Coat: The Chihuahua coat comes in two varieties:
The smooth and long coat. The smooth coat has a glossy, soft, and close coat which is full textured over the entire
body, but quite scanty on the head and ears. The long coat has a soft, longer coat that can be slightly curly or flat.
This variety does have an under-coat. Either coat type comes in a variety of colors such as fawn, brown, black, and
white. The coat may be solid in color, marked with splashes or striping of color, or tri-colored. They are an
Overview: The Chihuahua is the smallest of all breeds and has the distinction
of being the oldest breed in America. They were named after the Chihuahua region in Mexico. It is believed that
this breed descended from an ancient breed that was larger in size and highly prized by Aztec royalty. The Chihuahua
of today has a very fine bone structure, but are actually quite muscular.
Character: The Chihuahua
is a very individualistic breed. They each have their own unique personality, so only a few generalizations can be made.
They are commonly referred to as a "Chi". They are energetic, graceful, and display a human-like expression.
Their life span is the longest of any size dog, averaging about 15 years.
Temperament: The Chihuahua
is deeply devoted and fiercely loyal. They typically become extremely attached to one or two people. They are
bold, fearless, and highly protective of their masters. They thrive on inordinate amounts of attention. The Chihuahua
is by nature gentle, loving, and sweet-tempered. They are wary of strangers and make excellent watchdogs. This
breed is not typically well suited for young children or other pets, although if raised with children and other pets from
puppy-hood, will do exceptionally well. However, they are extremely sociable with their own breed. Chihuahuas
are excellent companions in the right circumstances.
Care: The Chihuahua requires minimal grooming.
The smooth coat variety requires only occasional brushing. The long coat variety should be brushed several times a week
with a soft bristle brush. Both varieties only need bathing once a month using a mild shampoo. Special care must
be given not to get water into their ears as they are prone to ear infections. Dental hygiene is a must to prevent
tooth loss. The health issues that affect this breed include slipped stifles, open front or soft spot, eye problems,
and heart disease. The Chihuahua does not tolerate cold climates and must be protected when taken outside.
Training: The Chihuahua can be difficult to train, but with patience, love, and consistency do well.
They respond best to positive reinforcement. Chihuahuas can be house-trained by either the crate method or the paper
training method. Early, extensive, and intensive socialization in an absolute
must for this breed.
Chihuahua is an excellent apartment or condominium dweller. The majority of their exercise needs can be met indoors
with toys or play sessions. However, they greatly enjoy going with their owners and benefit from daily walks.
Using a harness is recommended instead of a leash due to their delicate neck and bone structure.