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
"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
"My parents spent a year mourning over their late Miniature Poodle. Once asked if I knew any reliable poodle breeders, I immediately realised it was my shot at making things right. Firstly, I knew without doubt, that another black poodle is not a way out, because the third dog in a row will bring back the memories of the first two. All black. All miniature. All poodles. Secondly, I googled just the right breed for them - Longhaired Chihuahua. And guess what, it turned out to be the best decision I talked them into. If you are considering a small pet, the Longhaired Chihuahua might be your answer as well. First of all, the size of the dog comes as a strong benefit. It is the smallest breed, after all. It is good if you live in small apartment, if you travel a lot, and have no one to leave the dog to (most of the people that have no pets allowed policy, do not protest against chihuahuas - they are tiny and generally prefer their trendy totes to actually walking the walk on foot). Small also means light. Thus, you can easily carry them around. On the other hand, chihuahuas do get used to that, meaning they will expect you to carry them for most of your time. They will expect to be on your lap no matter if you are just drinking your coffee or trying to get work done at. They seek your attention at all times, and the best way to achieve it, is to simply lie down on the keyboard of your laptop. In addition to their unconditional love for their owner, they are smart. They calculate which one in the family is more of an owner. Thus, if you are off to work after your holiday, and there is someone staying at home, the WHOLE day (like my grandma), you might get greeted with some slight indifference once you are home. Well you were not home to cuddle and have a mid-day nap, were you? Also, our chihuahua knows how to act with whom based on their age: she is not very excited about having to play with my 3 years old child, as she is with my 10 year old. She understands who is more in charge and plays along their rules. Chihuahuas are not extremely difficult to train. They quickly get the house rules, they show explicitly they understand things and places that are off limits. Well sometimes they just choose to act differently, to go against the rules, but it happens rarely, and then they feel very sorry for it. And you simply forgive and forget. Chihuahuas, especially longhaired, are easy to look after. Their hair needs some occasional grooming, but they do not shed much. Also, they do not have any specific food allergies (ours just happens to be picky about the food, for no reason). Chihuahuas are rather mute. However if someone rings a doorbell or tries to unlock the door, the big dog inside the small body awakens, and the dog barks. And even-though, your chihuahua is not to guard the house, at least the dog will give you heads-up. In conclusion, we have not come across many negative side - effects of owning a Longhaired Chihuahua. We enjoy the fashionable tote she adores and sits quietly in , while we have our coffee at a trendy place or do shopping. Me and my family (even my dad!) fell for this small yet smart and brave dog.."
From lasmilga Sep 29 2016 2:59PM
"It may seem silly to suggest that exercise can help with destructive chewing, but it really helps! This is because most dogs chew out of boredom, frustration or for entertainment. Taking your dog for a daily walk can get rid of the boredom and frustration he may be feeling. A tired dog is a good dog!."
From Lorraine Leibbrandt 25 days ago