The Chihuahua originated in Mexico, and was named after a state called Chihuahua. In some very old drawings in Mexico, there is an animal that resembles this little dog.
Chihuahuas are 6-10 inches high, and, in some kennel clubs, are the smallest breed accepted. A healthy Chihuahua should weigh about 4-6 pounds. They come in two coat variations: short and long. A short-coated Chihuahua will only need brushing every so often, but a long-coated one will need it once a week to keep the hair from getting tangled.
Chihuahuas typically don’t do well with very young children. They can be a bit snappy, which requires correction, and do best with older children who can handle them gently. Without meaning to, little kids are rougher with dogs, pulling on their ears and tails. A small dog cannot push children away when they corner him and feels trapped. If you want a Chihuahua, you will have to make the commitment to never leave him alone with young children, as he might attack. However, just because some Chihuahuas are badly trained and bite doesn’t mean that the breed is vicious. With proper training and monitoring, the Chihuahua can do well with children, as long as they are caring and gentle.
Chihuahuas don’t require much exercise, which makes them an ideal pet for apartment dwellers. However, just because your dog is a low-energy breed doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exercise him regularly. To keep your pet healthy, you need get him active.
Chihuahuas love to have their own “space.” That is, a warm corner with a bed and toy where they can be alone and rest. These little dogs love to bathe in the sun, and care must be taken to make sure that they are not too cold during the winter. Chihuahuas may shake when nervous, excited, or chilled. A good investment may be a little sweater for your Chihuahua when it is cold outside.
Chihuahuas are renowned for their loyalty and will protect their human with their life. They tend to be a one-person dog, becoming very attached to one person rather than the whole family. However, their loyalty can easily be dangerous. If they think that their human is in danger, they will bite or, even worse, attack. Just because the Chihuahua is small doesn’t mean that this issue can be ignored as being “cute.” Aggressive loyalty is definitely not cute. To avoid aggression, get your Chihuahua around many people (especially children), places, and pets while he still a young puppy. If he’s used to being around different things, a new person or situation will not frighten him, and he will be less likely to bite. If you already have a Chihuahua who bites or growls at people, immediately consult a professional dog trainer.
Chihuahuas would love to be your boss, so training is necessary. They are a very intelligent breed, and this shouldn’t go to waste. Don’t let Chihuahuas fool you with their small size; they excel in dog obedience and dog agility. They also do very well in dog shows. Check out the Tricks Page to get you and your dog started on a training adventure.
Chihuahuas love to be lap dogs, sitting on their human’s lap, but don’t get along very well with other dogs. They enjoy the company of their own breed but tend to exclude others. Chihuahuas like to think that they’re bigger than they really are and can be a bit of a bully. Always monitor your Chihuahua when he’s around other dogs, even big ones. He may irritate the large dog and provoke aggression.
Chihuahuas live for 12-20 years. If you take good care of your dog, he can easily live happily into his teens. To help your pet live longer, feed him healthy meals, don’t give him people food, and exercise him often.
A big problem with Chihuahuas is obesity. Some people overfeed their Chihuahuas, which can lead to a shorter life and diabetes. Consult your veterinarian on feeding amounts and never overfeed your dog or give him table scraps. If given people food, your pet will have stomach pain and could develop pancreatitis. Pancreatitis inflames the pancreas and causes terrible pain and nausea for your pet. For your dog’s health, stick to dog food and treats.
Chihuahuas come in many different and interesting colors. Some colors are chocolate, white, black, and fawn. Chihuahuas can be a solid color or have patches of different ones.
Chihuahuas are feisty, loyal, and loving companions. Because of their endearing personality, these little dogs have won a special place in the hearts of many.