The Chihuahua is the smallest of the toy breeds. An energetic, small and fragile dog, the Chihuahua typically has a rounded skull (often called an “apple head”) and large, dark eyes. The two types are the smooth-coated Chihuahua and long-coated Chihuahua. Usually 8 inches tall or less, and weighing between 2-3 lbs., the chiwawa comes in both short and long hair varieties. Coat colors range from white through cream, sable, sand, blue to black or black and tan combined.
Chihuahua Temperament and Traits
Owners describe their dogs as energetic, clever, and protective. They usually become very attached to their owners and reserved or even aggressive around strangers, and may even snap around children if not used to them.
While owners say Chihuahua dogs can be trained, it might take more time compared with other breeds. Chi’s can be a little stuborn. Some owners report difficulties in house-training males. The tend to want to mark their territory and it is a difficult habit to break.
Health & Lifespan
While not as fragile as their tiny size may suggest, Chihuahua dogs can have some health problems, some are hereditary. Chihuahua teeth are prone to a build up of tartar. Regular brushing at home or ultrasonic cleaning by your vet will help. Special chew strips can help clean their teeth and remove tartar.
Collapsing tracheas are common and can cause a characteristic cough that sounds like “honking”. Their prominent, large eyes can also be prone to injury and possible infection. The Chiwawa dog has an average life span of 12-14 years.
Chihuahuas dogs do very well with adult owners and in homes with additional small dogs. It can be very dangerous to bring a Chihuahua puppy into a family with small children as they are very susceptible to being injured if squeezed or dropped. They can be raised indoors, but they also love to get outside for walks and to dig in the dirt. Chihuahuas adore sleeping in the sun – whether it’s a sunny window or a back patio, sunbathing is one of their favorite pass-times.
Mosts Chihuahua dogs love to bark, and as a breed can be considered “yappy”. This is not always the case of course, but it does make them a great little watchdog if uninvited visitors appear.
Due to their small size, breeding Chihuahua puppies can be dangerous to try without the assistance of a good breeder. Caesareans are common. Litters usually consist of one to three pups.
Their toenails need to be tended to frequently as they grow very fast. Clipping a Chihuahua toenails may seem like an easy task, but my experience is that they hate it. The right tool for the job makes all the difference however.
As far as grooming goes, the short hair Chi is really a very low maintenance dog with a weekly brushing being about the only task required. The long hair variety requires a bit more time to keep their lovely long hair looking great, but it’s worth it.
Chihuahuas are wonderful little companions with BIG personalities.