If you watch television, you’ve probably seen celebrities like Paris Hilton toting around tiny dogs with big poppy brown eyes. These dogs, called Chihuahuas, are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. The Chihuahua first appeared in Mexico and does well in warmer climates. Of course, a doggy sweater can make one of these small dogs feel warm and cozy during winter months.
The Chihuahua weighs in as a lightweight at one to six pounds and stands only about five inches high. These little dogs come in a wide range of colors, although tan or black and tan dogs are most common. They have prick ears, an alert expression, and big, slightly poppy eyes. This breed has both short haired and long haired varieties.
The American Kennel Club considers Chihuahuas to be part of the Toy Group. These dogs were bred to be companion dogs and they excel at this task. This breed hates to be alone and thrives when it is in the thick of things.
Chihuahuas are ideal apartment dogs, since they do not take up much room and do not need a ton of exercise. Some people even train these little guys to use a litter box. This doesn’t mean that a Chihuahua won’t enjoy living in a house with a yard, though. This breed enjoys exercising and playing outdoors on warm days.
The Chihuahua can sometimes be nippy with small children, especially if it is accidentally injured and has reason to fear being handled by them. This breed also tends to be bossy and easily spoiled, especially if the dog’s owners allow it to get away with aggressive or angry behaviors. If you have other dogs, you will need to be sure that your Chihuahua does not bully them. These dogs will pick a fight with much larger dogs, since they sincerely believe that they have the size and strength of a Rottweiler. In fact, the Chihuahua is a wonderful guard dog and will also take on human intruders.
Because they have a tendency to be self centered and badly behaved, Chihuahuas should receive puppy obedience training. After all, even a tiny tyrant can be unpleasant to be around. Puppy classes will help your dog to learn basic obedience, but they also have another important purpose, socializing your puppy. He will learn at an early age to get along with people and other dogs. Despite their size, these dogs are quite intelligent and do well with obedience training. Some of them even go on to take agility classes.
Chihuahuas eat very little, but feeding costs can still be a bit high, since these dogs are often picky eaters. Also, this breed is so delicate that some dogs have trouble eating hard, dry food. Chihuahuas are prone to dislocated jaws, fractures, epilepsy and rheumatism.
Short haired Chihuahuas require very little care. Long haired Chihuahuas need a bit more grooming, but still do not need to be brushed more than once a week. With their tiny jaws, it is no surprise that some of these dogs have dental problems, so you may also want to brush your dog’s teeth daily.
If you want a dog who is small enough to tuck into your pocket, but has the heart of a much bigger dog, then a Chihuahua may be the right dog for you.