Chihuahua

Quick facts

Chihuahua AKC Group: Toy
Height: 6 - 9 inches
Weight: Under 6 pounds,
Colors: any color - solid, marked or splashed
AKC recognized in: 1904

The Chihuahua was named after the place in Mexico where the first breed was developed. But, there are historians who believed that the breed came from the island of Malta. Others refer to paintings like the fresco in the Sistine Chapel done by Sandro Boticelli in the year 1482 showing a woman holding two tiny dogs with large eyes and big ears. It was impossible for the painter to have seen these dogs in Mexico because the painting was done ten years before Columbus returned from the New World.

Some theorized that these dogs were used in sacred rituals as far back as before the coming of Columbus in the Indian nations in the continent. Historical records also point to the ninth century when pack dogs resembled the Chihuahua. The most common theory is that the Chihuahua descended from the Techichi at the time of the Toltec civilization in Mexico. The Techichi was a companion dog having similar features.

Archaeological finds of dog bones resembling the Chihuahua were found in the Great Pyramid of Cholula which is the second century B.C. predating even the Mayans. The Toltecs were conquered by the Aztecs and believed that the Techichi had mystical powers. Yet, today's Chihuahua is much smaller than its perceived ancestor the Techichi.

It was only in 1850 when a progenitor of the Chihuahua was found in the old ruins near Casas Grandes. This was in the Mexican state where it got its name. The smaller breed from the larger size of the Techichi is assumed due to the introduction of the miniaturized Chinese dogs like the Chinese Crested in South America by the Spanish when the continent was colonized.

Temperament

Chihuahua Summary
Affection two paws
Cold Tolerance one paw
Ease of Training two paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements one paw
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals one paw
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness two paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability five paws

The Chihuahua is a happy and lively companion dog. It likes to lick the face of its owner as an expression of joy and appreciation. It has a natural instinct to be extremely loyal to its master but not to the other members of the household. It is then not recommendable to children as it has also the tendency to be jealous.

This dog has a nature to be "clannish" and cannot live peacefully with other dog breeds. It is risky to allow the dog to be overprotective of its owner. Instead, the owner should train its Chihuahua to stay quiet and not to be too close.

Health and Exercise

Chihuahuas live an average lifespan of 14 to 18 years.

Care on birthing and dental aspects should be given attention by a professional veterinarian who specializes in dogs. The Chihuahua is prone to genetic anomalies like epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Hydrocephalus or enlargement of the head is a serious disease of this dog breeds. Unfortunately, the Chihuahua is the only breed of dogs that are born with incomplete skull. Molera or a soft spot on the skull will only close completely after a few months. Caution should be exercised not to confuse Molera with Hydrocephalus.

As a pup, the Chihuahua is also at risk with low blood sugar. Feeding the pup frequently or using sugar supplements may help this anomaly. Then, later as it is grown up, this dog becomes afflicted with diabetes due to its uncontrollable appetite. It should not be overfed when it has grown.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Chihuahua in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Chihuahua? Or maybe you have more questions that either DogNation.net or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.


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