The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world but is named after the biggest state in the country of Mexico. This dog sports huge eyes and big, erect ears and there are two different coat varieties: smooth-coat and long-coat. Since it is small and does not require a lot of space or laborious exercise the Chihuahua has become extremely popular among urban dwellers in small apartments. It is also a pop culture icon and can for instance be seen in the popular Legally Blonde movies. This article will provide you with some basic Chihuahua dog information; if you are planning on getting a Chihuahua it is always a good idea to also contact your local Kennel Club or Chihuahua organisation to find out more Chihuahua dog information.
Chihuahua dog care
One of the most important aspects of Chihuahua dog care is to avoid overfeeding. Chihuahua dogs are small and even though they can be energetic creatures, they do not require a lot of food. Overweight Chihuahuas are inclined to develop joint problems, chronic bronchitis and tracheal collapse. It is also advisable to feed your Chihuahua god 3-4 small meals a day instead of 1-2 big ones. Do not allow your Chihuahua to become a picky eater – if you bring it new delicious food every time it turns it back on ordinary, nutritious food it will boss you around forever and might even develop nutritional deficiencies. A Chihuahua that refuses to eat is also at risk of getting a dangerously low blood-sugar.
The long-coated Chihuahua dog needs to be brushed on a daily basis, while the short-coated variety only needs to be brushed occasionally. A soft-bristle brush or a piece of soft cloth is recommended. Chihuahua dogs can be bathed once a month or every second month, depending on how dirty your dog gets. Longhaired Chihuahuas generally need more frequent bathing than short-haired ones. Regardless of coat variety, you must avoid getting water into the ears of the dog since this can lead to infections.
When it comes to dental care, it is hard for the ordinary pet owner to provide adequate Chihuahua dog care and it is advisable to contact a vet for expert advice. The same is true for birthing.
Chihuahuas have sensitive necks and are susceptible to collapsed trachea and soft palate problems. Using a body harness is better than a collar. When the outdoor temperature is below 40 degrees F your Chihuahua will appreciate a sweater. If the temperature drops down to freezing conditions, your Chihuahua will probably prefer to just run out, pee and poop, and promptly return back home.
Chihuahua dog puppy
The Chihuahua dog puppy is an amazing creature, but before you go out and get one there are several things to consider. Will you be able to care for this dog for the rest of its life and provide it with suitable amounts of food, exercise, training and company? A Chihuahua dog puppy is a good choice if you need a dog that does not require extensive amounts of exercise, since a very short walk around the neighbourhood a few times a day will be enough to satisfy it. It is also a great choice for those living in small apartments. The Chihuahua is energetic, but it tends to have quick burst of energy and is rarely interested in extensive walks.
If your Chihuahua dog puppy starts to shiver, don’t be alarmed. It is perfectly normal for Chihuahua dogs to shiver when they are cold or excited. Make sure your dog is warm enough and try to calm it down a bit when it starts to vibrate. If your Chihuahua dog puppy starts to gag, cough or experience “reversed sneezing” it is however time to take it to the vet.
Chihuahuas are infamous for having a soft spot in their skulls, a so called molera, and they are the only dogs to be born with an incomplete skull. This should not be confused with hydrocephalus and it will fill in with age. You have to be extra careful when handling your Chihuahua dog puppy during the initial six months.
Chihuahua dog training
A lot of people think that small dogs need no training, but this is very far from the truth. Despite its small stature, the Chihuahua is still a dog and if you do not take charge it will assume that it has to become the leader of the pack. Chihuahua dog training is a very good way of showing the dog that you are the pack leader and that it can relax and let you decide the rules for the pack. A Chihuahua dog that has been forced to resume the role of pack leader will often become extensively barky and very excitable.
One example of important Chihuahua dog training is leash training. As soon as you start walking your dog on a leash you should teach it proper walking behaviour, e.g. not allowing it to pull on the leash when you are out on a walk. Chihuahuas have sensitive necks and are susceptible to collapsed trachea and soft palate, and if you allow your dog to practically choke itself on the collar trying to lunge forward during walks it can cause serious health problems in the long run. As mentioned above, using a body harness is better than a collar but even a Chihuahua in a body harness needs Chihuahua dog training to learn proper walking manners.
If you have allowed your Chihuahua dog to become the leader of the pack, there are simply methods that will make it step down. You can for instance start eating your dinner without giving your dog any snack at all. Push it away or confine it in another room if it begs. When you are finished eating, it is time for the Chihuahua to eat. This is how it works in a pack of wolfs or wild dogs. The one who controls the food is the leader of the pack.
Chihuahua dog breeding
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, the aim of Chihuahua dog breeding should be to develop graceful, alert and swift-moving dogs with a terrier-like temperament. They should have a “saucy” expression, which – according to the Princeton University Wordnet – means “impertinent: characterized by a lightly pert and exuberant quality; a certain irreverent gaiety and ease of manner”.
When it comes to size there is no height limit in the American standards but the adult dog should never exceed 6 pounds in weight. The body should be off-square and males should have somewhat shorter bodies than females. The head should feature a well rounded “apple dome” skull and the ears should be big and erect. When the dog is relaxed the ears can flare down to the sides at a 45 degree angle, but as soon as the dog gets excited they should be held very upright.
The AKC standards have to allowed coat varieties for Chihuahua dog breeding: smooth coats and long coats. Smooth coats should be of close, soft and glossy and the hair on the tail should ideally be furry. Long coats should be flat or slightly curly and ideally feature an undercoat.