|Country of origin:||Mexico|
|Registries:||AKC, UKC, CKC|
|Size:||Not to exceed 6 lbs|
|Longevity:||14 to 18 years
Instantly recognizable, the Chihuahua is one of the bestknown lapdogs in the world. It truly earns this designation, being nowhere so happy as on a human lap; its light build and large, prominent eyes complete the picture of a devoted and dependent companion. This tiny breed requires little exercise and is ideally suited to urban life. It is, however, vulnerable to the slightest degree of cold, the short-haired variety especially so. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas are also susceptible to epilepsy, a trait they share with other breeds with domed skulls. In spite of the tiny size of its frame, the breed has the hunting and protective instincts of a much larger dog. Breeding for a more relaxed temperament has been quite successful. Nevertheless, Chihuahuas are still apt to act first, and although their teeth are small they are still very accurate. Often a one-person dog, and with injuryprone legs, the fragile Chihuahua isn’t suitable for boisterous families.
An indigenous dog, the Techichi was represented in Mexican historical records, beginning as early as the 9th century, and it is considered the primary source of the modern Chihuahua’s genes. There is a belief among historians that this indigenous dog was crossed with a hairless breed from the Orient. In the travels of Columbus a similar small dog was noticed in Cuba. Being highly treasured in Toltec and Aztec civilizations these dogs were often buried with their masters. It is unlikely that the origin of the breed was just in the Chihuahua area of Mexico, but since many of the foundation dogs that were exported in the mid 1800’s came from this state, the name was selected. Yorkshire Terrier and Papillon crosses may have resulted with the longhaired varieties. It is an interesting fact that the Aztec used to sacrifice the red-colored dogs, while considering the blue ones to be sacred.
Recently the Chihuahua burst onto the national stage as a “must have” dog for two reasons: the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell?” ad campaign and, more recently, the tendency of rich and attractive young women to haul these small dogs with big attitudes around in stylish and expensive oversized purses.
Today the Chihuahua is the world’s 30th most popular dog breed. It is considered to be the most recognizable, yet least understood of all dog breeds.
Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and not to be underestimated for their diminutive size. They have the biggest personality stashed inside that tiny body. Chihuahuas are charming, graceful and sassy. They love close human contact and lots of attention. Sometimes they can be snappy with young children and strangers.
Other breed characteristic adjectives are loyal, alert, independent, confident and fast moving. Expressing many terrier qualities they have extremely high activity and energy levels.
Chihuahuas show medium to high barking tendency and quite often they are known to be picky eaters.
Because of their low grooming needs, this breed is suitable for apartments.
There are two coat varieties smooth and long haired. While smooth coats are glossy and soft textured but with a hint of roughness, long coats are smooth and flat. When it comes to color, any combination is acceptable, whether is a solid color, solid color with markings or splashed colors.
Being considered the smallest dog breed in the world, the average Chihuahua weights under 6Ib (2.5kg). Its height at withers is 6-9’’ (15-23cm).
Raising an obedient dog requires more than just obedience training, it requires nurturing a positive relationship with the dog. When it comes to well-behaved Chihuahua, avoiding common handling mistakes can make all the difference. Because their small size makes them somewhat fragile, number one rule is to always handle them gently.
Regular exercises, early on socialization, and improved mental stimulation are priorities.
Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and take well to training when it comes with positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise.
Talking about health profile, it must be well noted that Chihuahuas are highly susceptible to multiple inherited and acquired diseases and disorders such as: patella luxation, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, dental issues, cataract, canine pattern baldness, dystocia, hydrocephalus, umbilical hernia, cryptorchidism, hypothyroidism, endocardiosis, urinary calculi etc.
Their lifespan is estimated to be 12-14 years.