They were bred to be a companion dog and hate to be alone. They are the oldest canine in North America and the smallest breed in the toy group.
Native to Mexico these dogs were named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. They are believed to be dated back to the Pre-Columbian Indians.
Their coats are short - smooth, soft-textured, close and glossy or long-coated - soft texture, either flat or slightly curly. Their eyes are full but not protruding and large ears that stand straight up. They have a well rounded muzzle, short slightly pointed nose, a body that is longer than it's tail, and a tail that curls over it's back or to the side.
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 2-6 pounds Life Span: 15 years. They come in these colors: fawn, chestnut, silver, sand, and steel blue. Because of their short coats they require little grooming. You need to watch their diet because they tend to gain weight easily.
Characteristics and Temperament
Quite intelligent Grateful Alert Swift-moving Not meek - will fight with larger dog Wonderful guard and will take on human intruders. Tends to be bossy Easily spoiled Loyal Like to bark
The Chihuahua is a good apartment dog but enjoys exercising and playing outdoors on warm day. They should be protected when outdoors in cool or cold weather with a sweater.
They are not suited for children because they can be nippy with them. Another reason is that they are so tiny and fragile they can be seriously injured or killed by a child stepping or sitting on him. They can also seriously injure themselves by leaping from your arms or off the back of furniture. These dogs need constant supervision and surveillance of what's going on around him.
These dogs are perfect for the elderly or an individual because they make wonderful companions. They are loyal and have an affinity for being close to their master. They can ride inside of a pocket, tote bag and fit nicely in soft-sided pet carriers for an airplane or car ride. They enjoy the outings immensely.
They are prone to slipped stifle fractures, jawbone disorders, eye problems, heart disease, epilepsy, tooth and gum complaints.
Chihuahuas are slightly difficult to train and need positive reinforcement. They do have a mind of their own, they are stubborn and manipulative and you must show them consistency and that you mean what you say. You need to socialize him when he is a puppy to avoid excessive aggressiveness.
These problems can be minimized by buying from a reputable breeder who tests his breeding stock for inheritable problems and by careful management. A responsible breeder will want to find a good home for their dogs and they rarely place a Chihuahua in a home with children under the age of twelve. Buy a dog who will mature at 4 pounds and up. (They will weigh 2-3 pounds at 10-12 weeks of age)
If someone wants an outrageous price and says it's because it's a toy or miniature watch out. Avoid them because they are overpriced and could be unhealthy.
Chihuahuas A Toy Dog
by Sandy Oberreuter
Sandy has a web site on small dog breeds with articles on popular small dogs, dogs good with children and seniors, breeders, dog diseases and more.