahua we see today is believed to be a breed of the ancient Mexican dog call the Techichi and a small, hairless dog from Asia.
Chihuahuas are incredibly small dogs that can vary in appearance. All Chihuahuas will have large eyes and large, pointed ears, but there are actually two coat lengths – long or short – and a variety of color combinations that Chihuahuas can have.
Standard colors for a Chihuahua include black, black and tan, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, fawn, fawn and white, and red. Standard Chihuahua markings are black brindling, black mask, black sabling, merle markings, spotted on white, and white markings.
Other possible colors are black and red, black and silver, black and white, black sabled fawn, black sabled silver, blue, blue and white, blue brindled fawn, blue fawn, chocolate and white, chocolate blue, chocolate brindled fawn, chocolate sabled fawn, cream and white, fawn brindled black, gold, gold and white, red and white, silver, silver and white, and white.
Markings that are possible but not standard for a Chihuahua include black mask with white markings, blue mask, cream markings, fawn markings, and red markings.
The Chihuahuas may be small, but they have a big personality. While they prefer to spend time with other Chihuahuas, they enjoy the companionship of other animals. Their big personalities can lead them to be somewhat difficult to train as they are usually unwilling to give up their control.
Chihuahuas can work well in some families, but they are not extremely patient animals. This can pose a problem if children try to be rough with the dog or otherwise doing things the Chihuahua would perceive as annoying.
The Chihuahua is a very intelligent dog, but its attitude and personality may require professional training. With the use of a professional dog trainer, the Chihuahua can help understand that it isn’t the leader of the house.
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As a dog in the toy family, Chihuahuas are extremely small animals. Both male and female Chihuahuas grow to be between 6 and 9 inches in height and usually weigh less than six pounds.
As with any dog, Chihuahuas should make routine visits to the vet and owners should look out for signs of fleas or other parasites. Chihuahua owners should also ensure their animals get the proper vaccinations and immunizations they need.
Chihuahuas are generally very healthy dogs, but they are still susceptible to common canine diseases. A few of those diseases include Patella Luxation, Canine Brucellosis, and eye diseases. Chihuahua may also develop epilepsy.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these various conditions and other canine diseases can keep Chihuahuas healthy and ensure they get the treatment they need as quickly as possible. Owners should review the possible health conditions Chihuahuas can develop and talk to their vets about what to look out for.
Once a Chihuahua overcomes their attitude, they can be easy to care for. As a dog in the toy family, it takes a particular person to become a Chihuahua owner as things like walking long distances or cold weather can be difficult for them. Chihuahua owners may need to carry their dog from time to time and provide sweaters or jackets if they live in an area with freezing temperatures or snow.
Because they are such small dogs, just a little bit of exercise is enough for them, and in many cases, just running around the house or yard can be more than enough exercise to stay fit and healthy. It is still always recommended to take Chihuahuas for short walks to get fresh air and experience the surroundings.
As with any dog, a Chihuahua will need fresh water periodically throughout the day. Although they are small, Chihuahuas still have a need for the right nutrients and minerals to keep them healthy and energized as they go throughout their day.
As Chihuahuas are extremely small dogs, they shouldn’t need to be fed more than once a day or very small meals multiple times a day. The dietary needs of a Chihuahua will usually change as they get older and continue growing. Owners of Chihuahuas should discuss the dietary needs of their animal with their vet to ensure they are getting the proper amount of food.
Both long and short hair Chihuahuas are easy to care for. Their coats, particularly the Long Coat Chihuahua, will need to be brushed regularly to keep them shiny and healthy. The Long Coat Chihuahua may also need the occasional trim.
The ears of Chihuahuas are known to collect, wax, debris, and dust, so owners will need to check and clean them routinely to eliminate the chance of ear infection. Owners of Chihuahuas will also need to trim their dog’s nails to reduce the chance of cracking and will also need to brush their teeth to prevent tooth or gum disease.
If a Chihuahua will fit well in a family usually depends on the style of the family. Because Chihuahuas are not known for being patient dogs, they will not do well with all children. For families with very young children who might be prone to pull on a Chihuahua’s ears or tail or may want to play too roughly with the dog, a different breed may be recommended.
Chihuahuas also have a lot of energy for a small dog, so they will need to be part of a family that can provide them with an outlet for that energy. Because Chihuahuas are such small animals, they can do well in apartment settings.