The Chihuahua is the smallest of the toy dog breeds. This breed has a rounded head with large erect ears and a short tapered muzzle. Chihuahuas weigh from 2 to 6 pounds and stand from 5 to 9 inches tall at shoulder height. There are two varieties of Chihuahuas – Smooth-coat and Long-coat. Both varieties of the breed are similar except for their coats. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas are the most popular and have glossy, smooth and soft coats where the fur lies close to the body. Long-Coated Chihuahuas have longer soft coats with feathering on tail, ears, neck and feet. All coat colours are permitted for both varieties of Chihuahuas. The Chihuahua breed is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Toy Dog Group.
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The world’s smallest dog was probably developed in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico at the time of the Aztecs. The long-coated Chihuahua was supposedly developed later in the U.S. Chihuahuas have become the ultimate apartment dog and are very popular with older people. Chihuahuas were ranked 10th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Chihuahuas are intelligent, charming and loving dogs who are devoted to their owners. This breed needs close contact with its family and make great companions. Chihuahuas can have delusions of grandeur and self-confidence and will challenge much larger dogs. These tiny dogs have to be watched carefully or they could be severely injured in a fight. Chihuahuas are good with older children if raised with them. However the breed is too small to be a toddler’s pet. Chihuahuas are intelligent and can be trained fairly easily. However this breed can be difficult to housetrain, especially in winter. An indoor cat littler box might be a good solution to winter housetraining. Some Chihuahuas can be overly insecure and early socialization while a puppy is recommended. Chihuahuas make good watchdogs although their excessive barking can be annoying. This breed does fine with novice or first-time dog owners.
Chihuahuas are the ultimate apartment dog and usually get enough indoor activity that they don’t need any regular exercise. If you do take this breed outside for a walk, they may require a warm jacket in winter. Try not to let this breed jump off furniture as they can injure themselves.
Smooth-coated Chihuahuas need occasional grooming with a rubber brush. Long-coated Chihuahuas need regular brushing and trimming. This breed can have a single soft coat with minimal shedding or a double coat with moderate shedding. Check your puppy’s teeth to see that they are coming in correctly and keep checking adult teeth regularly for tartar. Since Chihuahuas don’t get much pavement exercise, remember to keep their claws trimmed.
Chihuahuas have a life expectancy of 15 or more years and are generally healthy. Health problems include luxating patellas, dental problems, heart murmurs and collapsing trachea. Because these dogs may be prone to collapsing tracheas, harnesses are recommended instead of collars and leashes.
Article type: xdogbreed