Chihuahuas are endearing because of their diminutive stature, large personalities, and a wide range of coat kinds and colours that they come in. Agility and obedience are among their abilities, and they are among the top ten watch dogs recommended by specialists.
Chihuahuas are devoted to their owners, even if they are rookie pet owners, and require little in the way of grooming and exercise to keep them happy. They're great apartment dogs because they get along well with everyone in the household. Just make sure that any children who come near know how to play with a tiny dog in a kind manner. Chihuahuas have a wide range of characteristics and facts that you may learn about here!
- Inquire about health clearances for patella and heart issues from the breeder you choose.
- Chihuahuas can live up to 18 years if properly cared for.
- Shivering is a common symptom in Chihuahuas, particularly when they are cold and frightened. When it's chilly or rainy outside, make sure your Chihuahua has a warm coat or sweater.
- It's important to socialise your puppy with other dogs from an early age to avoid this problem. When confronted with a huge aggressive dog, Chihuahuas don't back down, and this can be problematic.
- While out in the yard, don't leave your Chihuahua unsupervised. Other birds of prey, such as hawks or coyotes, could attack him.
- Chihuahuas have personalities that are larger than life, and if you let them, they'll take over your life. As a result, they might be destructive and picky eaters if their food is overly scrutinised. Keep to your guidelines or you'll find yourself giving up your favourite chair because your pet has told you to do so.
- Chihuahuas can be wary of new people and situations. It's best to get a dog that has been around people his entire life.
- Children under the age of ten should avoid owning a Chihuahua. Chihuahuas can be easily harmed by a child while playing with them because they are such small dogs. Puppies sold to households with children under the age of eight are uncommon.
- Ear wax buildup and dry skin are common in Chihuahuas.
- Despite their joyful disposition, Chihuahuas require daily exercise of 20 to 30 minutes and can go much further than you might anticipate. Take care of your Chihuahua, especially when he's young, to avoid overexerting him.
- Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy companion. Look for a reliable breeder who conducts health and temperament exams on all of her breeding dogs.
It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.
Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.
You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.
Potential for Playfulness
The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.
In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.
Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment
A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.
Easy To Train
Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.
Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.
Family Affection Level
Affectionate With Family
Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.
Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.
Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.
Amount of Shedding
Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.
While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.
Easy To Groom
Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.
Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.
They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.
Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed
3 to 6 pounds
10 to 18 years
6 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
Chihuahuas, the world's tiniest dog breed, have a checkered past. According to one version, the breed originated in China and was transported to the New World by Spanish traders, where they were crossbred with small native dogs. Alternatively, it may have been derived from the indigenous Techichi, which is thought to have originated in Latin America.
Every Aztec household had a little red dog that was buried with every member of the family who had died, as the dog was thought to be a shaman's guide to the underworld. It didn't help matters that the Toltecs and their conquerors, the Aztecs, enjoyed eating dogs, and it's possible that the Techichi was one of those canines.
Despite their brief lives, the Techichis appear to have been well cared for by the priests or their families while they were alive. Chihuahuas are thought to be descended from several different breeds, the most likely of which are the local Techichi and the small, hairless Chinese dogs that they were mixed with.
The Chinese dogs may have crossed the Bering Strait via a land bridge, or they may have been transported over later by traders from the Spanish colony in Alaska. The small canines were left to fend for themselves after Cortes conquered the Aztecs in the sixteenth century. Three little dogs were discovered in Chihuahua, Mexico, around 1850. Barely a small number of them made it to the United States, where they received only sporadic media coverage. In the public eye, the Chihuahua only became popular after Xavier Cugat, dubbed "the rhumba king," made an appearance with one as his constant canine sidekick. As one of the most popular breeds in the United States, it has seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the years.
Personality and Temperament
It's hard to go wrong with one of these adorable little dogs as a best friend. This breed is affectionate and devoted to its owner. Lap Dogs, despite their small stature, have a voracious appetite for activity and need to be constantly stimulated.
Because of their small size, some people fear that chihuahuas can be aggressive toward strangers or little children if they aren't properly socialised.
They may be more prone to barking than certain larger dogs, like many little dogs. They can also be tyrannical and try to exert control over their owners.
For his dedication to just one person, the sassy Chihuahua has become a favourite toy dog. He's shy around strangers, but he's great with other dogs and cats in the house. Some people strive to defend themselves, but they aren't particularly successful. It's possible that some will be extremely confident, while others will be more cautious. He may be prone to mood swings. A few squeaks.
Chihuahuas have a unique set of physical and behavioural characteristics that necessitate some extra attention. As a veterinarian, it is important for you to pay careful attention to your pet's teeth. In order to lessen the puppy's fear of people, you should begin socialising it as soon as possible. You should plan on taking your pet to the vet at least once a year to ensure that any potential health issues are caught early on.
As stated by the United Kingdom Kennel Club, Chihuahuas are a long-lived breed with an average lifespan of 12 years or more, but they can commonly live much longer, up to 15 years old. There are no mandatory tests for UK Kennel Club Assured breeders relevant to the Chihuahua at the time of this writing, however there are still some health issues that can impact the breed. Among them are:
Essentially, this is when the back leg's knee cap falls out of place. Walking and running might be made difficult if not impossible because of the pain and stiffness it can induce. Surgery can be used to treat it, depending on the severity. In the Chihuahua population, patellar luxation looks to be on the rise, so it is crucial to select a healthy family line.
Chihuahuas of the Merle coloration have a gene connected with major health issues, and no reputable breeder should purposefully breed these dogs to have this coloration. Blindness and deafness are possible outcomes of these conditions, which impair the eyes and ears.
The condition known as hypoglycemia is characterised by dangerously low blood sugar levels. This is frequent in small breeds, especially young ones, because they burn more calories than they can take in. Hypoglycemia can lead to a loss of coordination, glazed eyes, convulsions, and eventually death if it is allowed to continue untreated.
Hypoglycemic dogs should be treated right away by administering glucose directly into their mouths. This illness can be avoided by eating modest, frequent meals throughout the day and avoiding sugary snacks.
Chihuahuas are sometimes born with a molera, or opening in their skull before the bones fuse. It appears as a soft patch on the top of their head from the outside and should close over time, although caution should be used while dogs are young to prevent injury.
When this happens, fluid accumulates around the brain, resulting in an abnormally inflated skull. Increased pressure from fluid accumulation can cause brain damage and even death, but the symptoms vary according to the severity of the pressure buildup.
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A condition in which the head of the femur degenerates at the point where it connects to the hip in the back leg. Eventually, arthritis develops as a result of this. Blood supply to the bone is suggested to be a contributing factor to the illness. The goal of treatment is to alleviate discomfort, and surgery may be required in some cases.
The rings of cartilage that normally keep the trachea open in little dogs are prone to collapsing, making this a typical problem. Always use a harness instead of a collar to avoid putting any pressure on the dog's neck.
Since Chihuahuas have prominent eyes, they are more likely to get scratched or bumped. Ulcers can grow as a result of these injuries, which can be extremely painful and eventually result in blindness if not treated effectively or repeatedly.
Because of their small jaws, Chihuahuas are more susceptible to dental issues than other breeds. They are more likely to suffer from gum disease and tooth loss if they have an excessive number of teeth. There may be a correlation between early detection of dental disorders, such as tooth decay and gum disease, and regular dental checkups with a veterinarian.
When it comes to small dogs, it's easy to overfeed a Chihuahua. The risk of tracheal collapse is increased when a person is obese. Because the Chihuahua has such a small physique, excess weight can lead to health issues like diabetes and joint tension, so proper nutrition and exercise are essential.
Recommended Health Tests
- Patella Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Chihuahuas require only 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry food each day because of their small size. You'll need to keep an eye on your dog's weight to ensure that it doesn't become obese, which can shorten its longevity. If your pet has a medical issue or is gaining too much weight, see your veterinarian about an appropriate diet.
Because of their small jaws, Chihuahuas' teeth are more vulnerable, so daily dental care, including cleaning, is required. Plaque can be reduced by giving your children dental chews and feeding them a diet that demands them to chew their food. It's important for Chihuahuas to eat dry dog chow that has large, solid bits.
The short hair on smooth-coated Chihuahuas makes grooming them a simple matter. Long-coated Chihuahuas, on the other hand, require more frequent maintenance, particularly regular combing of the hair. This breed's nails don't wear down naturally because of their small stature, therefore regular trimming is necessary to prevent them from becoming overgrown and annoying.
The exercise needs of smaller dogs are sometimes underestimated, but this is not the case with Chihuahuas. It is possible for chihuahuas to develop behavioural issues if they aren't given enough exercise. Your dog's mental and physical health will benefit from regular exercise and mental stimulation. If a Chihuahua isn't properly trained, they might be aggressive with larger dogs, so exercise caution when walking one. You may need to be on the lookout for situations where your dog could get into trouble.
The Chihuahua's spunky demeanour necessitates thorough socialisation and training in basic obedience. If the breed is not properly socialised, it can become apprehensive and aggressive toward strangers and other animals. It's possible for an untrained Chihuahua to become aggressive against its owner and others. Despite their stubbornness, this breed is intelligent and can be trained to be well-behaved if given enough time and effort. Getting your Chihuahua used to being handled, especially for things like nail trims and grooming, should be a priority from an early age.
Children and Other Pets
Children and little dogs don't mix well, and this is especially true when it comes to small dogs and young children. If not properly handled, a Chihuahua may jump out of a child's hands and damage himself, and if mistreated, he will not hesitate to protect himself. To prevent their puppies from being harmed by a child, many breeders refuse to sell to households with young children. Smaller dogs do best in households with older, quiet children who know how to engage properly with them.
Make it clear that young children must sit on the floor to interact with the Chihuahua. Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to avoid any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Never approach any dog while it is sleeping or eating, and never try to take the dog's food away from it. A dog should never be left alone with a child, no matter how old they are.
For his own safety, your Chihuahua should grow up among children, even if your family doesn't have any. This will help him not be afraid of them later in life. Make sure you monitor the situation closely.
Cats can get along with Chihuahuas if they are introduced to them at an early age. It is possible that the brave Chihuahua will exert dominance over canines much larger than himself, and this could result in conflict with the larger animal. When it comes to dogs, it's not unusual for the smaller one to take command.
Due to their shyness towards new people, Chihuahua puppies make excellent first pets because they can be socialised at an early age. For the best benefits, puppies should be exposed to a variety of people and settings as early in their lives as possible for maximum benefit. To ensure that your pet is healthy and up to date on its immunizations, you should take it to the doctor as soon as possible.
Dogs Similar to the Chihuahua
Check out the following breeds if you prefer the company of small toy dogs:
Chinese Crested Dog
Dogs of the Chinese Crested breed were bred particularly for the use of royalty as companions. Hairless and powderpuff are the two types available. There is fur on the dog's feet and neck, despite the moniker "hairless."
Elegant and long-haired, this Chinese breed is one of the most beautiful. This breed, like the Chihuahua, can spend the majority of the day cuddled up on its owner's lap, content to stay inside.
The Chihuahua is not a toy breed, but this breed's alert and friendly nature has been likened to that of the Chihuahua. Also like an apple, its head is spherical, and it has huge eyes.