The Chihuahua is a popular small breed dog, that is alert, loves warmth, and provides the best of human companionship. But is the Chihuahua suited to everyone potential dog owner? We take a look at the Chihuahua and find out a bit more about the history of them, their size, their personality and whether you should add one to your family.
History of the Chihuahua
This breed originated in Mexico and may have descended from the “Techichi” breed, a companion dog of the Taltec people who resided in Mexico as early as 300 b.c. This is based on archeological finds, such as dog pots and dog toys with drawings of the breed. Most artefacts were found close to Mexico City, but some were found as far as Georgia and Tennessee.
In more modern times, historians have claimed that an Aztec letter was written in 1520 a.d. stated that there were small dogs raised for food, and some were actually used as “hot water bottles” for the injured or ill. These are also believed to be ancestors of today’s Chihuahua.
Today, the Chihuahua breed is very popular as a companion dog to families everywhere.
Size and Appearance of the Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is a small breed of dog, sometimes referred to as a “toy” dog, which varies in sizes, head shapes, colours, and coat lengths. Most weigh 3-6 pounds and stand 6-9” tall at the shoulder. There are two varieties of Chihuahua, the smooth short coat, and the long coat. Either type may have a head shape described as an “apple head” or a “deer head” and may come in any combination of colours, including sable, red, black, and white. There is a “teacup” version of the Chihuahua that may weigh as few as 2 pounds.
Personality of the Chihuahua
The chihuahua has a wide variety of possible personality traits. Alert, loyal, quick, and protective are common adjectives. But there seems to be a range of temperaments which are primarily determined by the parents and grandparents of the particular dog. For example, some Chihuahuas are easygoing and gentle, while others may be overly protective, suspicious, and preferring of its own breed.
Common Chihuahua behaviours seen by owners are laying out in sunlight, trembling when scared, cozying down in blankets and pillows, and responding hesitantly with strangers.
How Much Grooming Does A Chihuahua Need?
Grooming a chihuahua is relatively easy. Using a rubber brush reduces irritation to the dog’s sensitive skin. Brush long-haired chihuahuas more often during the week to prevent tangling. Use a dampened cotton ball to wipe clean the area around the eyes, and an ear cleanser to gently clean out any extra wax buildup in the ears. The most careful job must be done when trimming the nails, as cutting too much can cause bleeding and pain.
How Much Exercise Does A Chihuahua Need?
Chihuahuas are generally energetic and tend to naturally get good exercise. But if the dog is kept in a small area alone during the owner’s workday, a short walk may be useful. Take care during extreme temperatures to protect the pet from getting too hot or too cold. Be aware of any limping, as small items can get lodged between the paw pads, or the ankle can get weak.
What Should You Feed A Chihuahua?
Small, frequent meals are best for a chihuahua. It is recommended that the main ingredient is meat. The food should be at least 30% protein, 20% fat, and 4% fibre.
Where Can I Get A Chihuahua?
The Chihuahua is a popular breed because of the small size, pleasant personality, and ease of care. If you desire to purchase a puppy, do plenty of research to find a reputable breeder. Good breeders may only have litters occasionally and will often have a waiting list. Good breeders also will ask the potential new owner plenty of questions, and this is good as it a sign that the greatest care has been taken, and making money has not been the breeder’s primary motive. Your puppy should also be registered with the appropriate Kennel Club.
We would always recommend you visit your local rescue first and talk to them about the possibility of getting a Chihuahua from them.
Should You Get A Chihuahua?
If you want a loyal companion dog that needs minimal grooming, comes in a variety of colours and sizes, loves warmth, is alert and fun then get a Chihuahua!
But if potential housebreaking difficulties, possible suspicious barking at strangers, nervous behavior around small children, or a dog with a slightly fragile frame is not your “cup of tea”… choose another breed that fits you and your family.