Many of us see the Chihuahua as a small and cute dog. But there's actually more to it than its tiny size. The Chihuahua may be a petite dog but it has a big character that complements its big eyes and big ears. It is a fearless animal that can be a great pet depending on how the owner handles it.
This breed of dog has been found to be a popular pet of choice by elderly people and apartment residents. It is now considered the 12th most popular dog breed in the U.S.
Historians believe this dog breed got its name from the Chihuahua state of Mexico. Its ancestors were believed to be the ancient Techichi dogs of the Toltecs described as small in size with heavy bones and long coat and was crossed with the Oriental hairless breed. The Techichi, though, was bigger than the present day Chihuahua and was mute.
The discovery of the breed was recorded in the 1850s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It was more than 50 years later in 1904 when it got registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Since then, the Chihuahua's popularity always remained.
Chihuahua Physical Description
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog registered with the AKC. It stands at six to eight inches tall and weighs two to six pounds.
It may be small but it's a muscular dog with round-shaped skull, big eyes and big ears that stand upright when it's alert. Its muzzle is short and a bit pointed.
Chihuahuas have a smooth, soft and glossy coat and tail of medium length. Their coat is usually of a dark or solid color.
The American Kennel Club describes this breed as an alert, graceful and fast moving little dog with saucy expression and temperament similar to terriers. Some, though, may be grumpy and nasty and are easily provoked.
The Chihuahua is a clannish dog that it only likes and socializes with his own breed. This is the reason why it always seems to be suspicious of other people except his master. This is another reason why they are not suitable in homes with children but are great pets for the elderly, people who live in apartments or those who love to pamper their pets.
This dog can be a loyal companion and protector making it ideal as a watchdog. Their attachment, though, is limited to one or two people.
A dog of this breed can live up to 16 years or more. There are some genetic diseases, though, that may affect their health such as the slipped stifles or a knee injury resulting from weakness of bone joints. Other common health problems they encounter are jawbone disorders, eye and heart diseases, tooth and gum problems and fractures.
Due to this possible bone problem, owners of Chihuahuas are advised not to let their dogs jump from a high position such as furniture or from their arms as it could result in a fractured leg. Roughly playing with kids is also not recommended.
The soft spot on his head should also be protected as a blow in this part could cause his death.