The exact origin of the Chihuahua is a mystery. There are a few theories; either from China and brought to the USA by traders or originating in Central and South America. In 1850, a few dogs were found in Chihuahua, Mexico, which were brought to the U.S. They weren't popular at first as they were little use as a working or utility dog, but people soon realised what a fantastic companion dog they made. Nowadays, it is in the top 20 breeds in the United States.
Often described as a miniature Terrier, the Chihuahua's personality makes up for it's tiny size. They are feisty and confident dogs, loyal and often temperamental. They bark a lot, probably due to their size as often they are hidden under a blanket or somewhere equally as comfortable so owners often sit of them. The bark lets everyone know where they are. They will cuddle up to you and like being held. The one problem with Chihuahuas is their tendency to bond with one person very closely, usually the main carer. They will often be very protective of their owner and can snap at others who try to get close. They aren't the easiest to train, but it is vital to prevent the dog becoming too fixated on the owner. Chihuahuas do need exercise, but they will be happy running around the garden, house or taken on a short walk. Being so tiny, they are ideal for small houses and flats. Their confidence is massive. They are rarely intimidated by anything, including much larger dogs, so care should be taken when out walking. Again, training and socialising is vital. They are generally okay with children who respect dogs and are usually fine with other pets. Chihuahuas are inquisitive by nature and will bark at the door. They distrust strangers and will be wary towards them. They shiver when excited, frightened or cold and will need a coat in Winter (if you can get them out of the house when it's cold - they aren't big fans of cold weather). As a breed, they rarely suffer any health concerns.
Chihuahuas come in two varieties - Short coated and long coated.
Chihuahuas have a devoted and loving personality. They will often become solely attached to one person and may behave timidly around others.
These are quirky little dogs with lots of personality. They are small in size but you would be forgiven for thinking they more than make up for it. Care should be taken when selecting a puppy and always ensure you meet the parents as temperament can often be passed down and this can be particularly hard to change in Chihuahuas.
Health problems that may affect Chihuahuas include patella luxation (dislocation of the knee cap), hydrocephalus (build up of fluid around the brain), heart problems and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 20 years
- Weight: 1.8 - 4.5 kg
- Height: 6 - 9"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 30 Minutes
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