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Chihuahua

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Chihuahua

Chihuahua's have two varieties: the short and the long hair. When showing this breed, the smooth-haired variety should have a fine silky coat and the long-haired variety should have a flat or slightly wavy coat. The ears should also drip with fringe and the neck and legs should be well feathered. All colors of the breed are accepted however there are a few preferred colors such as fawn, sand, chestnut, silver, and steel blue. The skull is rounded or apple-shaped and the muzzle is pointed. Puppies may have a soft spot or "molera" which closes as they mature into adulthood. The large eyes should be well set apart and round in shape. In dark-coated dogs the eyes should be dark and the nose black. In light-coated dogs, the eyes should be ruby in color and the nose pink. Chihuahua's have large ears that stand erect in a 45-degree angle from the skull. The teeth should meet in a level bite. The slightly arched neck merges into sloping shoulders. The body is stout and the topline level. The legs are straight and square shaped with the hindquarter hocks set well apart. The feet are delicate with well-separated toes. The plume tail is sickle shaped and should curve over the back.

Temperament Chihuahua's are bold, affectionate, protective and loyal. However, they can also be strong-willed and tend to only bond with one or two people. This can cause them to become jealous towards other dogs and people. This breed may snap at children who tease or abuse them. They are better with older children. Although they are territorial, Chihuahua's when socialized from an early age, generally get along with other dogs and household pets. This breed dislikes the cold and should wear sweaters or jackets on colder days. Chihuahua's have a "big dog" mentality and will not allow larger dogs to intimidate them.
Height, Weight Height: 6-9" ; Weight: 2-6 lbs.
Health Problems As with most dogs that have a short nose, Chihuahuas tend to snore and wheeze. Care should be taken with its eyes as they are susceptible to glaucoma and dryness. They are also prone to rheumatism, colds stress, gum problems and fractures. They may need to have a cesarean in order to give birth. Sometimes the molera will remain open throughout their life.
Living Conditions Chihuahuas can live wonderfully in an apartment. They are active indoors and require no yard. Keep this breed warm as they do not tolerate the cold very well. Keep a little sweater or covering nearby in case of cold weather.
Exercise This breed needs regular exercise so don't be tempted to carry them around with you. Use a body harness instead of a collar.
Life Expectancy 15 or more years
Grooming This breed is easy to groom. Gently brush with a soft bristle brush or wipe with a damp cloth. Bathe about once per month and take care not to get water in the ears. This breed is an average shedder.
Origin The origin of the Chihuahua is mysterious however it is known that they are a very ancient breed. This breed was discovered in Mexico although there are several theories on how they arrived in this country. One theory is that they evolved from Egyptian breeds exported to the Mediterranean and then imported to Mexico during the 1591 Spanish conquest. Another theory is that a breed resembling the Chihuahua was domesticated by Aztecs in Mexico long before the conquest. The last and most popular theory is that the breed dates back to the Mayan Civilization (5th century). Small carvings depicting small Chihuahua-like images were found in pyramids located in Chichen Itza, Yucatan and at the Monastery of Huejotzingo (located between Mexico City and Pubela). The images were found in the Toltec stones, dating from the 9th century, that were used to build the monastery. The small dog was known as "Techichi" in the Toltec and Aztec cultures. Techichis were used as pets for the wealthy and were an essential part of religious practices. Much like Egyptian culture, the Techichi dogs were cremated and buried with their deceased owners. They were thought to take on their owner's sins and guide them through the underworld. These dogs were thought to have been bred with a hairless dog that came across the Bering Strait from Asia. The breed was first exported to the United States in the 1850s and was first shown in 1901. It is believed that the Long Coated variety was developed here by crossing the smooth coated Chihuahua with a toy breed. The breeds that have been mentioned are Papillons, Pomeranians, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terriers and Toy Poodles. The Chihuahua was given AKC recognition in 1904, UKC recognition in 1948 and is known to be the smallest breed in the world.
Group AKC Toy, UKC Companion Dog