The Chihuahua or chihuahueño is a breed of small dog very popular for its small size. In addition to being an adorable pet, she is an intelligent, restless and curious companion who will offer all her love to those who take care of her.
It comes from Mexico, specifically from Chihuahua, the state where it was first discovered and its meaning is literally "arid and sandy place". Read on to know everything about the Chihuahua dog. It was captured and domesticated by indigenous people at the time of the Toltec civilization, today we can find figures of a dog that lived in Tula, very similar to a present-day Chihuahua.
As we have already mentioned, it is a small, compact and fast-moving dog. Its measurements up to the cross vary between 15 and 25 centimeters although some can reach 30. In addition, they usually weigh between 1.5 and 4 kg. These measurements can vary when we find the two types of Chihuahua dog that differ basically in size and in some physical aspects:
The apple-headed Chihuahua: It is the most common, its head has, as its name indicates, a shape similar to that of an apple that gives it a sweet and careful appearance. It has two large and separate ears, almost always in a straight position. In contrast to a large head and bulging eyes, its body is small and fine. At the end of its body we find a small tail that rotates on the back.
The deer head Chihuahua: It is somewhat larger than the previous Chihuahua. The shape of the head is more elongated and in some cases reminiscent of that of a small deer. They are somewhat taller and more stylized although they still show a delicate and sweet appearance that we will fall in love with.
In addition to the physical characteristics we are also faced with two different types of fur:
The Chihuahua can be of infinity of colors such as white, brown, black, chocolate, cream ... In addition to being tricolor, with lines and speckles.
The Chihuahua does not have a definite personality typical of the breed and it is that depending on its education we can speak of a loving and tender dog or of a somewhat malicious and cunning breed. It is a very intelligent and observant dog that likes to get away with it. It is a very brave and devoted dog despite its small size. He is very devoted to the family and is always alert and restless, vigilant against any intruder.
Sometimes they can show jealous attitudes towards the relationships of those who consider their owners, although it is usually an easy problem to deal with. The Chihuahua does not seem to be aware of its small size and can face large people or dogs just to defend those it loves.
The Chihuahua will show devotion, in general, to the person who takes the most care of him on a daily basis and that is that he is a very affectionate dog that will ask you for attention throughout the day. In general, it is usually distrustful of strangers, it is a territorial and possessive dog with its owners, but it does not usually show angry or violent attitudes. It is a curious dog that will easily accept affection and care.
The Chihuahua dog does not always accept the company of other pets, although in general it tends to live beautifully with dogs of the same breed or size. To promote a sociable dog we must start the game with other pets since this is a puppy, although it does not matter if we start their education late, with patience we can achieve great objectives.
It is a dog that adapts perfectly to urban life and it will have no problems living in a small apartment. Still, the Chihuahua is very restless and nervous; we must take him for a walk at least twice a day so that he exercises as well as playing with him inside the home.
Generally, and especially those with short hair, they are sensitive to cold due to their small size. You can buy him clothes of his size to keep him warm in winter, especially if he lives in a cold environment.
Do not pamper him too much; the Chihuahua is a very smart dog that will not hesitate to become fragile, capricious or extremely nervous if we give in to all his requests.
Finally we add that the Chihuahua is a dog that has a tendency to obesity, for this reason it is important that we know the type of diet that this pet requires to prevent future illnesses or problems.
It is a long-lived dog because they can live up to 18 years or more if they are kept healthy and fit. In any case, there are a number of diseases that can affect you throughout your life, we will detail the most common ones:
It requires a regular veterinarian who is aware of your pet needs, for this reason we recommend that you take it with a certain regularity and follow your vaccination schedule.
In the brain we find the fontanelles, a soft point that they have in the skull and that is that it is born with an incomplete skull, which is formed during its growth. It is also important that you keep a check on your eyes to avoid eye infections.
The foundations of the education of a healthy and social chihuahua begins by socializing them from an early age with both people and other pets. It is extremely important that you follow this advice to avoid an antisocial dog, with improper and sullen behavior. You must learn to live in harmony with animals, children and adults. This will help you enjoy the beach, the mountains and leave it with the children without any worries.
Remember that in order for a dog to be calm and well-behaved, the people of your home must foster this climate of harmony and mental well-being that all living things need.
It is important that you decide the moments of food, walk or sleep, the chihuahua is a smart dog that will try to receive rewards and endless attention. Set limits and reward him only when he deserves it and behaves appropriately.
The Chihuahua is a breed of small or mini dog, which hardly needs introduction due to the fame that precedes it. It is one of the oldest breeds known in the American continent, and it is that the first specimens are estimated to have appeared around the 12th century.
They have a common past with the rest of the dog breeds, despite the fact that it is difficult to understand how evolution has created so many differences between some breeds and others. It is believed that it descends from the techichi, a small dog that lived as a companion animal with the Toltec civilization around the 9th century and that bore many similarities with the current Chihuahuas. It is easy to find images of these ancestors in paintings or engravings, with dates dating back to 1530 and earlier. However, the current chihuahua differs also in some things from the techichi, and that is that the current chihuahua is a much smaller dog, which is why it is so difficult to find the real genetic evolution of this breed.
It is possible that the chihuahua is the result of the crossing of the techichi with some breeds that arrived in America from other countries, although none of the theories about its appearance have been scientifically proven.
It has a great similarity in terms of characteristics and size with the fenec fox, another small desert animal with which it does not seem to have real genetic connections, which leads us to think that it was the characteristics of the desert that they did, along with the evolution that these Animals came to be as we know them.
According to the oldest tradition, the Chihuahua was considered almost a deity, and supposedly accompanied its owner even in the other world, which is why it became so popular in its country of origin. Possibly, this belief was the basis by which the copies of chihuahua proliferated throughout Mexico, including Moctezuma, the last Aztec ruler, shared his life with hundreds of Chihuahuas in his palace, just as General Santa Ana was always accompanied by them in battles, in a much more modern era, around 1836.
Despite all the ancient history regarding the breed, it was not until 1884 that the Chihuahua began to be spoken of as a specific breed. At this time the exports of these dogs to other places in the world began, through sales to tourists in the border markets.
In 1907 the first chihuahua dog was officially registered, a dog named Midget that appeared along with three other congeners in the Book of Origins of the American Kennel club. Three years later, the first chihuahua in the UK was registered. Interestingly, Mexico took several more years to register its first Chihuahuas, delaying its entry into the modern canine world until 1934.
Between 1915 and 1970, there was an increase of more than 25,000 specimens of Chihuahuas registered in the United States alone, thus becoming one of the most popular breeds, and ranking well above its popularity in Mexico.
Characteristics of the chihuahua
The chihuahua has very marked physical characteristics, which is why it is such a popular dog as a companion animal, and why it draws the attention of people around the world. It is a tiny dog, with large and straight ears, as well as a firm little body and well proportioned in its height. It is certainly a compact animal, but stronger than it seems too.
Its head is not too large compared to the body, and it has a slight apple shape. It has very large and unique ears, which end in a point and always remain upright and firm on the head. His small, bulging eyes, always dark and attentive to any strange movement, also attract attention. It also shows a medium-sized tail that is held high and usually forms a semicircle towards the back. In addition, its legs are quite long and muscular, capable of supporting it in any condition.
Their quick and agile movements are surprising, so apparently they spend the day running from one place to another. It is a very energetic animal and always ready for action, making it a perfect playmate.
The breed standard does not generally specify height, so there are many differences in size between some specimens and others. On the contrary, the weight is specified, which should be between 1.5 and 3 kilos, although it is required that the dogs presented in exhibitions are always below 3.7 kilos. In all cases, the height must be proportional to the weight, and it will be in an approximate range of between 15 and 25 centimeters, some specimens may even reach 38 centimeters. Also in terms of weight, there are known specimens that weigh up to 4.5 kilos due to their physical characteristics, something that does not have to imply less purity in the breed, but it will determine that it is only a companion dog .
Currently, there are two varieties of chihuahua depending on their coat, one with long hair and the other with short hair. While true, it was originally short-haired Chihuahuas who founded the breed standard.
Until 1952, both varieties were featured together at dog shows, although today they are featured as separate breeds. However, crosses are still made between specimens of both types, so in many litters it is possible to find puppies with long hair and short hair interchangeably.
In terms of color, it is possible to find specimens of chihuahua with a multitude of different colors, from solids such as white or black, to spotted dogs with very different patterns. Chocolate, gray, silver, coffee, tricolor dogs, marks as lines, spots or specks, any variety is possible except for the blackbird tone. In addition, all these colors can be presented in different shades and intensities, so it is one of the breeds that admits the most variety of shades in its coat.
A curiosity of the chihuahua is that it has a character that can be very fickle depending on the environment in which it grows up. Of course, it has its own characteristics, among which intelligence, bravery, tenacity or cunning stand out, as well as being very observant and being able to always achieve its purposes. However, education and the relationship between the dog and its family will be key for it to develop some behaviors or others. It can be very loving and tender, but it can also be very playful or capricious. It can even develop nervous, aggressive or dominant behavior when spoiled, a tendency of most owners in the face of its apparent fragility.
On the other hand, its size and characteristics make it adaptable to living in any environment, even on very small floors, although it has an amount of energy that it will need to expend to be a healthy and balanced dog. It can be a perfect companion animal if its character is understood and if it is offered a good education from a small one, but it can also be rude, capricious and disobedient if proper rules are not set.
It is also a very sociable breed at all levels, but it is advisable to bet on early socialization to avoid creating too much dependence on its owner and that this leads to unwanted behavior towards other people or other animals. Although he gets along well with children, care must be taken of the relationship between the two, since a too young child could hurt the dog, and, on the part of the dog, continued discomfort could end up biting the child.
They are especially recommended for people who live alone or for those who cannot take care of a larger animal, since the chihuahua is an easy dog to care for, maintain and manage. They are great companions, very affectionate and cuddly with their owner, although the possibility that they will not behave well if they are pampered too much should always be kept in mind.
Chihuahua's main diseases
Chihuahuas are much stronger dogs than they seem. Originally they were desert dogs, so they were used to living in unfavorable conditions. This way of life makes them currently resistant to most common diseases of dogs, however, it is necessary to take into account certain aspects of their health that may be affected by the characteristics of the breed.
They require special care at birth, in addition to specific dental care. They may also have some genetic or neurological problems, such as epilepsy or strokes. It is also relatively common for them to have hydrocephalus or water on the brain, a condition that appears in puppies and has a very serious prognosis, but should never be confused with the fontanel, a soft spot on the skull that disappears after approximately six months old.
You should also pay attention to the health of your eyes, since they are very exposed and can easily present infections. And, of course, be careful to injure or injure them if they are stepped on or if they fall from a considerable height, since despite their strength they are still very small animals with a quite fragile and delicate body.
Basic chihuahua care
Generally speaking, a Chihuahua requires the same care as any other larger dog. Although it is true, that some of its conditions require greater attention so that the animal is always in the best state of health and it is possible to enjoy its company for many years.
A visit to the vet every 6 months will usually be enough to know that the dog is doing well. Obviously, it will be necessary to ensure that the vaccination and deworming schedules are followed to guarantee this condition. Otherwise, the Chihuahua is a strong animal that rarely gets sick, but you should always pay attention to any changes in its behavior to avoid possible complications.
Gestation and delivery of the chihuahua
A very particular point in the chihuahua and in other small breeds is that related to pregnancy and delivery. The diminutive size of the females can cause them to have real difficulties in bringing the cubs to the world, being in many occasions necessary to go to a scheduled caesarean section so that the cubs are born without risking their life or that of the mother. If you are faced with a situation of a pregnant female, monitor the entire process and let your vet advise you to find the best solution.
The short coat of the chihuahua requires little maintenance. It barely loses hair and is usually kept in good condition, so frequent brushing will be enough for the coat to always be shiny.
Chihuahuas are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, so it is not advisable to bathe them too frequently, and when it is done, it must be guaranteed that the dog will not suffer temperature changes. Also, you have to make sure that your skin is completely dry, because otherwise you could get sick.
Food is key in the care of the chihuahua, and it is that it is a breed with a tendency to obesity. It is necessary to follow adequate and balanced nutrition, in addition to being recommended to provide other foods beyond dry food, because it is an omnivorous breed. You always have to control the rations and avoid the prizes, because otherwise the dog can gain too much weight.
Although it is a small dog, the Chihuahua has large doses of accumulated energy that requires release. The advantage is that its size means that this waste of energy does not necessarily have to be on the street, but it does take hours of games and activities to always be well.
As we have already seen, the education of the chihuahua is one of the points where to influence from puppy. You must try to be firm with your education and not pamper her too much, so you can enjoy the best relationship and a loving and completely balanced dog. In addition, she is very intelligent, so do not hesitate to teach her tricks and orders with which you will both have fun.
The origin of the chihuahua goes back to the Toltec civilization, a culture that dates back to the 10th and 12th centuries. According to the belief, the Toltecs would have captured several wild specimens of this breed, or their direct ancestors, to domesticate them for years.
Despite its small size, it is one of the bravest dogs in existence. He will face anyone to protect himself or his family, with whom he creates an important romantic bond.
It has a tendency to tremble, and not only in low temperature situations. Arousal, stress, fear or some conditions can be triggers for a chihuahua to be shaky.
Its real name is Chihuahueño, a term that in the Aztec language Tarahumara means "arid and sandy place". Later, the name was modified because they proliferated especially in the city of Chihuahua, in Mexico.
It has the particularity, like other races of small and mini size, of being born with a soft area in the skull, which has not finished forming. Generally, this condition is reversed with the growth of the puppy, but it is necessary to watch it because sometimes it can be caused by an illness.
It is the smallest breed of dog in the world in length and height. In fact, the Guinness World Record for the smallest living dog is held by a specimen of this breed called Brandy, a female that is only 15 centimeters long.
It is also the breed that can have the greatest variety of shades in its coat, either based on spots or with a unified color throughout the body. Any color except blackbird is accepted.
Although it is a generally sociable breed, it prefers to be in the company of specimens of its own breed. However, a good socialization from puppy will make it possible to live perfectly with other dogs, cats and pets in general.
The chihuahua is so loved and chosen by celebrities and celebrities that it has become one of the most popular dogs worldwide. Characters like Paris Hilton, Madonna or Britney Spears are admirers of these dogs, and as such share their lives with specimens of the breed.
If you want a breed with which to share many years, the chihuahua is a great alternative. And it is one of the longest-lived breeds known, reaching easily 15 or 18 years of age. Increasingly, they can even exceed 20 years, as long as they lead a healthy life and periodically visit the vet.
Each year more than 20,000 new chihuahua puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club, in the United States alone. Whether to fulfill functions as a pet or to present them in exhibitions, these animals enjoy a tremendous popularity that seems to continue to rise worldwide.
If you are thinking of sharing your life with a chihuahua, the main thing is that you bet on a trusted breeder. Do not buy a puppy in stores or from an individual, because in this way you will be promoting the indiscriminate breeding of puppies and you will never have guarantees about their health or their parents. Only a reputable breeder can offer you the best puppies, so do not hesitate to contact one of them.
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