Chihuahuas originated in Mexico and are the smallest dog breed in the world. They make excellent companions. They are loyal to their owners and love attention. Even though they are small, they still need to be kept occupied.
Origins Of The Chihuahua
The exact origins of the Chihuahua are unknown. There are records of a possible ancestor of the Chihuahua going back as far as the ninth century. In the 16th century, the Spanish Explorer Hernan Cortez recorded that the Aztecs bred small dogs for food. They were also used as living hot water bottles.
The modern Chihuahua was probably brought to the United States sometime in the late 19th century. The breed was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904. They are classified in the toy group.
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed recognised by kennel clubs.
The American Kennel Club recognises two varietes - the smooth coat and the long coat.
The maximum weight recognised by the American Kennel Club is 5.9 pounds.
Their height ranges between 6 and 9 inches.
Chihuahuas come in a variety of coat colors with just about every color and color combination being possible.
In common with many other small breed of dogs, Chihuahuas don't seem to undergo the obedience training and socialization that larger breeds receive. Owners don’t seem to believe it is necessary.
This is a pity, because Chihuahuas benefit from this sort of training.
Poorly socialized Chihuahuas tend to be aggressive and can easily be provided to attack. They are not suitable for homes with small or undisciplined children. They tend to become loyal to one person and can become over-protective of that person.
They love to snuggle up in bed with their owner, particularly under the covers which they consider to be their den.
Chihuahuas are a long-lived breed with a life expectancy of between 12 and 20 years.
They require expert veterinary attention when giving birth.
Because of their small mouths and weak teeth, oral health care is important for Chihuahuas. To avoid periodontal disease, it is important that they teeth are cleaned regularly. This can be done by brushing or by using dental chews.
Chihuahuas have large protruding eyes. This makes them prone to eye infections and injury.
They tend to have a weak trachea and using a harness rather than a collar is recommended
Grooming And Care
Chihuahuas are bred as companion dogs and the best place for them is inside with you. They are not suitable to be kept outside and can be attacked by birds of prey.
They enjoy exercise and love playing games. Playing games is probably the best type of exercise for them. However, a daily walk also works well. Chihuahuas benefit from socializing and training when they are young and have participated in many agility sports.
They are as easy to house-train as any other dog. They should be given access to their potty areas first thing in the morning and after every meal.
Their grooming needs are minimal and an occasional brush is all they need.
Chihuahuas As Pets
Chihuahuas tended to be a one-person dog rather than a family pet. They are quite delicate dogs and there is a possibility of them being injured if children play with them too roughly.