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 an ancient breed that was larger in size and highly prized by Aztec royalty. This breed erupted onto the national scene as a “must have” dog for a few reasons. The old Taco Bell television commercial, “Yo Quiero Taco Bell?”, featured a Chihuahua. This TV commercial quickly ascended the Chihuahua in popularity simultaneously referring this breed as "The Taco Bell Dog". Their popularity also grew as the rich and famous were often seen carting these small dogs around in stylish oversized purses. What's their appeal? The tiny dog and its feisty attitude coupled with long lasting, enduring loyalty, colorful expressive face, large round eyes and small stature makes this breed one of the most appealing sought after breeds today.
The Chihuahua is a very individualistic, highly intelligent 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.
Does your Chihuahua bark, howl, and cry whenever you leave the house? Separation anxiety
is extreme anxiety experienced by your dog when you are away from him.
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. They have big dog personalities but most of the times they don’t realize how small they really are. Aggressive tendencies are common amongst this breed especially towards other dogs both large and small. Their aggressive tendencies can make strolls through a park or busy city street difficult without having properly socialized them from puppyhood. A study shown in "The Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science" found this breed to be one of the top breeds most likely to bite a person or begin an altercation with another dog.
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.
If your dog is displaying behavior uncharacteristic of his normal actions, call the Vet
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.
Most of this breeds tendencies can be encouraged from gentle, compassionate training starting from puppyhood. Concentrating on training and socializing your puppy from an early age will prevent the Chihuahua from becoming a little tyrant or from exhibiting bad behavior or bad manners often discouraged in larger breed dogs. Unfortunately, too many people who buy a Chihuahua often let their puppy rule the roost which complicates matters for reversing their learned acceptable behavior. The Chihuahua can be difficult to train, but with patience, love, and consistency they do well. They respond best to continued 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 and the importance cannot be expressed enough. Teaching your dog to sit, lie down, and stay
is vital to the training of your new puppy. There are several accepted methods of house training your new Chihuahua puppy.
Consider crate training
if you need to adapt your dog to a safe and confined environment for various safety and comfort reasons.
Do you live in an apartment or condo that allows dogs? The Chihuahua is an excellent apartment or condominium dweller. The majority of their exercise needs can be met indoors by playing with toys, running throughout the house and through play sessions. Chihuahuas absolutely love going for a walk with their owners and greatly benefit from daily walks. When taking your Chihuahua out for a walk we recommend using a hardness rather than a leash given their delicate neck and bone structure. Socialization
is one of the single most important things you can do for your puppy.