Chihuahuas are energetic, muscular little dogs that have a long life expectancy of around 15 years. They can be noisy and aggressive, particularly with other dog breeds, yet they also have a gentleness and affection for their owners. The primary differences between types of chihuahuas is their fur (smooth coat or long coat) and their colors.
The chihuahua is the world's smallest breed and the oldest breed in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), although it is a native of Mexico, the chihuahua is believed to have been first introduced in Europe through Christopher Columbus and his travels. Named for the Mexican state Chihuahua, the dog was considered sacred to the Indians in Mexico. It was registered in 1904 with the AKC.
Chihuahuas usually weigh no more 6 six pounds. His head is in an apple shape and his eyes are large and round, but not protruding. His ears are typically erect and large in proportion to his head. A chihuahua's muzzle is short and somewhat pointed. He may be any solid or mixed color. His coat may be smooth (glossy and close to his body) or longer hair that is soft, and it may be flat or somewhat wavy. His tail typically curls up over his back or to the side.
Chihuahuas are alert and make excellent watchdogs. She will be fearless, even around large dogs, and she will tend to be fine with other chihuahuas, but not other breeds. She will be gentle, loyal and protective of her master, regarding strangers with suspicion. Chihuahuas are good companion dogs and usually become attached to one person. She may exhibit jealousy as a result of the attachment. Chihuahuas may not be the best choice for children as the dogs can become nervous and snappy.
Chihuahuas do not require a great deal of grooming. He should be bathed once every month, avoiding water in his ears, and brushed with a soft-bristle brush a couple of times a week. Chihuahuas can be picky about their food. It is important to adhere to a nutritious diet to protect him from becoming overweight, which increases his risk of joint injuries, chronic bronchitis, tracheal collapse and a shortened life. Training a chihuahua can be difficult because he can be stubborn, but chihuahuas are also very intelligent and quick learners. Scolding and punishment may only result in a delay in his training. Patience is the key to training your chihuahua.
Never use a choke collar on your chihuahua. Pulling on it too hard could damage her trachea. Harnesses are recommended for these tiny dogs. To ensure the health of your chihuahua, maintain routine veterinary care for her.