Chihuahua (smooth-haired) in 2022
Chihuahua is the smallest companion dog in the world. The pet passes by weight into the cabin of the aircraft, quietly sits under the arm of the owner in public places, and can be kept in any, even the smallest studio apartment. At the same time, many people have Chihuahua dogs – even owners without experience.
We tell you what problems you may encounter in care, feeding, and walking, and whether the character of the Chihuahua is as obstinate as they say in open sources – after all, the most common opinion about dogs of this breed is that they are prone to barking and aggression, poorly trained and picky in food.
Coat: short, long
Weight: 1.5 to 3 kg (standard) or 500 g to 1.5 kg (mini-chihuahua)
Height at the withers: 15 to 23 cm
Average lifespan: 15 – 18 years
- Dogs suitable for experienced owners
- Basic training required
- Prefers leisurely walks
- Prefers to walk half an hour a day
- dwarf dog
- Weak salivation
- Requires weekly care
- Non-hypoallergenic breed
- Very noisy dog
- Guard dog
- Gets along with other pets
- Ideal for family life
History of the breed
The Chihuahua dog breed is considered aboriginal – bred in the wild without human intervention.
According to one version, her ancestors are the ancient Techichi dogs, tamed by Indian peoples who lived on the territory of modern Mexico. Dogs were used in sacrificial rites as guides of the dead to the afterlife. However, with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the culture of the Indian tribes was exterminated, and the surviving dogs eventually migrated to the territory of America.
According to another version, chihuahuas appeared as a result of crossing techichi and Chinese crested animals that lived on Spanish ships as rat-catchers. However, a genetic examination conducted in 2013 completely refuted it. DNA samples taken from a Chihuahua contain a haplotype characteristic of pre-Columbian dogs. Whereas the connection with European and Asian breeds was not confirmed.
Today, the Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, after the places where they were first discovered. The first breed standard was published in 1923. FCI international classification in 1954.
A small dog called a techichi was an important part of the culture of the Toltecs and Aztecs. Techichi were the pets of wealthy people. Such dogs were cremated and buried along with the deceased owners: it was believed that this would remove the sins from the deceased, and the person would be able to enter another world, bypassing the wrath of the gods. The dogs were also supposed to guide the deceased from the underworld and fight evil spirits. It is believed that the Chihuahua breed is a cross between a Techichi and a small hairless dog from Asia. Chihuahua is a state in Mexico, and it was from this state that the modern Chihuahua breed was first taken to America. There is also a theory that the modern breed is descended from ancient Techichi breeds mixed with small dogs from Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
The Chihuahua usually becomes very attached to one or two people. With them, she will be curious, lively and intelligent, as well as deeply and constantly loving. However, without proper socialization, members of the breed will not be kind to strangers and may come across as nervous, “yappy” and even aggressive. Chihuahuas need to be socialized as early as possible. Otherwise, they will be restless in new surroundings and will not be able to adequately interact with strangers, children, and other pets. This is a “clan” breed and they enjoy the company of other Chihuahuas.
Although the smallest of all breeds, these dogs are active and fun companions. Their favorite pastime is spending time at home with their owners. Often they are very attached to their owners and enjoy the comfort of home. They can make good little guard dogs. However, they also need regular physical activity outside the home to keep fit, healthy and toned. Many of them are highly trainable and generally love to play.
Like many small breeds, Smooth Coated Chihuahuas can have kneecap problems that can temporarily slip out of place (patellar luxation) and tracheal problems. Due to the shape of their head, they are prone to developing dropsy of the brain (hydrocephalus) and some eye problems.
The Chihuahua can adapt to the amount of exercise you suggest, within reason. Chihuahuas often show bursts of energy when they start to play enthusiastically. However, they do not need long walking – half an hour of the day is enough for them. For Chihuahuas, it is recommended to wear a harness rather than a collar due to the fragility of the trachea (windpipe).
Dogs of decorative breeds have a fast metabolism. This means that they burn energy at a high rate. Since the volume of their stomach is very small, they must eat small portions, but often. Small breed foods are specially formulated tomeet your dog’s special needs for essential nutrients. At the same time, the products are crushed taking into account the small size of the dog’s jaw, which, in turn, facilitates the process of chewing and improves digestion.
Chihuahua care is quite simple. The coat of the smooth-haired variety of the breed can be groomed with a rubber comb or brush. Chihuahuas are shedding. However, this is a small dog, so few hairs fall out. It doesn’t hurt to brush your Chihuahua’s teeth every day. Just like all other small breeds, they are prone to rapid tartar formation.
Best Breeds for Kids
It is believed that dogs usually get along well with children. However, dogs and children must learn to get along with each other, respect each other and feel safe being together. In any case, small children should not be left alone with the dog – adults must control all interactions between them.
What does a chihuahua look like
The Chihuahua is a dog with a compact, almost square body, an apple-shaped skull, a short muzzle with large, wide-set ears, and a medium-length, high-set tail.
The Chihuahua moves with a sweeping springy step with the energy inherent in the dog. The head is held high. The back is strong and straight.
According to the standard, the dog can be smooth-haired and long-haired. There are no color requirements.
Speaking about the Chihuahua breed, opinions often differ. Some argue that these are affectionate energetic dogs that follow the owner everywhere. Others – that chihuahuas are capable of showing aggression: barking and even biting. This fact is not traced in the breed standard and in the reviews of the vast majority of owners. But to say that all dogs are similar to each other is also wrong.
Usually chikhs are very contact, courageous and sensitive. If the owner is in the mood, the dog will cheerfully invite him to the game and infect him with positive. If he is upset or tired after a hard day, he will calmly lie at his feet and will not even ask for a walk. However, any behavior is the result of socialization and upbringing.
Behavior with the owner
Chihuahua is a dog for one owner. However, this does not mean that the pet will not love the rest of the family.
Usually the animal treats all households with tenderness. But only if he gets it in return.
Contact and emotional, Chihuahuas are true companions. The animal accompanies the owner on the heels: jogging, having lunch in a cafe and even traveling. Due to its low weight, the animal can be taken into the cockpit. Which largely determines the possibility of transporting a pet over long distances.
Contrary to popular belief, well-mannered Chihuahuas do not bark. Therefore, it is safe to take them to public places – the dog will behave quietly and will not disturb anyone. If the pet barks at people and behaves restlessly, it is probably due to insufficient socialization or health problems.
The only trait that can spoil the impression of the breed is the craving for manipulation. Chihuahuas are smart and quickly understand where you can cheat and get what you want, bypassing the will of the owner. For example, a dog may refuse food that, in its opinion, is tasteless and beg for treats in return. In the course is resentment and even leaving puddles in the wrong place. However, you should not go on about the pet. Very soon the dog will get hungry, and, not getting what he wants, he will agree with what was originally proposed.
Behavior with strangers
Despite their small stature and fragile physique, this breed considers itself a guard. Chihuahua fearlessly rushes to defend the owner, which is often mistaken for unmotivated aggression or mental instability.
To get rid of anxiety at the sight of strangers, invite guests to the house more often and do not limit your pet to walks in crowded parks. While this is a puppy, walk in quiet courtyards with one or two random passers-by. But as you grow older, be sure to move to crowded places and dog areas.
Behavior with other animals
Chihuahuas can be very social. The dog does not divide relatives into large and small. Therefore, it can fearlessly run up to a dog or wolfhound, and even invite them to play.
To reduce the risk of zooaggression from large breeds, communication with relatives must be controlled. Do not allow your pet to freely approach any dog you meet. When choosing playmates, look for dwarf breeds like pugs and squat shepherds.
Behavior with children
Chihuahua dogs that live in families with children are always busy. Dogs sleep in the same bed with them, play outdoor games and even learn new commands together, which is not typical for most breeds: larger dogs do not see sufficient authority in children, and dwarf ones are too stubborn or difficult to train.
But there is an age limit for interacting with a Chihuahua:
Be careful if you have a Chihuahua in a family with preschool children. Due to the fragile physique and long-healing fontanel, the dog is vulnerable when falling from a height. And dropping a nimble puppy of this breed is very simple.
To avoid injuries and serious injuries with a risk to life, communication between the dog and babies should take place under the supervision of adults. However, in most cases, a competent breeder will try to dissuade you and offer to wait until the children grow up.
Who gets a chihuahua
The Chihuahua is one of the top 10 most popular dogs in the world. The breed is common due to its toy appearance and relative ease of maintenance. Therefore, fell in love with urban residents and the elderly. However, when choosing a pet, breed-forming qualities must be taken into account.
We have collected the pros and cons of the Chihuahua breed so that you can weigh the pros and cons before going to the kennel:
Education and training
Chihuahua is a pet with a high need for education and training. A dog that is not trained corresponds to almost all stereotypes about the breed that are found in open sources. A Chihuahua may disobey in order to attract attention, show aggression towards other animals, bite and bark for no reason. But only if it does not receive timely correction from the owner.
To raise a dog with a stable psyche, early socialization and daily training both at home and on the street is needed.
What to look out for
Hierarchy in the family. Don’t let your dog sleep in your bed. Sometimes Chihuahuas sleep with children. It’s not critical. But being on the same level with the leader of the pack is undesirable.
Access to sofas. If you allow the dog to climb onto the sofa, make sure that he knows how to get off it – put stools on high furniture and teach the animal to use them.
Toilet. The dog should go to the toilet not only on a diaper, but also on the street. To do this, start walking from deserted parks so that nothing distracts the animal.
Interaction with dogs on the street. A Chihuahua may lunge at a member of a fighting breed or tremble in fear at the sight of a beagle. To prevent this from happening, limit your interactions with large dogs and look for play partners of the right size yourself. If the dog is already an adult, sign up for a group training with a cynologist.
Punishment. Avoid mechanical stress for up to 8 months. To correct the puppy’s behavior, switch his attention. For example, if the puppy bites or chews on furniture, give the market a “no” and offer a toy.
Time in loneliness. So that the dog does not get nervous when the owners are not at home, before leaving it needs to be well walked, played and fed. Feeding toys that can be stuffed with food help many owners. They can keep an animal busy for several hours.
Travel by car. To transport a dog in the car, teach it to the road from childhood, but little by little. This will help develop the vestibular apparatus, and the animal will feel comfortable. If you are transporting your dog in the cabin, use a harness. If in the luggage compartment, cage.
Safe way of transportation
Dangerous mode of transportation
The main difficulty in caring for a Chihuahua is trimming the claws and removing plaque. Due to the characteristics of the breed, these procedures will have to be carried out most often. While there are no difficulties with coat in dogs.
We’ve put together some basic guidelines so you can get it right.
1 time in 1-2 weeks.
- nail cutter;
- scratching machine (electric grinder for dogs);
- cotton buds;
- hemostatic powder for dogs or potassium permanganate crystals.
- Take a comfortable position. Place the dog on your lap in a supine position.
- Pet your pet. Massage the stomach and scratch behind the ears so that the dog relaxes and does not try to jump to its feet.
- Get to know the instrument. Slide the nail cutter over the head and let it be sniffed.
- Start cutting. If the animal behaves calmly, fix the paw, as shown in the photo, and try to capture only the overgrown triangular tip. If it breaks out, invite an assistant to help distract the dog with a massage, or wrap it in a towel to temporarily immobilize it. Chihuahua claws are black, so the location of the capillaries will have to
- guess blindly. If your finger bleeds, don’t panic. Take a cotton swab, soak it in hemostatic powder and apply to the cut. If there is no powder, use a potassium permanganate crystal. The bleeding will stop almost instantly.
- Check your work. Make sure that the remaining length does not interfere with the dog when walking. Sometimes the nails wear unevenly. To make sure that nothing interferes with the animal, put it on a flat surface. If the claws rest on the floor, cut more.
- Reward with a treat. Praise and offer a piece.
If you do not cut your nails on time, they will interfere with walking and cause discomfort. This can lead to a violation of the position of the limbs and an uneven load on the joints.
If you are afraid to work as a nail cutter, buy an electric rechargeable grinder. The regrown tip can not only be cut, but also cut off. But then the procedure will have to be carried out more often.
2-3 times a week.
small soft-bristled toothbrush or finger brush
special toothpaste from the pet store.
- Take a comfortable position. Place the dog on your lap in a supine position.
- Take your lip as shown in the photo, and remove plaque in a circular motion.
- Reward with a treat. Praise and offer a piece.
If plaque is not removed on time, it will harden and turn into tartar. In the future, this can lead to inflammation of the gums and loss of teeth. According to statistics, many Chihuahuas begin to lose teeth as early as the 5th year of life.
If plaque is already formed, sign up for a veterinary clinic – there your teeth will be cleaned with ultrasound.
1 time in 1-2 weeks, depending on the season. For example, seasonal molting takes place in spring and autumn, and lasts up to 4 weeks.
for short-haired dogs – a furminator, for long-haired dogs – an iron comb with frequent and sparse teeth;
- Take a comfortable position. Place your dog on a table or sit on your lap.
- Get to know the instrument. Run the comb over your head and let it sniff.
- Comb your back and sides. Move in the direction of hair growth.
- Pay attention to the area behind the ears. If the dog is long-haired, tangles often form in this area.
- Turn the dog over on its back. Comb your belly and underarms, avoiding the area around your nipples and genitals.
- Reward with a treat. Praise and offer a piece.
If you want to take care of the coat less – the dog should be long-haired. Long-haired Chihuahuas have a fine outer coat that is easier to comb out.
Once a month or as needed.
- anti-slip mat;
- a small basin;
- dog shampoo;
- terry towel;
- Prepare for the procedure. Lay an anti-slip mat on the bottom of the bath, adjust the water temperature to 38-39 degrees and dilute the shampoo in a bowl of water in a ratio of 1 to 5.
- Put your dog in the bath. If the pet is washing for the first time, invite an assistant to help and make sure that the animal does not try to jump out – this can lead to injury and form a negative experience that will interfere with the procedure in the future.
- Wet the wool. Start with the legs and back of the body. Hold the watering can close to your body. If the Chihuahua dog is bathing for the first time, do not wet his head.
- Apply shampoo. Wet the sponge in a bowl of shampoo diluted with water, achieve the formation of foam, and apply it on the dog’s body in a circular motion.
- Rinse the wool. Spread the shampoo with your hands, as if washing your own hair.
- Rinse the shampoo to clear water. If you leave the shampoo on your hair, the hair will quickly get dirty and look unkempt.
- Wrap your dog in a towel. Wait 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
- Dry the coat with a hair dryer. Put the dog on the table and hold it by the withers. If the dog is drying for the first time, put the hair dryer behind his back and turn it on at minimum speed. When the sound becomes familiar, start drying from the back of the body. Do not direct the jet of air at the muzzle.
If you wash your dog infrequently, use deep cleansing products that prepare the coat for basic grooming.
Do not plug your dog’s ears with cotton swabs. This can lead to water entering the middle ear. Dogs up to a year old are washed with puppy shampoo.
Eye and ear cleaning
1 time per week.
- eye and ear cleaning lotion from a pet store or boiled water;
- cotton pads.
- Take a comfortable position. Sit the dog on the table and fix the muzzle, holding the pet under the throat.
- Clean your ears. Soak a cotton pad in cleansing lotion and remove accumulated dirt from visible areas of the ear. You don’t need to put lotion in your ears.
- Clean your eyes. Soak a cotton pad in cleansing lotion or boiled water and swipe from ear to bridge of nose.
Make sure the lotion is not meant to be treated. For example, against ear mites or conjunctivitis.
If you notice excessive discharge or an unpleasant odor, contact your veterinarian.
Chihuahua health and disease
Chihuahua dogs are considered to be long-lived. With proper care and nutrition, the animal can live up to 20 years. However, like other toy breeds, the dog is prone to tartar formation, food allergies, and joint problems.
Also, representatives of the breed are born with an unhealed fontanel. At the same time, the health of full-sized dogs is considered to be stronger. They are used in breeding work. While mini chihuahuas rarely give birth and most of their pregnancies are resolved by caesarean section.
Here are the diseases that are most common in Chihuahuas:
- caries, periodontitis;
- traumatic brain injury;
- medial dislocation of the patella;
- congenital narrowing of the trachea;
- chronic heart failure;
- stenosis of the pulmonary trunk;
Chihuahua is a dog with a good appetite. However, due to the tendency to allergies and frequent pickiness in food, it can be difficult to create a balanced diet.
If you choose a natural diet, focus on lean meat, thermally processed vegetables and dairy products. Cereals and chicken meat are best excluded or given in limited quantities. KBJU for the day will help calculate the veterinarian.
If you choose “drying”, consider easily digestible super-premium food for small and dwarf breeds with additives for the prevention of diseases of the mouth, heart and digestive system.
To put the ears in accordance with the standard, calcium is needed. It strengthens cartilage and helps to achieve the desired result.
If you would like to include calcium and other vitamins as a dietary supplement, check with your veterinarian.
Memo to the owner
How to choose a puppy
- Check the docs. Ask the breeder for the pedigree of the parent pair, puppy metrics, veterinary passport. A responsible breeder must justify the choice of a male for mating and demonstrate photos and diplomas of parents.
- Assess the conditions of detention. The mother and litter should be kept in a bright room isolated from other animals. Puppies should be diaper trained.
- Assess the appearance of the puppies. Pay attention to the condition of the coat, mucous membranes and functional openings. Puppies should be clean, neutral smelling, with bright eyes and a firm but not bloated belly. Bald patches on the coat, a rash on the abdomen and protruding ribs are the first sign of poor maintenance or illness.
- Assess the behavior. Chihuahua puppies should be bold and active. They may not go hand in hand, but will sniff a new person with great interest.
- Choose a size. If you are choosing a puppy for breeding work, mini-Chihuahuas are not suitable. Mating is risky for the health of the bitch. If breeding puppies is not a priority, there is no difference. But in the care of “miniks” are more demanding. For example, their fontanel does not heal for a long time. And they are more fragile and prone to mechanical injury.