Appearance The Chihuahua is a dainty, fragile looking dog, and is a very distinctive looking animal with a pretty face, and a somewhat mischievous expression. The Chihuahua has a rounded head and dark, wallowing, and protruding eyes, with ears that are very large in proportion to the rest of the head. When it comes to the coat of the Chihuahua there are two varieties available, one being the long coated variety and the other the smooth variety. The long coated Chihuahua has a soft, long coat, and this can be single or double. The smooth coated variety is soft, short, and dense. The coloring of the Chihuahua can vary and includes red, cream, chocolate, blue/gray, white, fawn, and black. He may also have white or tan trimmings. The weight of the Chihuahua is around 2-6 pounds, and the height is around 5-8 inches.
Temperament The smallest of the dog breeds, the Chihuahua is a dog that is lively, affectionate, loving, and entertaining. This is a dog that loves to both give and receive attention, he will follow you everywhere around the house and loves nothing more to cuddle up on your lap while you're watching TV. Intelligent and eager to please, the Chihuahua is very responsive and playful. However, it is important to remember that the personality of Chihuahuas can vary, and whereas some may be very confident and friendly others may be reserved and stand offish. The Chihuahua usually gets very attached to his family and he can have a jealous streak if he feels he isn't the centre of attention and another pet or person is getting more attention than him. The Chihuahua gets along well with older, gentle children and will tolerate other pets when properly socialized with them.
Early and continued socialization is important in order to ensure that your Chihuahua has a stable and even temperament, and the genetic temperament of the parents of your Chihuahua will often determine how he is likely to turn out. Many Chihuahuas do have very outgoing personalities, and are very inquisitive and surprisingly bold for their size. Sociability with strangers will again depend upon the personality of the individual dog, but many are reserved and wary around strangers. The Chihuahua does bark to raise the alarm is something is amiss, and this makes him quite an effective watchdog. He has a high learning rate but a stubborn attitude at times, which makes him best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Housebreaking this breed can also be difficult.
History The Chihuahua is a native of Mexico, and this breed is named after the state in which it was first developed. There is much speculation about the true origins of the Chihuahua, and this ranges from being the sacred dog of the Aztecs to being around in Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. The Chihuahua was registered with the AKC in 1904.
Health The lifespan of the Chihuahua is around 15-18 years, making him one of the longer life breeds. There are some health problems and disorders associated with this breed and these include luxating patella, entropion, heart problems, trachea problems, low blood sugar, dental problems, sensitivity to chemicals and medications, and open fontanel. These small dogs have very fragile bones, and owners should take care to ensure that he is not treated roughly or dropped, as this could lead to injury - this is why the breed is best suited to gentler children. The protruding eyes of these dogs also need to be taken into consideration, as they could be easily damaged. Take care not to inadvertently harm the dog's eyes through rough treatment or kicking, and keep an eye out for any infections. The parents of the Chihuahua puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.
Chihuahua Breed Clubs/Associatons
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