Chihuahua Breed Information
This tiny dog, which comes in a variety of colors, is a favorite with people who want a very loyal companion that gives but also demands, attention. The most common type of Chihuahua is the shorthair although the other version of the breed is the longhair. Chihuahuas also have round, protruding eyes, and large erect ears.
Considered the oldest of the breeds on the American continent, the Chihuahua is native to Mexico and named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. However, the breed’s history is believed to extend back to the Chinese, who probably developed this tiny dog before world travelers introduced it to the rest of the world.
Many experts and historians of dog breeds tie the Chihuahua to the Techichi and the hairless dogs of the Orient.
A compact and quick-moving dog, the Chihuahua has some of the temperament of a terrier. Known to be an intelligent dog, quick to learn, the Chihuahua will respond well to training with positive reinforcement.
Most Chihuahuas are suspicious of anyone other than the owner and may even use their sharp teeth to defend themselves but usually only if teased or threatened. Because of its small size, the Chihuahua can be ideal for apartment living, as well as a wonderful companion for the elderly. In fact, by some counts it is near the top ten in most popular dog breeds in America.
Keep in mind that the Chihuahua is not an ideal pet for homes with smaller children. While this breed can live quite well with other dogs, you would usually find it wanting to be first in line, as far as attention. The Chihuahua can live to be 16 years old or more, which is a long time when compared to many other breeds.
Chihuahua Size and Color
Generally weighing well under five pounds, this breed is known for its apple-shaped head and a rather long, sickle-shaped tail. Chihuahuas come in many colors, including sandy, chestnut, black & tan, silver, and steel blue, among others. Most experts will tell you that the Chihuahua is more robust than it looks and some are even considered stout in body style. Although you will see varying heights, by American Kennel Club standards, the dog should stand about six to eight inches.
There are a few genetic health problems that Chihuahua owners may have to deal with, including knee problems, eye problems, and jaw disorders. In addition, one of the most common is a collapsed trachea. Depending on the severity of the condition, the veterinarian may prescribe medication or surgery. For the bones, while this breed is hardy, due to the thin bone structure, the Chihuahua should not be allowed to jump from high places or played with too roughly.
Then, it is interesting that the Chihuahua is born with a soft spot on top of its head, called a molera, which sometimes does not close as it matures. Therefore, owners should always be cautious on the way in which a puppy is handled, taking great care until the skull is fully formed.
Chihuahua Feeding and Grooming Requirements
The Chihuahua can be a picky eater, so new owners should take some extra time and care to make sure that the dog is getting the proper nutrition. Some experts caution that this tiny breed should not be overfed in that overweight Chihuahuas can develop problems later in life, such as joint injury and breathing problems.
One of the keys to having a happy relationship with a Chihuahua is to spend time socializing the new puppy with strangers and other dogs, which is very important to both the owner and the pet. Chihuahuas by nature are cold. For this reason, you will often see the breed dressed with a sweater. While the breed can feel chilled all year round, you will also notice shivering when frightened. For instance, Chihuahuas do not do well with fireworks or any loud noise.
Chihuahua Exercise Needs
The great thing about a Chihuahua is that it needs little to no exercise. Although an occasional walk would be good for overall health, this breed does not require daily exercise. For this reason, people living in apartments, those without yard space, elderly, and the disabled prefer the Chihuahua.
With no real requirement for exercise and being an excellent companion dog, you can see why the Chihuahua has become so popular.
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