Smooth Coat and Long Coat

he Chihuahua's history has been hotly debated. One group feels that the breed originated in China before being introduced to Central America by Spanish explorers. Others firmly believe that the Chihuahua is a native of Central America, descended from the Techichi, a small dog who was a companion to the Toltecs as far back as the 9th century. Small dogs much like the Chihuahua have been found in the pyramids of Cholula, which were built before the 1500s. No matter where the breed originated, it has become a popular pet in Central and North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean, as well as other parts of the world.

The Chihuahua is a very small dog, never to exceed 6 pounds, with a bright, alert expression. Other than weight, there are no size classifications. The Chihuahua Club of America states on its website, "Teacup, Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Miniature, and Standard are several of the many tags assigned to this breed." They caution that the use of these terms is actually incorrect and misleading. There are only two varieties of Chihuahua, and those are the coat types. The long coat Chihuahua has a soft, flat, or slightly wavy coat, while the smooth coat (or shorthaired) Chihuahua has a short, close, glossy coat. Both varieties may have an undercoat. Coat colors include black and

Chiwawa Tan And Brindle

tan, tricolored, red, fawn, sable, and brindle. The Chihuahua's head is rounded, with full but not protruding eyes, large erect ears, and a jaunty curved tail that is carried gaily and loops over the back.

Grooming this little dog is not difficult. The longhaired coat should be combed every other day and checked for tangles, especially behind the ears and in the pantaloons. The smooth variety can be brushed twice a week with a soft bristle brush.

Chihuahuas are not sedentary lap dogs. They like to cuddle, but they also need exercise and playtime. Edna St. Hilaire, the president of the Chihuahua Club of Canada, says, "Chihuahuas are moderately active, playful, lively, and alert." She adds that two hours of exercise and playtime are needed each day. The breed's small size makes this easy, as Chihuahuas can chase a ball or toy across the room or go for a nice walk for lots of exercise.

Socialization is important for this breed. St. Hilaire says, "They are very loyal to one person, although they will accept other family members and close friends." With early socialization to people of all ages, Chihuahuas can become more comfortable with people outside the home circle.

Even though this is a very small dog, training is very important. Chihuahuas are bright dogs and quick thinkers. Without training, they can take advantage of a permissive owner. Training can be a challenge, but with fair yet fun training techniques, these dogs will learn and will have fun doing it.

Chihuahuas are alert little dogs and try to be watchdogs; sometimes they take their job too seriously. This breed is not necessarily the best choice for children, as the dogs can be fragile. St. Hilaire comments, "They prefer older folks; however, they will accept children who have been taught to be gentle and to respect them." Health concerns include an open fontanel (soft spot on the skull), knee problems, and hypoglycemia.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC. CKC Occupation: Companion Size: Not to exceed 6 lbs Longevity: 14 to 18 years Exercise: Active Training: Challenge Grooming: Easy

hinese Crested

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment