Unlike other breeds, the chihuahua breed can vary in height, and are more measured by their weight

Unlike other breeds, the Chihuahua breed can vary in height, and are more measured by their weight. American and British standards state this breed should weigh no more than six pounds, but the British standards, recommends between two and four pounds. This breed can grow as tall as 15 inches, this being the exception rather than the rule. This breed has both long and short hair Chihuahuas. This is classed in the tiny toy dog size category. They have a well rounded head and a short pointed muzzle.

However, these have a soft spot on top of their skull, which has usually closed by adulthood. This breed has beautiful round eyes large in appearance and set well apart. With erect ears, that are large in look. Their tail curls over the back or to the side, this is long and is sickle shaped. The coat comes in both short coats; wavy or flat coat and long coat. All colours are acceptable in this breed. This includes splashed and solid. A few examples of colour are red, cream, blue, black, chocolate, and black and tan, and merle, though this is not recognised by all show standards. This dog can live up to 17 years but between 10 and 17 years is more likely.

History: The Chihuahua breed comes from South America and is native to Mexico; this is how it gets its name from the state of Chihuahua. This is the oldest breed of dog on the American continent. Here we see the smallest breed of dog in the world. This dog was thought to be sacred to the Pre- Columbian Indians. There is debate about the facts of these dogs history and could, in fact, go back to Malta in the Mediterranean, but this is seen through art work rather than a fact. There is also an idea that this dog came from China some 200 years ago. DNA suggests that it is of Old World origin, this form of analysis only checks on the mothers’ side so the fathers’ side is not clear or known. We know as a fact this dog has a long history in Mexico. With links to the Toltec breed, which are a slightly bigger dog and whose history goes back to 2nd century B.C.

Temperament: The Chihuahua dog is very territorial and can be very protective. With a temperament that can be easily provoked. This dog, though small in size needs good and strong leadership from the human, this dog is a pack dog and needs you to be the pack leader. This is often forgotten due to their small size and that is why a cloud of misinformation follows this breed. While they are protective and territorial this does not have to mean badly managed. Often it is us humans that change the rules, and we then get the bad behaviour. If this dog was bigger we would treat them as a dog and so have fewer problems. The answer is, they are a dog and need to be treated like a dog. The AKC describes this breed as “A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact with Terrier-like qualities of temperament”. These dogs are not recommended for children as the child may be inclined to treat this dog as not a dog, and so get problems. This dog is loyal, and does not get along with all other dogs but likes the company of other Chihuahuas. This breed loves attention, and are eager to please. Do not allow this breed to get small dog syndrome, as this allows negative problems for your dog.

This breed can be hard to potty train but with firm and consistent rules the dog gets there in the end. Small, this breed maybe but walks are still needed, not just for the exercise but also offering mental stimulation daily. By walk, it is meant as a walk not a carry. This doesn’t have to be a vast distances but variety allows interest for your dog.

Health issues: The Chihuahua can get a long list of problems due to their protruding eyes, and it is best to check this. Rheumatism and slipped stifle, colds and gum problems can accrue. In puppyhood care needs to be taken as they can get fractures. In some the skull does not close properly and this can cause problems. The breed also can suffer hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar, which is dangerous for the young puppy.

Living conditions: The Chihuahua is a good dog for apartment life. This dog loves warm weather and dislikes the cold. Just to note this is only a small dog physically, and while it is small it will still need space, even if in an apartment.

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