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Chihuahua Breed InformationSelect a Breed
Quick Facts
Life Span:14-18 years
Litter Size:1-4 puppies
Group:Toy Group
Recognized By:CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color:Any solid, marked, or splashed color.
Hair Length:Long, Short
Size:Toy/Small
Shedding:Moderate Shed
Male Height:6-9 inches
Male Weight:2-6 pounds
Female Height:6-9 inches
Female Weight:2-6 pounds
Living Area:Chihuahuas are not outside dogs. They are at home in apartments, as well as in the country. Due to their size, they should never be left unattended outdoors as birds and other wildlife will make them easy prey. This breed does well with novice or first-time dog owners.

Description

The Chihuahua has a very distinctive body shape that sets it apart from most other dog breeds. They are a very small toy breed. While a lot of small breeds are created that way by breeders, Chihuahuas are special because they are naturally this small.

The head of the Chihuahua is the most distinctive part. They head is widest at the top, which is accentuated by their large, pointed ears that stand up on top. They also have very large, expressive eyes and a short muzzle. These features are what make this breed so special and so popular. Although the Chihuahua's head is large, the body is small and compact in comparison.

Coat Description

Chihuahuas usually come in two different coat lengths; long and short. The fur is usually glossy and smooth. Shorthaired Chihuahuas have coarser hair than the longer coated variety, which is much softer. The hair is typically longer on the main part of the body when compared to the hair on the head and ears. The tail also has a longer coat.

History

The history of the Chihuahua is fairly murky. While historians can make a good guess at how this breed came to be, it is hard to verify and know for sure. Still, they do have some speculations that are most likely right.

This breed is named after a Mexican city of the same name. They were first seen around the period when the Aztecs were in the area. While they are named after the city of Chihuahua, they were likely plentiful all over the country instead of just that one area. They can be dated as far back as 500 A.D.

Temperament

Chihuahuas need a lot of attention. While they are devoted entirely to their owners, they insist on the same level of devotion in return. Because of this, Chihuahuas are best kept by people who can give a lot of attention to their dog. These dogs like to be around their owners constantly. If they are, they will be happy and pleasant. If they don't get enough quality time, they may end up behaving badly. Keep this all in mind when choosing this breed as a pet. How you treat your dog will have an amazing impact on how it acts.

If you are planning to have more than one dog, it is best to keep them all as Chihuahuas. While these dogs like company, they do better with their own kind.

Health Problems

Like most dog breeds, there are many different kinds of health problems that are common with Chihuahuas. It is best to know about these so that you are prepared just in case something happens. You will also be able to make a better decision on whether or not you want a Chihuahua with this information.

Some common health problems that Chihuahuas can become afflicted with are:

[-]Hemophilia[/-]

[-]Hypoglycemia[/-]

[-]Epilepsy[/-]

[-]Jawbone Disorders[/-]

[-]Heart Murmurs[/-]

Besides these health problems, the Chihuahua is also prone to bladder and kidney stones which can cause the dog great pain. You know they have this if there is blood in their urine or if they are only very small amounts of urine.

Grooming

With both long and short haired Chihuahuas, they do a fair bit of shedding. Because of this, you should brush them on a regular basis. If you have a longhaired Chihuahua, you may want to brush them a bit more often as this can also prevent any matting that may occur with the dog's coat.

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to grooming Chihuahuas is their teeth. You need to make sure that they are clean and free of any tartar or gum disease. If you notice any problems, bring them to a veterinarian since teeth and mouth problems are common with this breed.

You should also make sure that you trim this dog's nails at least once a month. They can grow very long and sharp. Trimming them will prevent any injuries and will save your furniture some damage.

Since Chihuahua's eyes are so big, they need a bit more attention than with other breeds. Make sure that they are clean around the rims. Cotton balls are great for cleaning this area. Just make sure not to use any soap as this can harm the dog.

Exercise

Exercise levels vary a lot between breeds. Some dogs are large and require a lot of exercise outdoors. That isn't the case with the Chihuahua. Since they are so small, they need very little exercise at all. Their regular play indoors is more than enough to keep them fit and healthy. Because of this, they are a perfect pet to keep in an apartment.

Although they do get a lot of exercise indoors, it is still good to bring them out every so often. They like to get outside in the fresh air to explore the interesting outdoor world. This is also good because they can socialize with other dogs and people.

Training

Chihuahuas are very easy to train when it comes to common tricks. They love to please their owners, so they are eager to learn any tricks, such as sitting, shaking, or rolling over. You can do this easily by praising them and by giving them treats when they do a good job. This is one of the best and most fun parts of owning a Chihuahua.

While these dogs train well when it comes to tricks, it is not nearly as easy when it comes to housebreaking. They actually have a really hard time learning where to go. Some people like to use litter boxes or pee pads, but this is difficult and poses a lot of problems. If you can, try to train them to go outdoors instead. This is hard if you live in an apartment, though.

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