The Chihuahua is the smallest of all breeds and has the distinction of being the oldest breed in America. They were named after the Chihuahua region in Mexico. It is believed that this breed descended from ancient breed that was larger in size and highly prized by Aztec royalty. The Chihuahua of today has a very fine bone structure, but are actually quite muscular.
The Chihuahua is a very individualistic breed. They each have their own unique personality, so only a few generalizations can be made. They are commonly referred to as a "Chi". They are energetic, graceful, and display a human-like expression. Their life span is the longest of any size dog.
The Chihuahua is deeply devoted and fiercely loyal. They typically become extremely attached to one or two people. They are bold, fearless, and highly protective of their masters. They thrive on inordinate amounts of attention. The Chihuahua is by nature gentle, loving, and sweet-tempered. They are wary of strangers and make excellent watchdogs. This breed is not well suited for children or other pets. However, they are sociable with their own kind. Chihuahuas are excellent companions in the right circumstances.
The Chihuahua requires minimal grooming. The Smooth coat variety requires only occasional brushing. The Long coat variety should be brushed several times a week with a soft bristle brush. Both varieties only need bathing once a month using a mild shampoo. Special care must be given to not get water into their ears as they are prone to ear infections. Dental hygiene is a must to prevent tooth loss. The health issues that affect this breed include slipped stifles, open font or soft spot, eye problems, and heart disease. The Chihuahua does not tolerate cold climates and must be protected when taken outside.
The Chihuahua coat comes in two varieties: The Smooth and Long coat. The Smooth coat has a glossy, soft, and close coat which is full textured over the entire body, but quite scanty on the head and ears. The Long coat has a soft, longer coat that can be slightly curly or flat. This variety does have an under-coat. Either coat type comes in a variety of colors such as fawn, brown, black, and white. The coat may be solid in color, marked with splashes of color, or tri-color. They are an average shedder.
The Chihuahua can be difficult to train, but with patience, love, and consistency do well. They respond best to positive reinforcement. Chihuahuas can be housetrained by either the crate method or the paper training method. Early, extensive, and intensive socialization is an absolute must for this breed.
The Chihuahua is an excellent apartment or condominium dweller. The majority of their exercise needs can be met indoors with toys or play sessions. However, they greatly enjoy going with their owners and benefit from daily walks. Using a harness is recommended instead of a leash is best given their delicate neck and bone structure.
Help reduce the number of Chihuahua puppies in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.
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