Chihuahua Information

Overview

With a saucy, perky appearance and a personality to match, Chihuahuas are well-known for being the smallest breed of dog in the world. However, never underestimate them for their small size as the breed is often described as being alert, swift-moving, intelligent, and extremely lively. Perhaps made famous by its frequent appearance in Hollywood and Taco Bell commercials, Chihuahuas are currently ranked as the 18th most popular dog breed registered with the American Kennel Club. Read on to find a full breed description to help determine whether this little companion dog is the right fit for your family life.

Chihuahua
Basic Info
NameChihuahua
Other Name Chihuahua dog
OriginMexico
Size Type Small Dog Breeds
Breed Group Toy Dog Breeds
Life Span 12 -18 years
Temperament Alert, Courageous, Devoted, Lively, Quick
HeightMale: 6–10 inches, Female: 6–10 inches
WeightUnder 6 lbs
Colorsblack, tan, White, and many other colors
Puppy Price Average $500 - $800 USD

Chihuahua

Physical description

Body Type

As the tiniest breed in the Toy Group, it is no surprise that the Chihuahua has a tremendously small size of just six to ten inches at the shoulder height with a weight of four to ten pounds. With a body that is considerably longer than it is tall, the Chihuahua has a well-rounded head that is slightly apple in shape and a short, pointed muzzle defined with a stop. While the large, round eyes are usually set well apart in a dark brown or ruby color, white dogs may have lighter colored dyes. Along with erect ears that are large and stand high up on the head, the Chihuahua has a long, sickle-shaped tail that is either curled over the back or towards the side of the dog’s body.

Color

Chihuahuas virtually come in any color combination, ranging from solid colors to marked or splashed variations that make the breed unique. With all colors being accepted by the breed standard with one of the largest array of coat colors, the Chihuahua may be black, white, chestnut, fawn, bristle, sand, silver, sable, steel blue, black and tan, or multi-color.

Coat

There are currently two accepted varieties of the Chihuahua in the breed standard, which are the long-coat and the smooth-coat. Although genetically the same breed, the smooth-coat may have velvety soft fine hairs or whiskery feeling outer coat. Long-haired Chihuahuas actually have soft,fine guard hairs with a downy undercoat that gives them a fluffy appearance. Despite popular belief that states otherwise, the long-haired Chihuahuas typically tend to shed considerably less than the short-haired counterparts and it may take up to three full years for the long-haired coat to develop fully.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

For Chihuahuas with a smooth, short-haired coat, owners will be required to maintain minimal grooming requirements with gentle brushing occasionally or simply wiping it over with a damp cloth to remove dead hair. On the other hand, Chihuahuas with a long-haired coat will need a bit more grooming attention with daily brushing using a soft bristle brush. Be sure to be on the lookout for mats or tangles, since the long-haired Chihuahua is prone to these issues. Regardless of coat, both types of Chihuahuas should be bathed about once a month, but owners need to be cautious in order to avoid getting water in the breed’s sensitive ears. In addition to keeping the coat in good condition, owners must check the ears frequently and keep the nails trimmed short to avoid both infection and discomfort for the small dog.

History

While the history of the Chihuahua is an enigma with varying theories, both folklore and recent archeological finds support that the dog breed originated in Mexico from the Toltec civilization. Considered the oldest breed on the North America continent, experts believe that the dogs may have been present in the western region of Mexico dating back to 300 B.C. Named for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, colonial records from the Spanish Conquistadores report that the small, nearly hairless dogs were plentiful in the region in the 16th century, although the Chihuahuas were in Mexico for over 1400 years before the first Europeans even arrived. Through its history, the Chihuahua was bred for use in religious rites and served as companions to the upper elite class of the Mexican population. It was not until the 1960s when the Chihuahua became popular in the metropolitan areas of the United States as a suitable dog for household living. Now often known as “purse dogs,” the sassy little Chihuahua has gained popularity in many Hollywood films like Gigdet in Taco Bell commercials and Bruiser made famous in the movie Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon.

Temperament

Courageous, cheerful, proud, adventurous, and agile, Chihuahuas are good companion dogs that enjoy receiving and sharing affection. Extremely loyal and attached to their owners, Chihuahuas usually have an appealing temperament to be a wonderful little dog for families of all sizes. However, when Chihuahuas are babied and develop Small Dog Syndrome, the dogs can display dominant behavior issues, such as jealousy, suspicion, and aggression with other pets or even humans. In order to avoid the snappish, yappy, and overprotective behaviors, it is recommended that the breed is adopted by experienced owners willing to train the dog with positive reinforcement. Furthermore, the active little breed requires daily walks and playtime to eliminate an array of behavioral isuses.


Interesting Chihuahua Facts

  • Chihuahuas are the only dog breed that may be born with an incomplete skull and molera, or soft spot in their skulls. Similar to the soft spot that is present in human babies, nearly all Chihuahua puppies have this normal adaptation to facilitate the passage through the birth canal and the development of the domed-type forehead. Therefore, great care needs to be taken during the first six months while the molera naturally fills in with age.
  • First known as the “Arizona dog” because they were first found in this state bordering Mexico, Chihuahuas were once a sacred dog breed in ancient times for healing qualities. In fact, mummified remains have been found in Meso-American grave sites that indicate the ancient beings believed the Chihuahua would help in traveling to the afterlife safely.
  • Despite being one of the oldest registered dog breeds in the American Kennel Club dating back to 1904, no Chihuahua has ever won the coveted “Best in Show” at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in over a century.