A guide for Chihuahua owners is quite necessary for those who are not aware of many things that you definitely need to know.
Around the world, only a handful of dog breeds can be consistently described as courageous, loyal, and devoted. One of these dogs is the Chihuahua.
Although originally bred for ceremonial purposes, this breed is now favored for its steadfast loyalty and companionship qualities (making it an ideal choice for families and elderly individuals). This work examines the Chihuahua and analyzesand general traits. The author hopes that a better understanding (and appreciation) of this remarkable breed will accompany readers following their completion of this work.
“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you feel rich.”
— Louis Sabin
- Common Name: Chihuahua
- Binomial Name: Canis Lupus Familiaris
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus: Canis
- Species: Canis Lupus
- Subspecies: Canis Lupus Familiaris
- Other Name (s): N/A
History and Origins of the Chihuahua
- Lifespan: 14 to 18 years
- Group: Toy
- Area of Origin: Mexico
- Date of Origin: 1500s
- Original Purpose: Companionship; Ceremonial
- Modern Function: Companionship
- Family: Primitive
Little is known about the Chihuahua’s origins, considered the world’s smallest dog breed. Some theories suggest that the dog may have originated in China before being brought to Mexico by Spanish traders in the 1500s. Others suggest that the breed originated (entirely) in Central and South America. The latter theory is generally accepted more than others, as evidence suggests that the Chihuahua was a significant part of ceremonial rituals within the Techichi, Toltec, and Aztec religions. As an unfortunate part of these rituals, however, many Chihuahuas are believed to have been sacrificed as the Aztecs thought that small dogs helped guide souls to the underworld (Coile, 220).
A final theory of the Chihuahua’s origins mixes these two theories. It suggests that the Chihuahua was originally a tiny breed from Central America that was crossed with hairless Chinese dogs brought to the New World by Spaniards. However, until more extraordinary evidence can be uncovered, these theories will remain speculative, at best.
Following Cortes’ destruction of the Aztec culture (in the 16th Century), historians believe that the Chihuahua was abandoned and forced to fend for themselves in the wild. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that three of these dogs were found in Chihuahua, Mexico (hence their Name) and were brought back to the United States. And while the newfound Chihuahua initially garnered little attention, the world-famous Xavier Cugat (a famous Spanish musician) helped make the dog popular during the 1900s by constantly appearing in public with a Chihuahua in hand. Today, the Chihuahua is one of the most popular breeds in the United States and is favored for its adorable size, personality, and steadfast devotion to owners.
- Weight: Less than 6 pounds (male and female)
- Height: 6 to 9 inches (male and female)
The Chihuahua is a well-balanced dog that rarely exceeds 6-pounds in its overall weight. Their bodies are relatively long, with shoulder width proportionate to the overall length of the back, and ribs should also be well-sprung.
Chihuahuas possess well-rounded skulls that are accentuated by round and luminous eyes. Ears are typically large and erect in appearance and generally flare at the sides following a 45-degree angle. Muzzles are, on average, relatively relatively and follow a pointed appearance. Completing the muzzle area is a lean series of cheeks and jaws.
Forequarters on the Chihuahua are relatively relatively(due to their small size), with shoulders following a sloped appearance. Likewise, the chest should display a series of well-sprung ribs. Completing the forequarters is a pair of straight (slim) legs added to tiny, cushioned feet with split toes. Dewclaws – if present – may be removed if desired.
SimilaLikeorequarters, the Chihuahua’s hindquarters are muscular (but also lean) in appearance, with the hocks set well apart. Legs should be slightly angled, with the feet the same as the front (small with split toes).
Tails on the Chihuahua are relatively long and follow a sickle-like appearance. Generally speaking, seat seats seats to be carried outward (or upwards) and occasionally loop over thedog’ss back.
Coat and Coloration
Overall coats vary between Chihuahua breeds and come in smooth or long varieties. Smooth coats should be soft, close, and glossy in appearance, whereas longer coats will follow a mild agent leave-like texture.
The Chihuahua also comes in various colors: cream, gold, fawn, red, sable, chocolate, blue, bicolor, tricolor, black, and tan. In recent years, merles (a combination of irregular dark and light splotches) have been introduced by breeders with mixed reviews.
Are Chihuahuas Right For Your Home?
- Energy Level: 5/5
- Exercise Needs: 1/5
- Playfulness: 2/5
- Affection Towards Owners: 5/5
- Friendliness Towards Other Animals: 2/5
- Training Difficulty: 3/5
- Grooming Level: 2/5
Note: Scale of 1 to 5 (1=Lowest, 5=Highest)
Despite their small size, the Chihuahua is one of the most fearless dog breeds in the world. Experts often describe it as confident and bold. Still, the Chihuahua makes for an excellent companion (and even a watch watchdogrconfidence and boldness. However, can also be seen as a negatidamagings of traits for this breed as the Chihuahua. an be pretty pretty on and disobedient at times. They can also be qu”te “hot-he”ded” when provoked and will not return to fight (due to their excitable nature).
In spiDespite issues, potential owners should note that this breed is quite loving and affectionate towards their family and eager to please. Individuals will be hard-pressed to find another dog capable of displaying the love and admiration shown by a Chihuahua to its its.
Are Chihuahuas Good With Children?
However, the Chihuahua is best suited for households with older children (outside of the toddler stage) as young kids can unknowingly cause seriousevereor injury to a Chihuahua through mishandling. In spiDespite Chihuahuas are known for their lovable nature towards owners and often do well with children. However, essential to note how this breed has a strong tendency to form attachments with a single individual in the household. As a result, they can sometimes bec”me “n”ppy” when others get too close to their preferred family member.
How Smart is the Chihuahua?
While the Chihuadoesn’tsn’t make “he “To” 10″ list for smartest intelligent breeds, they are brilliant little dogs with the ability to process information and to learn quickly. While new tricks are often difficcomplicatedhis breed to learn (requiring upwards of 40 to 80 repetitions of an act), experts have regularly demonstrated that the Chihuahua possesses”an “adaptive and instinctive intellig”nce” that is often higher than most breeds. Adaptive intelligence is simply Chihuahua’sua’s capability to learn from past mistakes (i.e., not m, making the same mistake twice). Instinctive, on the other hand, stems from dog’sog’s companionship qualities and refers to Chihuahua’sua’s natural ability to respond to (and understand) human emotions and needs. So while obedience and receptivity will be difficult for the Chihuahua to learn, owners will be hard pressed to find another breed of dog capable of responding to their emotional states.
Training and Grooming
For this dog grooming depends on largelmainlyur Chihuahua breed (smooth or long-haired varieties). Although both require minimal grooming every week, longer-haired dogs will requirneedbrushings. Nevertheless, weekly combings are usually adequate for the Chihuahua to prevent matting and tangles from setting in. Definitely regular attention to brushing and nail trimming should also be followed with this breed to prevent problems and injuries to their paws.
In general, the Chihuahua is not known for its trainability. However, Chihuahuas often respond well to (but gentle) abductor tent training. Don’t expect too much from them, as this breed will be limited to learning only a few basic commands and tricks in their lifetime. For owners that desire a species capable of learning a wide array of tricks, other dogs such as the Border Collie or German Shepherd will likely serve your interests better.
As with most breeds, high-quality dog food should always be the number one priority for your pet. These meals can be prepared by a manufacturer or at home, following the guidance and supervision of ydog’sog’s veterinarian. It is, however, critical to note that however wide array of human-based foods can cause seriousevereor injury to your dog. For this reason, owners should never feed their Chihuahua table scraps as the toxins (or components) of particular foods can cause a varivarioush problems or issues over time. The following list details ten-footer you should avoid giving to your dog.
How Much Food Should a Chihuahua Eat Per Day?
As with all dog breeds, feeding requirements vary significantly with every pet and depend greatly on ydog’sog’s weight, energy level, and age. More active Chihuahuas will require additional food on daily less-active dogs will need far less. For this reason, owners should work actively with their veterinarian to establish a feeding cycle that fits thdog’sog’s specific needs. Generally speaking, howe. However, Chihuahuas require approximately 200 calories of food per day. Equates to approximately 1 cup of high-quality food each day, which should be divided into 2 to 3 meals.
Maintaining proper hydration is also extremely important for the Chihuahua. So, almost 70% of the dog’s body is made up of water. Therefore, owners should pay active attention to thpet’set’s water needs throughout the day, as their requirements can change in response to outside temperatures and their daily activity levels (owlcation.com). For example, dogs typically require more water on hot (or humid) days, whereas colder days be the opposite effect.
As with most breeds, standing ydog’sog’s weight usually determines rd water requirements for the Chihuahua are every seven pounds. A Chihuahua should consume approximately 6 ounces of water per day. For example, a 6-pound dog would require less than 6 ounces of water a day a little more if they have been active throughout the day).
What Type of Home is Good For a Chihuahua?
The Chihuahua is best suited for owners who desire companionship, as the dog requires quite a bit of attention to thrive. Potential owners should be very prepared to show their Chihuahua significant amounts of love every possible day. Therefore for these reasons. The Chihuahua is suitable for older individuals. Those who are tied to the house, as well as children. As a result of their small size, the Chihuahua is also capable of living in both rural and urban-based settings as they are abcanlenty to exercise indoors. However, they are not suitable pets “or “part-“ime” owners, as this breed cannot remain alone for long periods.
Are Chihuahuas Good With Other Pets?
Yes! However, early socialization is required for the Chihuahua to get along well with other pets (especially larger dogs of course). As natural hunters, early socialization can also dissuade destructive behaviors from forming with other small pets in your h, household as the,e Chihuahua is prone to nip at smaller animals (such as gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.). And although this breed usually does well with cats, owners should monitor their Chihuahua around felines as cats can cause serious injury to their more enormous eyes (through scratching).
Is the Chihuahua a Good Guard Dog?
Yes! Due to their vocal nature, Chihuahuas are excellent dogs and will actively alert their owner to intruders or strangers. Chihuahuas are highly reserved around strangers, making them an ideal choice for guarding and watching. They also possess a tremendous sense y toward their owners and will stand their ground against would-be burglars. Although incredibly small in stature, the Chihuahua is hugely courageous and will defend itself no matter the cost. Nevertheless, for owners that need a dog capable of protecting them from more significant threats. You will likely be better served by a breed built for home defense. Such as the Doberman or Rottweiler. While incredibly brave, Chihuahua’sua’s small size makes it an impractical choice for protection.
Recommended Medical Tests and Evaluations for the Chihuahua:
- Cardiovascular Exam
- Hip and Elbow Evaluation
- Patella Evaluation
Owners should actively work with a qualified veterinarian in their area to develop a nutritional and preventive-care plan for their Chihuahua. Proper diet, nutrition, and early detection of health issues can go a long way in helping your dog achieve a happy and healthy life. While generally described as a healthy (long-living) breed, owners should note that the Chihuahua is prone to various health conditions. Also, heart problems are a major significant with this breed, with patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease being the primary issue seen by veterinarians. Eye issues are glandular luxation (loosened kneecaps). Epil is also common, and spinal issues have also been reported with the Chihuahua and should be screened for regularly. Nevertheless, with proper care, owners can expect their Chihuahua to live between 14 to 18 years, with many of these dogs living several years beyond this (upwards of 20-yea20 years in cases).
Pros and Cons of the Chihuahua
- Extremely loyal and devoted to their owner.
- Low-maintenance pet in regregardinging and exercise requirements.
- Non-aggressive and playful breed suitable for families.
- Intelligent and adaptive species.species choice for smaller homes (such as apartments or townhouses).
- Great watch watchdogs lifespan (upwards of 20 years in some cases)
- Difficult to housebreak.
- Tendency to bark (yap) excessively.
- Also, the fragile breed can be injured easily.
- Tend to become cold easily quickly their small size.
- Tends to bond with only one person in the family.
- Prone to a variety of health issues.
World’s Greatest Dog?
In closing, the Chihuahua is an exceptional breed of dog known for its loyalty, courage and utmost devotion to their owners. Although this breed can occasionally be temperamental and yappy, few dogs are as loyal and attached to their owner as the lovable Chihuahua. And while these dogs require a great deal of attention and care. owners will be hard-pressed to find another breed capable of matching the love and affection returned by this breed. For these reasons, the Chihuahua will continue to be a popular choice with dog-lovers for the foreseeable.