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Chihuahua

The smallest breed in the world. It is an affectionate and loyal dog that needs a lot of attention and love.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
Intelligence
Health
Independence
Popularity
Care
Aggression
Noise
Weight
Weight:
female: 1—2 kg
male: 2—3 kg
Height
Height:
female: 15—23 cm
male: 16—25 cm
Hair
Hair:
long
Care
Care:
requires little time
Lives
Lives:
inside
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
2—4 puppy
Origin
Origin:
Mexico
in 1884
Life span
Life span:
10—15 years

Personality

Chihuahua are courageous dogs. Despite being small in size, they are not afraid of showing disaffection, even towards large dogs. The pets are ready to bravely protect their territory and owners from possible dangers.

Chihuahua get very attached to people. They need constant contact and socialization. These small dogs like following people and participating in all family activities. They will do everything possible to become a center of attention. Meanwhile, these pets remain unintrusive. They can feel the person`s mood and adapt to his lifestyle. It is important not to leave them alone for too long. Chihuahua do not get easily through loneliness. That is why a lot of people take these dogs to vacations with them. 

Chihuahua behave calmly with other animals. It is important to pay all pets same amount of attention. Otherwise, Chihuahua will feel jealous and will want to start a fight. It is not recommended to families with small children to keep dogs of this breed. While playing, the kid can accidentally hurt the dog, and it will react aggressively.

Training

Chihuahua need to be trained. These pets have a complicated personality. If the dog does not follow house rules, it will be hard to live with such pet. You should start training the puppy at the age of 2–3 months. It is important that it learns to follow rules and understand basic commands like «no», «go to your place», «come here». Because of well-developed curiosity, Chihuahua often do what is forbidden. Dogs of this breed should be taught complicated commands only if that is needed for shows. 

Chihuahua are smart but stubborn. This fact needs to be accepted, and the owner should use all his patience. If your authority is shown, the pet will soon start listening to what you say. The dog should be praised and given a treat for a completed command. The most important thing is not not shout at and not not to hurt these pets. Chihuahua are very sensitive to stress: become scared and aggressive.

Appearance

Chihuahua are small dogs. Their body is short and muscular. Genetic researches set similarities between these pets and Pomeranians, Toy Terriers and Pinschers.
Color
Color
Hair
Hair
Head
Head
Eyes
Eyes
Ears
Ears
Neck
Neck
Paws
Paws
Paws
Tail
Can be short and long. Short one is more common. Coats of long-haired Chihuahua dogs are soft and silky. Short-haired dogs have short and smooth coat that lays closely to the body.
All colors and patterns are acceptable. The most common ones are: red, light-red, black, chocolate, white and tiger.
Round, looks like an apple.
Big and round.
They are erect type ears, sharp at tips and widely set on the head.
Massive, of medium length.
Long, proportional to body length.
Of medium size, high-set. It is wide at the base, gets thinner down to the tip.

Basic Care

Chihuahua need little amount of time to be groomed. Short-haired pets should be brushed two times a week, long-haired ones — three times a week, with a soft bristle brush. Then you should pet your dog with wet hands to take away left hairs.

Chihuahua are neat dogs. You do not need to give them a bath very often. Water makes their hair dry and brittle. It is enough to give Chihuahua dogs a bath once in three months, no matter what the hair type is. Use a special shampoo and a conditioner for that purpose. Then dry your pet with a towel or a hairdryer. It is better to use a towel. Eyes should be wiped with cotton pads when they get dirty. Check your pet`s ears once a week. Clean the collected dirt with veterinarian lotion or cotton swabs. Chihuahua do not like when their claws are trimmed, but that procedure should be done once in 10 days.

These small dogs are picky in what they eat. Chihuahua`s digestive system is very sensitive, that is why their diet needs to be paid attention to. It is recommended to feed these pets with dry or canned feed of premium quality. The two types of feeding should change one another with time. The amount of food that should be given can be calculated from this formula: 60—70g to 1kg of dog`s body weight. Such natural ingredients can be given: boiled not greasy meat — beef and chicken; fat free dairy products — cottage cheese, sour cream and kefir; grains — buckwheat, rice, cornmeal porridge. Boiled fillet of sea fish can be given to Chihuahua dogs once a week. It is not recommended to mixed dry and natural food into one portion. Otherwise, urolithiasis might develop. A puppy under the age of three months should be fed 3–4 times a day, after it turns six months old — two times a day.

Chihuahua is a domesticated dog breed. They can live in a flat without any street walks. These small pets can be taught to use a tray. After the puppy goes potty, it is important to praise it. For a comfortable pet`s sleep, it is recommended to buy a dog house or a small bed. Chihuahua always need to be watched. They have weak bones. If the dog falls from a high surface, it might break a leg. These pets are sensitive to hot and cold weather conditions. They need to be dressed in warm jumpsuits in spring and fall.

Health and Illnesses

Chihuahua dogs can live up to 15 years if treated well. Some of them — up to 20 years. Their health is strong, but because of weak physiology and bad breeding work, these pets might suffer from some hereditary health problems. The most common of them are described below.

Pulmonary stenosis is a congenital heart disease. The pulmonary artery, which is located near the right ventricle of heart, narrows. In order to pump blood through it, cardiac muscles work too much. A heart failure develops. The pet needs to be operated in order to be cured. A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel. A saline solution is then infused to extend the artery to its original state. 

Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of cerebral fluid in brain ventricles. Cerebral ventricles expand and dog`s head becomes bigger in size. Because of that, oxygen stops coming into brain and it gets atrophied. Hydrocephalus can be either congenital or acquired. The congenital one is more common. It appears during the first weeks of life of the puppy and cannot be cured. 

Patellar dislocation is a displacement of the knee near the deepening in the femur. This disease can be either congenital or acquired. It can be divided into four stages:

  1. The dog walks well, but its patella sometimes moves out of the femoral block.
  2. Dislocation occurs more often. Patella can be easily moved from its place and put back again. Because of that, femoral block gets erased and becomes flat.
  3. Patella gets dislocated all the time. The dog cannot stand on the leg that hurts.
  4. Patella is dislocated and cannot be put back into its original spot. The dog almost never walks.

Hypoglycemia is a decrease of glucose level in blood. Glucose if responsible for energy in dog`s nervous system. Its lack causes fatigue, sleepiness and loss of appetite. The less sugar is in the body, the worse it is. The dog might lapse into a hypoglycemic coma.

Demodecosis is a common disease caused by ticks. Dog`s strong immune system controls the amount of parasites on its skin. However, if its functioning is disrupted, parasites reproduce much more. Pet`s skin gets covered with abscesses and itches a lot. If you notice these symptoms — take your dog to a vet.

Chihuahua are prone to allergies, epilepsy and dental diseases: caries, tartar, pulpitis. If these pets get too cold, they might catch an ARVI. That is why they should be dressed, and the room temperature needs to be controlled.

History of the Breed

Chihuahua is an ancient dog breed. They are direct descendants of «Techichi». These pets were bred by Toltec Indians who lived in central regions of Mexico in the 9th century. Indians regarded these dogs as saint animals. Pets were either eaten or sacrificed to Gods. In the 12th century, Toltec tribes were conquered by Aztecs. Just like Toltecs, Aztecs believed that dogs needed to be buried with the remains of the owner, so that pets can help him find the right way in the Afterlife.

In 1521, the empire of Aztecs was defeated by Spanish conquerors led by Hernan Cortes. They destroyed all Aztec heritage: temples, books and sculptures. Spanish conquerors killed almost all dogs as well. Some pets hid in dense jungles. They lived in wild conditions for more than 100 years. Due to the need to adapt, these dogs changed in appearance and became wilder.

The modern history of the breed started in the middle of the 19th century. American tourists were visiting Mexico quiet often. There, local people were making money for living by selling small dogs. Those pets were called according to regions where they we sold: «Mexico dog», «Texas dog», «Chihuahua dog». The breed got the latter name, which was also one of the northern state of Mexico. Small dogs became beloved pets of the Americans and started being bred in the USA.

In 1904, Chihuahua were added to the stud book of the breed. In 1907, they were brought to Britain. The first standard of the breed was registered in 1923. It accepted only short-haired dogs. Long-haired pets were added to the standard of FCI in 1954.

Chihuahua dogs were brought to the Soviet Union from Cuba in 1959. Two small pets were given to Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev by Fidel Castro as a sign of peace between the two countries. Khrushchev`s daughter gave them to Evgeniya Fominichna, who was the first to develop the breed of Toy Terrier. She also became the founder of the Chihuahua breed in the Commonwealth of Independent States.