The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. There is a wide variety of Chihuahua size, color, coat length and head shape throughout the world. Their height usually varies between 15-23cm and their weight varies between 1-3kg. Chihuahua’s often share similiar sickle shaped tails and their coats can come in either short, long, wavy or flat. Colors include, but are not limited to, black, white, chestnut, fawn, sand, silver, sable, steel blue, black & tan and parti-color.
The Chihuahua is a one of the most prefered house companions due to their lively, proud and adventurous nature, they enjoy lots of affection and being sociallized with other dogs and people.
Not much is known about origins of the Chihuahua however folklore and archaeological finds suggest that they originated in Mexico, as favored animals of the ancient Toltec civilization. An ancestor of today’s Chihuahua was found in 1850, in the old ruins of Casas Grandes in the city of Chihuahua, which is how they got their name, and they were recognised as an official species of dog in the USA in 1904 by the American Kennel Club.
The Chihuahua needs to be socialized with humans and other dogs in the same way you would treat a bigger dog, or else they develop behavioural problems and become snappy and yappy. This is known as Small Dog Syndrome (SDS), in which the dog thinks they are the pack leader – even above humans! This is caused by ‘babying’ your Chihuahua, and by letting it do things like jump up and rest on your lap, or perhaps not disciplining it in the same way you would with a bigger dog, because it is smaller.
This can also be why this type of dog is not favored with and by children, Chihuahua’s with SDS can get very jealous of the way you might treat your child and become aggressive. If you treat your Chihuahua the same way as you would with say, a Labrador, then you will be the clear and defined pack leader and they will incredibly well behaved.
Upkeep and Health
Chihuahua’s and other toy dog breeds are prone to the painful disease Hydrocephalus, which causes the Chihuahua to become lethargic and will not grow at the same rate as its siblings. The symptoms of this disease are an abnormally large head and patchy skull plates. They are prone to rheumatism, slipped stifle, colds, and gum problems, as well as snoring very loudly because of their short muzzles. Chihuahua’s need a daily walk to keep them fit and healthy, like other dogs otherwise behavioural issues may arise from this as well. Chihuahua’s ideal living situation would be small home or apartment living, in warm conditions and a large area to run around in – Just because they are small dogs doesn’t mean they need a small area!