Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dogs. In fact, the breed is often referred to as miniature, tiny toy, teacup etc because of the small size. Though, some Chihuahua dogs have also been known to grow up to a height of 12 inches. Their large, round eyes and human like expression on the face make them quite adorable and cute.
Unfortunately, these dogs are not considered suitable for families with small children as they are too fragile to be handled by young children who can accidently cause harm or unknowingly provoke the dog to attack.
These graceful dogs can prove to be highly amusing because of their funny activities.
You can easily carry your Chihuahua outside because of the dog’s small size. The ones having a ruff around the neck are generally preferred by most of the dog owners. In earlier times, these dogs were used in sacred rituals as they were considered holy in Pre-Colombian Indian nations. This dog breed is believed to have descended from the Techichi breed associated with the Toltec civilization in Mexico.
Chihuahua puppies have been known to have a soft spot on the top of the head. This soft spot or hole is referred to as Molera. It is more of a Chihuahua breed characteristic than a defect. The spot usually shrinks with the passage of time. Chihuahua dogs come in two varieties, that is, long haired or short haired.
Their head is generally described as apple shaped and the muzzle is usually tiny as compared to the head and slightly pointed. The eyes are dark or ruby colored. Their triangular shaped ears are erect and comparatively large in size. The dog’s stout body ends with a sickle shaped fluffy tail that curls over the back or to the side.
Color: Chihuahua dog breed comes in many colors- solid, spotted, sable, or a variety of other colors and patterns. Some such colors are black, white, silver, fawn chestnut, chocolate, cream, sand, steel blue, orange etc. A combination of different colors and patterns gives rise to a lot of variations. The merle coat color is often not preferred as such dogs are susceptible to genetic diseases.
Height: Both male as well as female Chihuahuas usually grow up to a height of 6 to 10 inches.
Weight: The ideal weight for Chihuahua dogs, whether male or female, should not be more than 6 pounds. Weight ranging between 2 to 6 is considered healthy.
This breed of dogs has fewer genetic defects as compared to other breeds. Still, some Chihuahuas may be prone to develop neurological problems like epilepsy and seizure disorders. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is another common problem in young Chihuahua puppies. Other health issues include Collapsing trachea, Hydrocephalus, Patellar luxation, Rheumatism, slipped stifle, heart diseases, gum problems and other related diseases.
They are picky eaters. So, they should be allowed to stay hungry for too long as they tend to suffer from low blood sugar. Chihuahua dogs are generally sensitive to cold temperatures. As their eyes are quite big, special care should be taken to protect them from potential injuries. Plus, the short muzzle tends to give rise to wheezing and snoring.
Life expectancy: The average lifespan is generally around 15 years or even more if maintained properly with great care.
Litter size: 1 to 4 puppies
As already mentioned, these dogs came in two varieties, that is long or smooth haired coats. The short haired coat is glossy but a bit coarser than the long haired one. The short haired coat could be scanty on the head and ears. Generally, Chihuahua dogs require occasional and minimal grooming, irrespective of the type of coat. Both short haired as well as long haired Chihuahua dogs shed moderately or even less.
You can gently brush your short haired Chihuahua with a soft bristle brush one or two times in a week. For long haired Chihuahua, brushing may be required two or three times per week. It is sufficient to bathe them once in a month’s time. While bathing your beloved Chihuahua, try not to let the water get inside his large ears.
Nail trimming activity can be carried out on a monthly basis. Also, their large watery eyes need to be cleaned at a regular basis (1-2 times per week) to remove tearstains. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is an integral part of grooming Chihuahua dogs as they are susceptible to gum diseases.
Chihuahua is an alert, intelligent, confident, loyal dog breed that can be temperamental at times. They are quite devoted to their owners, especially one or two members of the family. This could become a problem in case the dog becomes overly jealous or insecure. Therefore, this suspicious dog breed requires proper socialization from an early age; otherwise there could be problems of defensiveness and fearfulness.
These small dogs, oblivious to their size, can become stubborn or try to dominate their owners as well. Hence, they can be moderately difficult to train. It has been observed that Chihuahua dogs prefer to be accompanied by dogs of their own breed rather than other dogs but proper socialization can help in dealing with this behavior.
Besides, you are sure to find a Chihuahua’s curious and mischievous activities to be very amusing. Though, these attention seeking dogs when left alone may show signs of separation anxiety by excessive barking and annoying the neighbors. When trained properly right from the beginning, they can make for keen watchdogs.
You can flaunt your adorable Chihuahua in cute sweaters to make them look more charming. The sweater also serves another purpose of protecting the dog from the cold. Moreover, Chihuahuas are obsessive ear lickers. That is, when two Chihuahua dogs are kept together they like to clean each other’s ears.
They are good for apartment dwellers but the owners should not neglect the dog’s activity needs just because of the miniature size. Therefore, daily walks are a must.
On the downside, there are difficulties too. Housebreaking problems are common with Chihuahua dogs. Bad weather makes the problem worse. These lively yet fragile dogs should not be allowed to jump off the furniture to avoid accidental injuries.