The Chihuahua (Spanish: Chihuahueño) is surely the oldest breed of dogs on the American continent as well as the smallest breed in the world. Its history is unclear but there are few theories as to how these dogs originated.
Both folklore and archaeological finds show that this wheeled dog toy originated somewhere in Central/South America, specifically in Tres Zapotes in Veracruz, Mexico which has been dated to 100 AD.
That is why this breed was named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Additional information tells that it descended from a Central or South American dog known as the Techichi.
The Aztecs used the Techichi as a source of food and pelts. The Spanish conquered the Aztecs in the late 1500s but the Chihuahuas were only brought to Europe after the end of the nineteenth century.
Since the 1960s, the Chihuahua has been one of the most popular breeds registered by the American Kennel Club. Today these dogs are rank 11th among the 155 breeds and varieties that the said Club recognizes.
Traits and Behavior
The Chihuahuas are good family companions because they appear to be happy, alert, and with good training, they can be considered safe dogs to children.
Not only are they companion dogs, but they can also be trained to do tricks and tasks for the benefit of their human family.
They have a calm, non-aggressive and friendly character most especially to dog owners or trainers.
There may be circumstances of them being reserved to strangers but as long as they are constantly accustomed to the human scent, they can be friendly and entertaining.
These dogs are also adaptive to the environment and people such that they can be used in group or team dog activities.
Pet Care and Diseases
This dog is low-cost maintenance in terms of grooming. They don’t shed much and their coats are short and coarse making it easy to rub off dirt or mud. One can occasionally brush them using a firm bristled one.
During warm weather, regular check for fleas or ticks should be conducted to prevent the development of bald patches on their body. Also, bathing them is not necessarily a frequent ritual so that the natural oils that protect their skin may not be stripped off.
This type of breed is suitable for small living quarters or apartment given their size. Since it is essential for them to enjoy running or walking around, dog owners must provide these dogs with a large area, probably outside the house so it’ll always be activated. Also, they can be brought along as jogging companions or on daily, long walks.
They are healthy dogs but few health concerns might arise such as:
- Reverse sneeze (occasional bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking and wheezing)
- Luxation of the Patella
The world’s smallest dog, the Chihuahua, weighs between 2-8 pounds and stands around 12-15 inches tall. Some dogs grow not too much ranging only between 6-10 inches tall. It has an apple-shaped head and a short pointed muzzle.
They have round eyes that are both large and dark in color. They are very famous for their large erect ears atop the head. Their tails are curved at the back.
There are two varieties of Chihuahuas: the short-haired type (which is far more common) and the long-haired type.
Chihuahuas also come in all colors including fawn, sand, chestnut, silver and steel blue, black, tan and gray. Tricolour, brindle, spotted merle or any other marking may also be present.
Chihuahua will live to be anywhere from 15 to 20 years of age. The average litter size for a Chihuahua is between 1-4 puppies. This breed is also known as Chihuahueño in Spanish.
Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Chihuahuas. Click these links: