Getting to know chihuahuas

Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the Chihuahuas:

To breeders of the Chihuahua, this dog is known as the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Although the Chihuahua is small, adorable, and an excellent pet it deals with a myriad of potential health risks. Unfortunately, with commercials featuring this breed and a number of celebrity sightings, the Chihuahua has been labeled as a “carry where you go,” “easy to manage” type dog when the truth is that it does require some special care.

Yes, the smooth haired Chihuahua is fascinating and precious but an accidental fall or drop could cause serious injury. For this reason, it takes a knowledgeable and responsible pet owner for this particular breed. When provided the appropriate diet, environment, and attention, this dog is truly one of the best companion dogs there is but without this, problems can and likely will arise.

Physical Appearance

The smooth haired Chihuahua is alert with protruding eyes and a smooth coat. Just as with the long-haired version of the Chihuahua, the smooth haired breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club. Show dogs will generally weigh between four and six pounds but a purebred can be as heavy as 10 pounds. For show, weight is the most important factor since height can vary dramatically, anywhere from 12 to 15 inches from the withers.

Additionally, the smooth haired Chihuahua is found in many different colors and color combinations to include:

* Solid White * Solid Black * Fawn (cream to light brown) * Chocolate (light brown to rich mahogany) * Blue Gray * Tri-color (chocolate and blue or black, with tan and white markings) * Silver * Merle * Brindle

One important note – the Chihuahua of Merle color typically has more health risks than that of other colors. In this case, problems such as deafness, blindness, sterility, hemophilia, among other things are possible.

Temperament and Personality

Words to describe the smooth haired Chihuahua would include tiny, sweet, curious, smart, funny, and very, very devoted. Because the Chihuahua is so small, it is best handled by older children or adults. This particular breed does well around children and other animals but they are somewhat suspicious of new people, at least at first. Once the Chihuahua decides to be your friend, it is your friend for life.

The Chihuahua is also a fearless dog, often not realizing its small size. Seeing a four-pound dog defending its food from a 110-pound dog would be typical behavior. Not an aggressive breed, the Chihuahua simply holds its ground. However, the other side of this breed is the gentleness that owners love.


The Chihuahua is so small that it is sensitive to cold weather. Therefore, coats and sweaters are often used to keep the dog warm, especially during the winter months. Some of the concerns over the Chihuahua breed include problems with teeth, pregnancy, birthing, seizures, and epilepsy. In addition, a Patella Luxation is a potential health risk associated with the kneecap.

You will also find that the Chihuahua often deals with a collapsed trachea, which causes coughing and in severe cases, trouble breathing. Usually, surgery or medication can help the problem. The Chihuahua is also the only known breed to be born with an incomplete skull. This means it has a soft spot in the skull called the Moleras and while the area will grow together as the dog matures, special care needs to be given during the initial six months. Finally, this breed is prone to eye infections because of the round, protruding shape.