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
Hard e-collars are THE best way to prevent your pet from messing up their incision site
Hard e-collars are very effective at keeping dogs' mouths off their incision sites. These are the cheapest and most effective way of reducing incision site complications. I send every surgery patient home with an e-collar. These surgical procedures are often performed on younger patients that are very prone to trying to lick their incision sites..
From Rachel_Muur_DVM 6 days ago
Counter conditioning works on changing a dog’s emotional response to another dog approaching his food. Although guarding food is a normal behaviour, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it because it can lead to dangerous situations. How can you have one dog feel happy instead of aggressive when another dog is getting food next to him? If two people work on this at a time, and both dogs are on leash far enough apart, you can give a treat to the docile dog and immediately after to the aggressive one, until you notice that the latter is anticipating a food treat when the docile gets one. Once you see that the aggressive dog starts looking happy and relaxed, move the dogs closer.
Counter conditioning and desensitization techniques are frequently used together.
You can desensitize your dog by gradually exposing him to its triggers and creating positive associations with them. Give your dog a reward when exposing him to his "menace". if your dog is triggered by another dog being fed near him or a person approaching to his plate, sit with your dog while the other dog is in view. When your dog is calm, reward him with a tasty treat.
If any of these does not work, specialists are the right people to handle the problem.
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