Chihuahua Smooth Coat
Breed Basic Information
- Lifespan: 14 - 18 years
- Height: 6 - 9 inches
- Weight: 6 - 6 pounds
Medical Conditions Seen
- Chronic Valvular Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Tracheal Collapse
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Lens Luxation
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Pulmonic Stenosis
- Joggin Partner
- Lap Dog
- Good with Children
- Warm Weather
- Cold Weather
- Grooming Requirements
- Ease of Training
- The early origin of the Chihuahua is controversial. One theory holds that it originated in Central and South America, descending from a small dog, the Techichi, which was used as a religious sacrifice and even food. The other theory holds it descends from small Chinese dogs brought to Central America by Spanish traders.
- The recorded history of the Chihuahua begins in 1850, when three tiny dogs were brought to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico.
- More dogs followed. They were called by many names, including Arizona Dogs, Texas Dogs, Mexican Dogs, or even Chihuahua terriers, but the simple name Chihuahua stuck.
- In the late 1800s, a troupe of trick Chihuahuas made the rounds with performer Rosalina Casselli.
- The AKC recognized the breed in 1904. The first registered Chihuahua was a smooth coat named Midget.
- The dogs aroused only moderate interest until Xavier Cugat, the rumba king, made his smooth Chihuahuas his constant companions in public appearances, movies, and later, his weekly television show.
- By 1964, the Chihuahua had become the third most popular breed in America.
- The Chihuahua has consistently remained one of America's top breeds since then, currently ranking 11th in AKC popularity.
- Makes both a devoted lap dog and saucy playmate.
- Fairly playful with family children, but children must be supervised because they could easily hurt such a small dog.
- Tends to be a one-person, or at most, one-family dog.
- Reserved toward strangers. Early socialization so that it willingly accepts new people is important.
- Good with other dogs and pets, but can foolishly challenge larger strange dogs.
- Some can be overly bold, while others can be overly timid.
- Learns quickly, but tends to have a stubborn streak.
- Does not do well with force-based training methods, but is very good with reward-based training involving food.
- Housetraining can be more challenging than with many other breeds.
Suggested Excercise Needs
- Makes a lively and alert housedog.
- Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with indoor games, it still needs the mental stimulation of walking and sniffing outdoors.
- A walk around the block once or twice daily will meet its outdoor needs, not counting bathroom breaks. Many Chihuahuas can be trained to use indoor potty systems.
- Dog parks are not generally a good idea unless only small dogs are allowed together.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
- Excursions in a doggy purse can provide supplemental entertainment.
- Chihuahuas can swim, but most aren't crazy about it. They can, however, use a kiddy pool as a swimming pool.
- Chihuahuas hate the cold. Because of their small size, they lose body heat rapidly.
- Coat is short, soft, and glossy.
- Brushing once a week will remove dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
- The breed is prone to periodontal problems, which can be prevented in large part by regular tooth brushing.
Suggested Nutritional Needs
- Chihuahuas have a tendency to become obese.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Remember, it does not take much food to feed such a small dog, and small snacks can easily add too many calories.
- Chihuahua puppies should be fed often to prevent hypoglycemia, a serious condition to which very small puppies are prone. Frequent small meals of high protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates may help guard against this condition.
Did you know?
- Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
- Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
- Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.
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