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Cute, and popular all over the world thanks to their small size, Chihuahuas are great companions for single people, and in some cases for families. However, there’s more than just looks when we think about this breed. In this article, I’m going to show you why these dogs are so amazing.
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1. They’re the smallest dogs in the world
Chihuahuas are toy dogs, being between 6-9 inches tall (15-23 cm). The American Kennel Club set the standard weight for this breed under 6 pounds (2.7 kg), but some can be a little larger.
On the other hand, there are no minimum dimensions mentioned for these dogs. In fact, the smallest living Chihuahua is 3.8 inches tall (9.65 cm) and weighs about 2 pounds (0.90 kg), being the smallest dog in the world.
2. These dogs live longer than any other breed
If you’re planning to get a Chihuahua, then you should know this is going to be a very long term relationship. These dogs have the longest expected life span among all dog breeds: 15 to 20 years.
Despite their fragility, Chihuahuas are healthy dogs that seem to be prone to a very small number of inherited medical conditions. Some of the most common are:
To help your dog live a long and healthy life, you should provide her with high-quality dog food and enough exercise. Chihuahuas don’t eat much, so two small meals each day are enough for your dog. To provide all the essential nutrients choose special food for small breeds.
These dogs need daily exercise. Start with a 15-minute walk twice a day, and if she still has extra energy, go on with a short playing session.
3. Their colored coats don’t need much grooming
Chihuahuas come in various colors: black, tan, blue, chocolate, cream, fawn, white, silver, red, and any combination of these. Their coats can be either short or long, and in either case they need brushing three or four times a week.
If you brush her coat regularly, you won’t spend too much time cleaning the extra hair, as these dogs shed moderately. She’ll need extra grooming during the shedding season, especially in spring. A Chihuahua doesn’t need to be washed too often and doesn’t have the specific dog odor either. Once a month or when it’s needed, you’ll have to take your dog to have her nails trimmed.
You should wash her teeth 3-4 times a week and take her to a specialist for professional dental cleaning periodically. This way, you’ll avoid oral diseases which have become a common problem for this breed.
4. It doesn’t seem like it, but big brains hide under those small heads
Chihuahuas have large heads, if we look at the proportions between their skulls and the rest of the body. They also have a high brain-to-body ratio. This doesn’t mean they’re more intelligent than medium or large breeds, though.
In fact, you’ll need a lot of patience if you want to teach your dog obedience training, as they’re stubborn and independent when it comes to following orders. Positive reinforcement and tasty rewards usually help during training sessions, but sometimes professional help is required.
Potty training is usually difficult too because Chihuahuas have small bladders which are hard to control. However, most owners say their dogs are smart enough to ask themselves outside when they need to eliminate.
5. There’s a lot of aggression behind all that cuteness
Chihuahuas can be aggressive dogs. You may feel tempted to ignore the problem, considering their size, but it’s not a behavior you should accept. These dogs develop the habit of biting, if you’re not firm and allow her to ignore rules.
Their aggression can harm them, too. These dogs tend to attack larger dogs, a dangerous attitude if we think about how fragile they are. Start socialization at early ages, always watch your Chihuahua when leaving her outside, and keep her leashed when you meet other dogs, to avoid unpleasant incidents.
Their aggression makes them a poor choice for families with small kids. Most Chihuahuas like to be the center of attention, and out of jealousy, they could harm little children.
6. Despite their size, they can work as service dogs
Chihuahuas are more than cuteness in fancy dog clothes. When trained properly they can do a great job as service dogs.
They are good companions for people with chronic illnesses. They can be trained to alert humans when their owners need medical assistance, to make sure their owners wake up when the alarm for medicines starts, and even to identify specific substances for allergic owners.
7. They have baby heads
This means they’re fragile and have a soft spot on their heads, just like human babies do. This spot is called a molera, and in some cases it remains soft all your dog’s life.
The molera can be present in any Chihuahua, whether she has a deer head or apple head. In fact, these are just variations of the breed, but there’s no scientific proof that a different head shape makes a Chihuahua healthier or stronger. However, when it comes to standards, the American Kennel Club prefers the apple head dogs.
Where to get a Chihuahua from
If you’re ready to have a Chihuahua, then you should start looking for a reputable breeder, to get a healthy dog. You can find puppies for sale through the American Kennel Club, the Kennel Club, the Chihuahua Club of America, or other similar organizations.
If you want to adopt a puppy, then choose a reputable rescue group in your area.
Chihuahuas are wonderful dogs, being loyal, affectionate and very playful. With patience and consistent training, you can make your little Chi a great companion.
What do you think about Chihuahuas? I’d love to learn more about these little dogs. Leave a comment below and tell us what you know about them.