Chihuahua

Chihuahua
Chihuahua pictures
Chihuahua suitability

In my own words

 

Being the world’s smallest dog is difficult for me. Nobody seems to realise is that inside this small body there is a very beeg dog! I am brave and bold and will bite the ankles of anyone who threatens my human. Big dogs, they are frightened of me. Grr. I am a good watch dog because I have a bark bigger than my bite so I protect your home too.  I like to go walking, but I feel the cold, so in winter I like a leetle coat to wear. Please do not walk too far! You know what? I am a romantic at heart, and have mucho love to give to my special human. I will be your shadow, your best friend and your hot water bottle. If you dream of having a big dog, but for some reason you cannot, please think of me, the beeg dog in the leetle body. But please, no handbags!

My ideal owner(s)

 

Older people

Singles

People with small homes

Families with older children

What they say about me

 

Cocky

Brave

Devoted

Highly intelligent

Feisty

Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 17 years!

Is this Chihuahua for you?

Test your knowledge about the Chihuahua

Information essential about the Chihuahua

 

Kennel Club Group:

Toy

 

Size: Small: Height 6 – 10” (15 – 28 cms) Weight 4 – 6 lbs (1.8 – 2.7 kg), though some can weigh less than 4 lbs.

Popularity:

 

Always popular with people who like small dogs, since it has become fashionable to own “portable” dogs, the Chihuahua has become the most desired pet of fashionistas and stars of stage and screen.

Breed History:

 

It has generally become accepted that Chi’s come from Chihuahua State in Mexico. The most common theory is that they were companion dogs of the Toltec civilisation, though no remains have been found earlier than the 9th Century. Some historians believe they come from the Mediterranean island of Malta, due to European paintings which depict small dogs that closely resemble the Chihuahua. Part of a Botticelli fresco in the Sistine Chapel depicting the Trials of Moses shows a young boy holding a small white dog that looks just like a Chi. The painting was finished ten years before Columbus returned from the New World. The case remains open! The Chihuahua was first recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1904, and has remained a popular pet ever since. Officially the world’s smallest dog, the modern Chihuahua is much smaller than his ancestors, possibly because of crossing with Chinese miniaturised breeds, such as the Chinese Crested Dog, by the Spanish.

Character:

 

Highly intelligent, your little Chi is very trainable, but not 100% obedient. He is feisty and bold and will take on much larger dogs in the park, so it is wise to avoid them unless you can train your Chi to accept them. He can be extremely possessive, so he may be unwilling to share your attentions with other pets. For the same reason, he is not an ideal pet in a home where there are small children. Fiercely protective, he makes an excellent watch dog and guard dog, as you can train him to protect your home while you are out. Unlike many small breeds, your Chi is not yappy, but will bark when he thinks you need to pay attention to either himself or the stranger at the front door. Your devoted Chi will be your shadow, so keep your eyes open so that you don’t trip over him or tread on him.

Temperament:

 

Your Chi is a true Latin in temperament, fiery and cocksure, but passionately loving.  He is loyal to the point of being a one-person dog, as many owners report, so he will need to be socialised from a young age. But once bonded with you, you will be able to do anything with him, because it’s attention that he craves. Your Chi has a good sense of humour, and will often be a great source of amusement without you having to do a thing to encourage him. A cuddly soul, he loves warmth, so you may often find him curled up in your laundry heap fresh and warm from the drier, or in the airing cupboard, and at night, under the bedclothes. And of course, he will want to share the sofa with you in the evening, though he may not want anyone else to sit there!

Conformation:

 

Your Chi should be small, dainty and compact, swift moving and brisk in his action. His head should be well rounded, with an “apple” dome, lean cheeks and jaw. The shortish muzzle should be slightly pointed, with a definite stop. The eyes should be large and round but not protruding, set well apart. Their colour should be dark or ruby, but light eyes are acceptable with light colouring. The ears should be large and flaring, set at a 45 deg. angle. The neck should be of medium length, the body should have a level back, slightly longer than the height, well sprung ribs and a deep brisket. The hindquarters should be muscular with well let down hocks. The feet should be small and dainty, neither hare- nor cat-like. The tail should be medium length and carried up and over the back (sickle tail). The short coat should be smooth and glossy with a soft undercoat. If your Chi is long coated, the hair should be soft, and can be flat or slightly wavy with feathering on the ears, feet and legs. He should have pants on the hindquarters, a neck ruff and the tail should be long and full like a plume.

Colour:

 

Your Chi can be of any colour, including tri-coloured, though if you intend to show yours, avoid merle (mottled) patterns at all costs, as these are not recognised by the Kennel Clubs.

Training:

Your Chi has a mind of his own, though he loves to learn. Training is easy, though sometimes his sense of humour (or maybe he’s just not in the mood) may spoil his good obedience record. Because of his protective nature, and tendency to aggression towards other dogs, early socialisation at puppy classes is essential

Care:

Your little Chi needs very little grooming, as both the long coats and the short are quite self maintaining. A brush once a week, and a bath every couple of months will suffice. Your main challenge will be keeping his weight down, because although they don’t need much to eat, it is hard to resist his charming efforts to win treats. He will need several small meals a day, as going too long between meals can be dangerous (

Health:

 

A healthy Chi can live as long as 17 years, but they do have a few issues. All Chihuahuas are born with “moleras”, or gaps between the bones of the skull. Normally these close up with age, but sometimes they don’t, so it’s important to protect the head. Like many other toy breeds, Chi’s are prone to Hydrocephalus, an inflammation of the brain tissues. Another issue can be Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, usually caused by going too long between meals. Keep some sugar or honey handy if your Chi looks lethargic, unfocussed or confused. Those big eyes can be prone to infections and injuries and make a lot of tears which can leave stains. These can be prevented with a regular wipe. Chi’s are notorious for dental problems, so regular dental care is essential. It is very easy for Chi’s to gain weight – even tiny high fat or sugary treats can lead to obesity, which can lead to diabetes, chronic bronchitis, tracheal collapse (reverse sneezing) and heart trouble. Though the list of problems looks long, in fact if you take care of your Chi’s weight, teeth and eyes, and handle him gently, there is no reason why he shouldn’t live to a happy old age and lose none of his spark.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Chihuahua is waiting for a new home »

 

The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Chihuahua is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that makes a good walking companion, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that Chi’s make good walking companions over short distances, scoring 4. If you want a dog that is suitable for apartment life, look under Environment and you will see Chi’s are ideal, scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Add your own ratings on this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Activities
Good jogging companion1/5
Good walking companion4/5
Likes water/swimming1/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt1/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Behaviour
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous4/5
Protective5/5
Aggressive4/5
Timid1/5
Friendly with strangers4/5
Cost
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed2/5
Environment
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate5/5
Prefers cold climate1/5
Grooming
Moults a lot2/5
Hypoallergenic1/5
Requires lots of grooming1/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children1/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog4/5
Sociability
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs2/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs3/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs4/5
Requires lots of exercise1/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train5/5
Activities
Good jogging companion1/5
Good walking companion3/5
Likes water/swimming1/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt1/5
Likes to fetch1/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Behaviour
Barks a lot4/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Protective4/5
Aggressive2/5
Timid1/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Cost
Expensive to insure2/5
Expensive to feed3/5
Environment
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside1/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate4/5
Prefers cold climate1/5
Grooming
Moults a lot2/5
Hypoallergenic2/5
Requires lots of grooming1/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children2/5
Ideal for family with children3/5
Good watch dog1/5
Good guard dog2/5
Sociability
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs3/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs3/5
Requires lots of exercise1/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners4/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train5/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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