Welcome to Your One-Stop Chihuahua Information Center
The spry, intelligent and loyal Chihuahua is a highly adaptable dog breed that requires a loving household in order to thrive. One of the smallest dogs in the toy group, he is lively and playful yet can be nervous or shy without socialization.
We encourage owners and potential owners to learn all that they can, in order to provide a safe, happy and healthy home
You may want to jump right to these popular sections:
Feeding Your Chihuahua - Learn how this high energy dog requires the right balanced diet for proper nutrition and to maintain a healthy weight What, how much and how often to feed a Chihuahua.
Health | Grooming | Dental Care | Information regarding proper care techniques keep your Chihuahua healthy in every way: Body, coat and teeth.
Topic of the Month - Based on reader's suggestions, each month we write a new article regarding a Chihuahua topic. You'll always find something new and interesting here.
Chihuahua Color Information
This dog can be found in many different colors, both solids and parti's. Also, with a variety of markings. The following are some of the more popular colors.
Cream: A soft, light tan
White: A Chihuahua of uure solid white will have no other colors in his genetic makeup. Blue: Blue is a diluted black , there is blue pigment on the nose, eyes and paws. Red: A deep mahogany Chocolate: A rich, medium brown Merle: A dilution of a solid color, with streaks or splotches over the coat Brindle: This is actually a pattern. It is a base color of gold, red or orange - with black cross stripes
"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog."
PRONOUNCED: Chee-wah-wah NICKNAME: Chi
BREED GROUP: Toy VARIETIES - COAT: 2- long and smooth (short)
HEAD: 2 (unofficial) apple and deer (only the deerhead type fits the conformation standards)
AREA OF ORIGIN: Mexico (debated)Read more:History
DATE OF ORIGIN: Debatable, however discovered in Mexico in 1850
ANCESTOR: Mexican Techichi dog
DATE OF RECOGNITION: 1904
HEIGHT: 6-9 inches (15.2-22.9 cm)
WEIGHT: 2-6 lbs. (.9 kg-2.7 kg)
ADDITIONAL SIZE NOTES:
AKC - No official minimum weight, this dog should not weigh more than 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
UK - 2 to 4 pounds is preferred (.9 to 1.81 kg)
FCI (EUROPE) - 3.3 to 6.1 lbs. (1.5 to 3 kg)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 14-18 years Read more :Life Span AVERAGE LITTER: 5
LITTER SIZE RANGE: 1-10
BREED QUALITIES: loyal, energetic, playful, closely bonds with humans, alert, moderate shedder
POPULARITY: Consistently in the top 12 most owned breeds, U.S.,Canada and UK
This breed is prone to dental issues that include: tooth infection, gum infection. This can lead to: Secondary infection and loss of teeth.
Canines do not develop cavities in the way that humans do; however both plague and tarter do build up over time. Chewing on hard treats does help to loosen plague, but will not clean the teeth enough to prevent issues from developing.
As bacteria builds up, teeth weaken and bone is gradually destroyed, resulting in either loss or the need for extraction.
Tooth loss for an older Chihuahua can cause disturbances in abilities to eat and cause quite a bit of discomfort.
Following a schedule of dental care should be part of routine care provided for a Chihuahua and is an important part of having a healthy dog. Training a Chihuahua to sit still for this grooming element is best done when the Chi is still a puppy. Becoming acclimated to having his mouth manipulated will lead to good habits as he grows older. Read more: Chihuahua Teeth and Dental Care
Did you know that at least 20% of all dogs suffer from some type of allergy? It is a flea allergy that is the most common, but there are many other triggers that can affect a Chihuahua.
There are 3 main groups of triggers:
Dogs can be allergic to inhaled airborne elements such as pollen and weeds. A dog may show symptoms even when indoors.
Contact allergies. This is anything that the dog comes into contact with such as cleaners in the home or chemicals that had been applied to grassy areas of the yard.
Food - Chihuahua puppies can be sensitive to certain food elements and older dogs can develop an intolerance.
The Chihuahua is considered to be a moderate shedding dog. A puppy will go through a stage in which "puppy" fur will shed off and give way to his adult coat. This process begins at the age of 5 to 6 months.
For adults, the details of the shedding process are vastly different, depending on the coat (long or short) and gender. If there is substantial fur loss without apparent reason, this may point to a medical issue.
Males: Once reaching 18 months of age, a male's coat will stay relatively the same for its life.
Females: Hormonal changes and the change of seasons often affect a female's coat. Females will also shed after delivering a litter and her coat will re-grow back in about 6 months.
She will also shed when she is in season. Stress can affect the degree of shedding as well.
Out of all of the different dog breeds in the world, the Chihuahua has one of the most fascinating and mysterious histories. Researchers do know that the breed was originated in Mexico. This is why the breed was named after the state of Chihuahua. However, it becomes more intriguing as we take a closer look.
In regard to exact origin, there is no written or archaeological proof, so what we have to go on is theories. The most well accepted and common theory is that the dog we know today is a descendant of a now extinct breed called the Techichi. The Techichi was an ancient breed, revered by the Toltec civilization that existed in Mexico between 800 and 1000 AD (before the Aztec culture).
The first recorded appearance of the Chihuahua in the U.S. was most likely during turn of the 19th century. While not referred to by name, written records refer to a small, short haired breed found by Conquistadors in Mexico. The AKC (American Kennel Club, established in 1884) officially recognized the Chihuahua in 1904.
By 1913, there were 30 Chihuahuas officially recorded to be in the U.S. By 1972, there were 25,000. And now there are over 60,000 registered with the AKC and many more not registered or listed with other kennels such as the CKC or other. This breed is finds most of its popularity in the United States, the UK and Canada.
While the Chihuahua can be a vocal dog, training can be very successful, especially when started early.
Excessive barking is one of the top concerns for Chihuahua owners. This vocal behavior can be traced to 3 different triggers:
1. Separation Anxiety - It is common for companion dogs such as the Chihuahua to form very close attachments to his human family members, and to feel stress when home alone.
2. Boredom - While some Chi's can have an independent streak, most thrive on human companionship and interaction. Left to entertain himself, a Chihuahua may bark excessively.
3. Improper reaction to stimuli. Some Chihuahuas will need Socialization Training to learn how to react to visitors, strangers and to other dogs. Read more: Barking
Teething, Nipping and Biting
This breed has a reputation for being nippy, however nipping issues arise for various reasons that affect just about all dog breeds.
Training to stop this behavior is an important element of Chihuahua care; if this issue is not addressed it can be the foundation for a life time of unacceptable behavior that disrupts the entire household.
A Chihuahua may be:
Teething - this phase generally starts at the age of 4 months and may last until 8 months old. More:Teething
Chewing on unapproved items
Snapping at any family members, visitors, people or other animals
Stay informed regarding these topics and read about training and ways that you can help your Chihuahua. Read: Biting
All of the grooming elements will come together to keep a Chihuahua well-groomed, odor free and with healthy skin, coat and teeth.
Considered to be a low maintenance dog, there are still some important grooming tasks that should be done on a regular basis.
Baths - This can be a great time to bond with your Chihuahua. Learn the best techniques to wash your Chi and avoid dry skin issues.
Brushing - While owners will be spared the extra brushing that long haired dog require, proper grooming helps maintain good health and hygiene.
While dewclaws are often removed as early as 3 days old, nail trimmings are important. Keeping nails short will avoid issues that range from ingrown nails to displaced gait. More: Grooming
This affects over 50% of all dogs that are left home alone. This emotional experience can occur in as little as 1 hour, with most dogs displaying negative behavior after an average of 4 hours.
The stress of being alone can trigger destructive behavior, excessive barking and even affect behavior once owners have arrived back to the house.
Training can be implemented that allows a Chihuahua to learn coping skills and gain the self confidence needed to feel safe and secure during these times. Learn More: Separation Anxiety.