Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that come in many different colors and markings, and can have either long or short coats, but they all have large, alert ears, big moist eyes, and huge personalities. Inside each little Chihuahua is a miniature king or queen ready to rule their realms, so they need to be taught what is acceptable in human kingdoms. They are intelligent and enthusiastic, so they usually don’t need extensive training.

  • Personality: Graceful, charming, and sassy.
  • Energy Level: Though Chihuahuas like to run and play, they are mostly an indoor pet, and do well in apartments.
  • Good with Children: Better with Older Children
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Independent
  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: 3-6 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-20 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

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HISTORY

Legend and history are rich in tales of the ancestors of the present Chihuahua. He is described as a popular pet, as well as a religious necessity.The Techichi, companion of the ancient Toltecs, is believed to be the progenitor of the Chihuahua. No records of the Techichi are, so far, available prior to the 9th century, but it is probable his ancestors were present prior to the Mayans. Dogs approximating the Chihuahua are found in materials from the Pyramids of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula.

There is little question the Chihuahua’s principle home was present-day Mexico but the breeds immigration to Europe may be the result of the travels of Christopher Columbus. A historical letter written by Columbus to the King of Spain makes reference to the tiny dog.

The Chihuahua as we know it today is a much more diminutive dog than its predecessor. It is theorized that the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible for the reduction in size.Modern Chihuahuas are also found in a myriad of colors. The Chihuahua is an older breed by American Kennel Club standards, first registered in 1904.

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

 A graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy expression, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.

COAT

 In the Smooth Coats, the coat should be of soft texture, close and glossy. (Heavier coats with undercoats permissible.) Coat placed well over body with ruff on neck preferred, and more scanty on head and ears. Hair on tail preferred furry. In Long Coats, the coat should be of a soft texture, either flat or slightly wavy, with undercoat preferred. Ears – Fringed. Tail – Full and long (as a plume). Feathering on feet and legs, pants on hind legs and large ruff on the neck desired and preferred. (The Chihuahua should be groomed only to create a neat appearance.)  Disqualification – In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.

GROOMING

They really need very little grooming due to their short hair. The Long Coat Chihuahua also needs occasional brushing but still requires minimal grooming. Their small nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Providing hard bones and chew toys will help strengthen gums and remove tartar. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Chihuahua on Great Dane's back

EXERCISE

Chihuahuas are animated and entertaining creatures, famously loyal, who’d happily spend most of their lives curled up in your lap. Though they like to run and play, Chihuahuas are mostly an indoor pet, and do well in apartments. Chihuahuas are fragile and have to be treated with care and kindness—they might not be the best choice for young children. They were bred for the warmth of Mexico and don’t do well in cold weather. They will seek out the sun and love to burrow under blankets to keep toasty, which makes them even more adorable.

HEALTH

Your puppy’s breeder should provide you with a medical history for you to bring to your vet. Your veterinarian can advise you on how to continue to keep your puppy healthy and free of fleas, heartworms and other parasites. Immunizations are strongly recommended to prevent serious disease. Rabies is required by law. Chihuahuas are generally a healthy breed. But like all breeds there may be some health issues, like patellar luxation, cardiac and eye disease.

Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Chihuahuas are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Chihuahuas can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

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FEEDING

Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.

The Chihuahua is an extra-small breed and has a lifespan of 15 to 17 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.