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Chihuahua

Dog Breed - Chihuahua

                

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Description

The Chihuahua is one of the oldest breeds.  Originating from Mexico the smooth coat was highly prized in ancient times and the theory is when bought out of Mexico, the smooth coat was cross-bred with either or both the Pomeranian or Papillion to achieve the long coat variety.  These sometimes demanding little dogs possess a voice that far outweighs its size and a dedicated loyalty towards its owners that is second to none.  Demanding attention wherever they go these little pocket dynamos are no pushovers, although small and fragile, they are spirited and animated.

 

Temperament

Any owner of the cheeky, yet adorable Chihuahua will use words like 'feisty', 'cunning', 'clever' and 'protective'. Rightly so as they can make wonderful watch dogs.  Usually seen to become much attached to their owners, you can expect them to be reserved and yappy around strangers, especially around children if not used to them.  Even though they are trainable it may take a bit longer compared with other breeds and it can be a bit more difficult to house-train males.

 

Appearance

Height:  15-23cm  (6-9in)
Weight:  1-3kg  (2-6lb)

The miniature breed is without a doubt hailed as the ultimate toy lapdog.  These small, alert, perky little dogs with a definite attitude of their own importance have large erect ears and a moderately long tail and cruel comparisons with rats are often made.  They have quite a distinctive head which is very round with wide-set ears and prominent, relatively large eyes, compact but long body and tiny very thin-boned legs with dainty feet. Even though smooth coats are most common there is a long coated version, produced later by crossing smooth coats with other toys like the Papillion and Pomeranian. All colours are available, though because of the wide range of colouring and varied patterning genes, it is unusually difficult to breed specifically for colour.

 

Grooming

Grooming and maintenance is quite minimal on the smooth coat however the long coats will require a good brush weekly.  As with all dogs nails should be checked regularly and clipped when necessary, whilst bathing should be undertaken as required.

 

Life Expectancy

10-14 years

 

Health Concern

These miniature breeds are not without their problems as it is not uncommon for some parts of their anatomy to remain proportionally larger than the rest of the body. Most commonly, teeth and nails where their nails can grow very quick, and the teeth may crowd their small mouth.  Interestingly enough even the Chihuahua's tongue may also grow to be longer than its mouth permits seen by its tip protruding out from the mouth. Undershot or overshot jaws and tooth loss are common orthodontic faults and slipping patellas, or kneecaps can affect the dog's movement.

 

Suitability

A favourite with the elderly and those living in apartments. Large, boisterous families are perhaps not well matched to a Chihuahua's size and temperament, but rather singles or couples who prefer constant companionship and an impressive early warning system when strangers approach. A real lap dog, they will remain by their owner and demand affection, even to the point of shivering for attention!

 

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 The Chihuahua has been adopted as Mexico's national dog

 

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