Dog Breeds: The Chihuahua

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Chihuahua

This cute little dog has been featured in movies and fast food commercials. But, how is he as a pet in your home? Keep reading to find out the information you are looking for about the Chihuahua.

History

This is the smallest of all dog breeds. It originates in the Chihuahua region of Mexico. These dogs were highly prized as companions of the royal and the wealthy. In the late 19th century, the dog made its way to Europe. Because of its unique features it is believed that the Chihuahua was descended from the Fennec Fox.

Temperament

As a companion dog, the Chihuahua is aces. If you’ve ever seen one, then you know they are rambunctious, courageous and affectionate. But, they can also become strong-willed if not socialized well.

They are loyal to their owners, even licking their faces at times. People mistakenly treat them as if they were little toys instead of dogs. Giving them preferential treatment because they are small could turn your treasured pet into a spoiled brat who doesn’t know how to behave with the family or other people.

Care

For a toy sized dog, the Chihuahua has a well rounded head and large pointy ears. Often, they are born with a soft spot in their head called the “molera.” It usually closes over by adulthood but in some it does not which can lead to injuries. They have large wide set eyes.

Chihuahuas can have short or long coats. The colors they come in include: black, white, chestnut, black and tan, white, sable, silver, fawn and sand to name a few. The long coat requires daily brushing to keep it manageable. The short coat only requires an occasional wiping with a damp cloth. Bathe them once a month or as needed. Keep the ears clean and the nails trimmed regularly.

There are a few conditions to be aware of that might affect your dog. They are prone to rheumatism, gum problems, corneal dryness, glaucoma, colds and fractures. Corneal dryness is often due to their protruding eyeballs. Fractures can occur during birth as most are born by cesarean due to the large head.

For a small dog, he is prone to obesity. Watch his diet to prevent him from gaining too much weight. Also be aware of toxic products that can kill him. Avoid chocolate and fertilizer in places where your pet can get at them.

Training

Even though he is small, a Chihuahua very much has the “pack” mentality. It is important to teach him early that his human master is the pack leader. If not, this can cause stress on your pet as they try to fulfill that role. Allowing him to get away with behaviors because he is small can lead to nipping, biting and aggression.

Don’t forget to walk him. Exercise is good for the mind, satisfying their migration instinct. Like the pack leader, walk your dog behind you so he knows who the boss is.

Want a small dog that is good with the entire family? Try a Chihuahua.

Comments

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!