Life span: 10-18 Years
Height: 15-23 cm
Weight: 1.5-3 kg
Chihuahua belongs to small dog breed and has been named after the origin. These breeds were originated from Chihuahua, Mexico. Chihuahua’s are light weight dogs and can be alert, active and energetic pets. They shed fur and are not hypoallergenic dog breeds.
This small and fragile dog has a medium sized tail that rests down, and small ears that sit high atop its head and remain erect. Its eyes are brown with a black or brown nose. The coat can be one of two varieties, smooth or long. The smooth coat is short and soft to the touch, and the long coat is long, also soft to the touch, and can be either straight or with a slight wave. Both coats can be black, brown, light brown, white, blue, red, or cream colored.
Originating in Chihuahua, Mexico (hence their name), these dogs were depicted in many vases, wooden toys, etc., that date as far back as 100 A.D, in archeological evidence and folklore as powerful and frightening dogs. Their ancestor was a Mesoamerican breed called Techichi, from around 300 B.C. The Chihuahua’s ancestor, the Techichi, was thought to be a guide dog for the dead to the underworld, and were adored and kept in every home, and when the owner died, they were sacrificed and buried with them. The Chihuahua did not become popular until the 20th century, having been accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1904. After that, they starred in commercials, movies, series, etc., and its popularity grew tremendously, mostly in Los Angeles, and especially after it began being used as a purse dog.
Chihuahuas are loyal to their families, and can sometimes become jealous of other pets or children. They can get along with them, but due to its temperament, may also become aggressive towards them. Due to this they need early socialization, and firm yet gentle training beginning from an early age. They are also wary of strangers and can be timid and/or aggressive towards them.
This breed is prone to having many diseases, some of which are:
Patellar Luxation, a disease where their kneecaps are slightly out of place or even dislocated, although this disease is genetic, it can also happen through injuries.
Heart Murmurs, in which the heart has a malfunction that prevents it from providing enough blood for the body.
Pulmonic Stenosis, in which the pulmonary outflow tract narrows, blocking the blood flow during systole from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery and it is usually not noticed until adulthood.
Shivering, which can occur when the dog is cold, stressed or excited.
Open Fontanel, in which the dogs are born with a soft spot on the top of their heads that usually closes up when they grow up. In some cases, this spot does not close fully, and these dogs are very sensitive because of it, and hurting their heads might kill them.
Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, causing pressure on it. There can be many causes and although it can be tested through ultrasound, it has no cure, but can be treated to reduce the pressure. It can be noticed through a swollen head.
Collapsed Trachea, in which rapid intakes of air flatten the trachea, making it difficult for air to pass through.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is easily treated when detected early, but if too severe can be life threatening. Symptoms include shivering, slowing down, and becoming listless. If too advanced, the puppy will collapse, start having convulsions, go into a coma, and eventually perish.
Smooth coated dogs will need only occasional brushing sessions and regular bathing, while those with longer hair need weekly brushing and occasional bathing. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Although high energy, these dogs are also small, and running around the house is enough exercise for them. If you see they are too tired during a walk outside, pick them up and carry it home, or they might overheat. Training should be relatively easy, as they love to please their owners. However, they tend to attempt to get away with what they want, so be sure to be firm but kind. They can also be difficult to housetrain.