Species group: Toy Group dogs
Other name(s): Chi; Chihuahueño
The world's smallest dog, the Chihuahua, can be a big-eyed sweetheart happy to peep out of a celebrity's designer handbag-- or it can be a high-pitched yipper ready to bite an ankle of the first person who steps out of line. This cutie may fall in the toy category, but you can't expect it to sit on a shelf and be ignored when you get busy. They may not need as much space or exercise as many breeds, but they do have firm opinions and they benefit from loving guidance.
As America's oldest dog breed, believed to have been brought from the Old World by the Spanish conquistadors, different Chihuahuas from different lines and upbringing may have different personalities. If you neglect your pet's training, you are likely to end up with a brat who loves to raise the roof when another dog or even a strange human enters its territory. On the plus side, this desire to call attention to strangers means that the Chihuahua can be a good choice if you need a watchdog for a small space like an apartment..
Appearance / health:
Ideally, the Chihuahua should be a tiny dog with a well rounded, or “apple domed,” skull. They have large, fully eyes that should not protrude, the ears are large and of an erect type, the muzzle is rather short and somewhat pointed, and the nose should be self-colored in the black, blond, chocolate, blue and mole colorations, although a pink nose is allowable in the blonds. The Chihuahua is known for its pert expression.
Chihuahua puppies have a soft spot, known as a “molera,” on the top of the skull which typically closes with bone growth by the time they are adults. Their bodies are longer than they are tall, which is known as being “cobby,” their tails are sickle-shaped and arch up over their backs, their legs are square and straight, and they have a dainty little foot with an obvious split between the toes. The Chihuahua always looks like a tiny dog on a big mission.
The long-coated Chihuahua should be combed daily to keep the undercoat under control and to ensure no knotting of the hair. The smooth-coated Chihuahua should be occasionally gently brushed or wiped with a damp cloth. Both types should be bathed about once a month and care should be taken not to get water into their ears.
It might seem like the reverse should be true, but the long-coated Chihuahua is known to be less of a shedder than the smooth-coated Chihuahua. Many people who are unable to have a companion dog due to allergies or asthma find themselves quite capable of tolerating a Chihuahua. Check their ears regularly and keep their nails trimmed.
In spite of their difficulty in being able to keep up with rigorous games or, for example, an activity such as running alongside while their owner bicycles, Chihuahuas are busy little dogs. Playing will take care of most of their exercise needs, but a Chihuahua, though tiny, is still a dog and has a dog’s instinct to walk. If you don’t have a backyard for your Chihuahua, a daily walk and off-leash running and romping in a safe area, will fulfill this need.
The Chihuahua is born with a “molera;” a soft spot in the skull. This spot typically hardens during the first half-year of life, but it is essential to protect the puppy’s brain from injury until the skull fully closes. Hydrocephalus (swelling in the brain caused by the inability of cerebrospinal fluid to drain) is common in the Chihuahua. The hydrocephalic Chihuahua will have multiple soft spots in his skull because of the skull plates being unable to fuse due to the build-up of the excess cerebrospinal fluid. It may be difficult to distinguish, as all Chihuahua puppies tend to have large eyes, but the pressure from this fluid build-up does put pressure behind the eyes causing the eyes to bulge. The hydrocephalic puppy has a larger head than others in her litter, grows more slowly and does not develop or move as quickly as her littermates. Many breeders advertise “applehead” Chihuahuas. This should not be confused with the “apple dome” their head is supposed to have. Most appleheaded Chihuahuas are hydrocephalic to some degree or another.
Other health issues affecting the Chihuahua can be tracheal collapse, luxating patella, heart problems, eye problems (such as secondary glaucoma and corneal dryness), and, due to their tiny size, hypoglycemia. Their bones are fragile and easily broken. Stress related issues and colds are not uncommon. Care should be taken to monitor your Chihuahua’s molera to ensure that it closes properly as some never close, thus creating the necessity of always protecting the head from injury that will harm or damage the brain.
Behavior / temperament:
Chihuahuas are devoted to their people and are a very loyal, graceful and amusing little dog. They are known to be reserved, and even skittish, around unfamiliar people. Despite their tiny size, Chihuahuas are excellent watch dogs, and will alert their owners to anything that is taking place.
The Chihuahua makes an excellent companion dog. They are very lively, inventive, proud and courageous. He’s very bold for such a small dog and quite strong-willed. Chihuahua’s tend to be one-person dogs and can be so attached and loyal to their person that they develop jealousy issues. They are suspicious of strangers and most will follow every their owner makes in such a situation. The key to all aspects of a rewarding friendship with your Chihuahua is in the early training and extensive early socialization. Though some may find the Chihuahua somewhat difficult to train, they have a high learning rate and will respond well to positive reinforcement training.
Chihuahuas are very intelligent and are rated high in learning rate. However, being highly intelligent often equals "hard to train" for a novice. They are NOT an easy dog, and are very good at manipulation.
Chihuahuas are very alert and virtually nothing gets past them. As a result, some do love to bark. This behavior should be corrected during puppyhood with gentle redirection and positive reinforcement.
cutest smallest dog, Good watchdog, favorite dog, smaller living arrangements, little adorable ball
barking, Ankle biter, bites, small children, yappy dogs, unreputable breeders, Yippy little dogs, snappy dog
big dog mentality, little gangster dog, deer type chihuahua, big personlities, longhaired chihuahuas
Best friend and companion I ever had
The reason I wanted to adopt a chihuahua is because this dog is very small and I can take her with me everywhere. I started to own her when she was just 2 months old, and the very next day I began taking her with me on shopping trips, gradually going out with her more. I was surprised how calm and well behaved she was in public. Eventually she was not just going shopping, she also attended various school events like plays, musicals etc. and she was very calm and interested in her surroundings. From this I also learned that with a dog like this you need to be very careful around small children. She is very fragile, especially her head, and when small children go to pet her she feels uncomfortable and could potentially bite, because she feels she is in danger. I do not advise adopting a chihuahua in a family with small children, because they would see this dog as a toy, when in fact it is a very delicate dog breed and even adults need to treat it with care. This dog loves walks and is very active, always has a lot of energy. She loves the whole family but she chooses one owner and is most comfortable with that person. This dog is very suitable for people who are looking for companionship. She does not like to be left alone for long periods of time, and I would not recommend giving this dog to a kennel/sitter if you are going away. I am very careful when feeding my dog, because any abrupt changes have a bad impact on her stomach. Any slight changes in this dog's health should not be ignored and you should contact the vet as soon as possible, because this is a very small breed and you need to be very observant as they are again, very fragile. Ruby socialises with a big dog (a wolf dog) and we also own a horse, and even among these big animals the chihuahua feels that she is the boss. I am very happy to own this dog, she is everything I wanted and more..
From Natalie Apr 28 2017 11:54AM
The way your dog's body was meant to be fed
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's (especially cats) digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 51 days ago
DAP can help many dogs
Dog appeasing pheromones have been found to be as effective as medication in instances of separation anxiety. I have raised and fostered several dogs that struggled with anxiety and have found that DAP works much of the time to reduce anxious behavior when used with a behavior modification plan..
From DRCase 46 days ago
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