ChihuahuaThe Chihuahua is also known as: None
|Group classification: Toy||Country of origin: Mexico||Date of origin: 16th century|
|Weight (M): Less than 6 lb||Height (M): 6 - 9"||Life expectancy: 15 - 18 years|
|Weight (F): Less than 6 lb||Height (F): 6 - 9"|
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General Description of the Chihuahua
The very smallest dog breed, the Chihuahua is ever vigilant and fleet of foot, with a spunky attitude. Compact with a terrier-like temperament, the Chihuahua has the appearance of a fine-boned but muscular dog that carries his sickle-shaped tail like a flag. The distinctive apple dome head features large eyes, dark or a luminous ruby in color, and large ears that stand erect when the dog is alert and flare out to the sides when at rest. The muzzle is short and pointed with a self-colored nose. Chihuahuas have two coat types, smooth and long. The smooth coat should be soft and close, with a perceptible sheen. Long coats can be flat or wavy, with an undercoat, fringed ears, feathering on the feet and legs, and a tail that looks much like a plume. A Chihuahua's coat can be of any color or patterning. Many Americans recognize the Chihuahua as the Taco Bell Dog from the popular "Yo quiero Taco Bell" advertising campaign.
Alert with terrier-like qualities, the Chihuahua can be irritable, overconfident or downright nasty when provoked. Nevertheless, this spunky little Toy's intense devotion to its "person" has earned the affection of millions of owners. The Chihuahua is brave and is known to defend itself and its home from large dogs and invaders by barking in protest and threatening mayhem. Chihuahuas are not recommended for homes with small children but do well with elderly individuals or couples, or an owner who loves to spoil. The Chihuahua is typically wary of strangers and unknown dogs (except other Chihuahuas), but gets along well with other pets in the house.
Caring for a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are a long-lived breed with minimal grooming needs. The smooth coat type should be brushed or wiped with a cloth occasionally; the long coat should be brushed daily. A monthly bath is recommended, but take care to keep the ears dry. This breed is an average shedder. Resist the temptation to carry these little dogs everywhere. They are much happier and fitter when walked; use a harness rather than a collar. Chihuahuas dislike the cold and appreciate a sweater on cool days. They are perfect for apartment living. Their “shivering or trembling” is not always a cold or health issue but often happens when the dog is excited or stressed. Do not allow your Chihuahua to jump off high furniture or from your arms as the impact could have serious consequences. For the same reason, do not allow children to play roughly with or to carry a Chihuahua. A rather healthy breed, the Chihuahua may nevertheless suffer from pulmonic stenosis, patellar luxation, hypoglycemia and hydrocephalus. Have your veterinarian perform all appropriate tests.
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We include the following list of misspellings so our internal search tools can send you to the right place. People often misspell Chihuahua as Chewawa, Chihuhua, Chiwawa or Chihuawa.