It’s hard to imagine anyone out there that isn’t already familiar with what a Chihuahua looks like! After all, their tiny size and “unbelievable” cuteness tends to be attention grabbers wherever they may be.
We here at IndulgeYourPet feel it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that while many folks may know what a Chihuahua looks like, far fewer are aware of what it might actually be like to own one.
This is probably why…
Chihuahuas represent a disproportionate percentage of “shelter” animals simply because in “our opinion”, ill informed humans decide to adopt Chihuahuas for all the wrong reasons and have no idea what to do with them 6 to 8 months later when their cute little puppy starts to become an obnoxious, poorly trained adult.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet chose to write this article so that we can go over some of the pros and cons of owning a Chihuahua so that folks can get a better idea if owning a Chihuahua is going to be the right choice for them.
Chihuahua Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Mexico
Original Purpose: Ceremonial
Height: 5 to 10 inches
Weight: Typically, less than 6 pounds
Class of Dog Breed: Toy Group
History and Origin of the Chihuahua
While it is true that when think of a Chihuahua, most of us immediately think of Mexico, but the truth is, the exact origin of the Chihuahua breed is a “bit” of a mystery.
For many years…
It was thought that the Chihuahua might have first originated in Asia and was brought to the Americans during the New World by the Spanish. This theory however has been losing some of it’s appeal however as more and more DNA evidence seem to place the Chihuahua’s country of origin firmly within Mexico itself.
Archaeological evidence found in drawings and wooden arts and craft have documented their existence up and down the country dating all the way back to 100 AD and beyond.
What has probably…
Caused some of the confusion is that its probable that at some point during the Chihuahuas history it was “mixed” or inter breed with some of the “toy breeds” from China.
In either case…
We here at IndulgeYourPet like to think of the Chihuahua as a native Mexican which is why we tend to believe the DNA evidence and feel that it’s probably a direct descendant of the native Techichi dog breed that existed during this same time.
Ok, now that we’ve…
Got that all settled, let’s get back to talking about what makes the Chihuahua dog breed such a crowd favorite and why we here at IndulgeYourPet love this little guys so much.
The first thing you’re going to want to know about Chihuahua puppies is that they’re going to be so small you can fit them in the palm of your hand! So be prepared for love at first sight!
Tend to be solid in color but occasionally come in part color, part white. Fawn is a popular coat color for this breed. And even though we personally find Chihuahua’s that are Merle in color very attractive, this coloration has been “officially” dismissed by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. So if you’re thinking about trying to purchase or adopt a “show” Chihuahua, this is something you’ll want to be aware of.
Are either going to have an “apple” shape or a “deer shaped” head. The apple shape has a short snout whereas the deer does resemble that of an actual deer. They can also, have either a long and wavy coat or a short, smooth coat.
The American Kennel Club differentiate between the two coat lengths and hold them as two separate breeds. Both types, however, specify the apple head as the Breed Standard. There is no height limit on a Chihuahua, but they should weigh no more than fifteen pounds.
As a “casual” observer of a Chihuahua, you may or not be aware of the fact that Chihuahua have somewhat of a legendary temper. Now we’re not going to suggest that in “some cases” this reputation of being a tiny, angry dog isn’t completely “unearned”.
That said however…
We feel it’s a bit unfair to “label” the who breed this way because generally speaking, these dogs can be loving, gentle and caring if raised properly and socialized like they were a larger dog.
Plus, its not…
His or her fault that these fiery little devils choose to attach their entire being and purpose in life to their “owner” is it? We don’t think so which is why we place 100% of the blame on the owner if they have a Chihuahua that acts too aggressively to everyone but themselves.
Even the most “aggressive” Chihuahua can be taught and controlled with early socialization and obedience classes. You’ll just need to treat him or her like a regular dog and not totally shelter him or her from the outside world. This way, your Chihuahua will learn how to interact with other animals and people for himself and won’t always be on “hyper alert” mode!
Important “takeaways” any…
Potential Chihuahua owner out to know about this breed is that:
- They are not a high energy breed, and therefore a walk or a thorough play time should be enough for this toy breed.
- He is a companion dog, and will attach himself to one family member in particular.
- Which is why it’s not unusual for him to be a little overprotective of that family member, and this might be a problem without proper training.
He also a small dog…
That thinks he huge, so be aware that he will threaten any other dog that he perceives as a danger to you. So, if you value your little Chihuahua, this will be one of the first traits you’ll want to train out of him with socialization, unless you don’t mind going to the veterinarian all that often to treat your little “macho man” for injuries.
Chihuahuas and children.
Generally speaking the Chihuahua dog breed will be devoted and loyal, and good with older children. Younger children which will typically be as needy as he or she is may not be a good fit because there is a chance that your Chihuahua may see this as “competition” which could end up badly for everyone involved.
Where in most cases, our primary concern is for the safety of the child, because Chihuahuas are so small, often times it will be he or she that is in danger or being injured by an over enthusiastic toddler.
This is why…
Here at IndulgeYourPet, we will often recommend that families with younger children either hold off on getting a Chihuahua or instead choose a different dog breed, one that might be a better fit for your entire family. This is especially true if you have a ‘Teacup’ Chihuahua, the strand of this breed that has been bred to be small enough to never grow out of a teacup.
Is the Chihuahua Dog Breed healthy?
There are some things about the Chihuahua dog breed that you’re just going to have to live with.
Chihuahua’s have terrible teeth due to their small jaws. So… you’ll want to be sure and brush or dogs teeth everyday and be prepared for a dental bill from the vet around the age of seven.
Obesity is also…
Probably the most common cause of health problems in this breed, so keep him walked and be wary of overfeeding.
He may suffer from:
- a floating kneecap or patellar luxation,
- a collapsed trachea,
- brain inflammation,
- fluid in the brain,
- and a number of head and eye issues due to their slightly protruding eyes, soft spot, and the fact that humans have bred them so that their heads are too big for their tiny bodies…
As if all that weren’t horrid enough, they are vulnerable to:
- Mitral Valve Disease,
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease,
- Portosystemic Shunts,
- and numerous other hereditary conditions that are a symptom of over-breeding.
So we guess…
It’s pretty fair to say that the Chihuahua dog breed isn’t the healthiest dog breed out there. Yet despite all of this the Chihuahua’s life expectancy can reach twenty years. So… there you go!
The Chihuahua is now being cross bred with other dog breeds to make ‘Hybrid’ breeds and you can now buy a Chihuahua mix fairly easily. The aim of this is to increase genetic material and stop some of the health problems that are common today.
When purchasing your new family member…
One of the best ways to avoid purchasing a potentially sick Chihuahua puppy is to simply avoid the process entirely and instead choose to re-home an adult Chihuahua from a re-homing program or rescue center instead of buying a puppy. There are hundreds of Chihuahuas currently just waiting in shelters all across the United States just waiting to be adopted and given a chance!
That said however…
If you have your heart set on owning your very own Chihuahua puppy, you should familiarize yourself with some important tips on how to avoid purchasing a Chihuahua puppy from a puppy mill.
Are a global problem that results in dogs being malnourished, housed in inhumane conditions and the ultimate destruction of the individual animal as well as the breed itself. This is why you should always source our breeder from a reputable resourse like the American Kennel Club who will have a list of vetted breeders that can be trusted as well as always avoid purchasing a puppy from a breeder who:
- “Stocks” more than three breeds and one locations,
- Cannot introduce you to your puppy’s parents,
- Or that cannot produce paperwork for the dogs.
These are all signs of illegal activity and should be reported to the relevant authorities.
If we didn’t make it abundantly clear already, Chihuahua’s can be prone to developing a lot of different medical conditions. And if you didn’t know this already, veterinarian visits can be expensive particularly if the condition being treated is serious.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet always like to recommend that folks take a look at possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy for their new pet so that just in case their animal does develop one of these aforementioned medical conditions, they won’t be “on their own” when it comes time to pay the bill!
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
Probably not. But until you actually know exactly what they “will” and “won’t” cover and what they actually cost, you really won’t know whether or not it makes sense for you.
The good news is…
We here at IndulgeYourPet have already taken the time to also research who we feel offer the Best Pet Insurance Policies out there so that you can quickly determine for yourself if having a policy on your new little family member makes any sense.
How do you keep your Chihuahua from barking so much in your apartment disturbing neighbors?
That’s a tough one since Chihuahua’s have such a strong personality and really hate being left alone. Our suggestion would be to perhaps introduce him or her to a friend or neighbors dog and see if the two of them can be left alone for a period of time. During that time, see if your dog continues to bark like before.
If not, you may need to get your little buddy a companion…
How can you train a chihuahua?