Country of Origin: The Chihuahua or 'Chi' as they are affectionately called, descended from either a small, hairless dog from China, or from a 'Techchi' of South American. The 'Techichi was a pet of great favor, often being buried with the deceased in hope that they could lead them to the afterlife.
Modern Chihuahuas originate from Chihuahua, Mexico. Being one of the smallest and oldest breed of dogs in North American breed. Their popularity in the U.S was bolstered when a famous Latin musician: Xavier Cugat chose a Chihuahua as his constant companion dog. Chihuahuas continue to be extremely popular. There are many famous Chihuahuas including the 'Taco Bell Chihuahua', Ren from 'Ren and Stimpy', and Ducky, the 2007 ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ winner as the ‘World's Smallest Living Dog’.
Size: The Chihuahua's height at it's shoulder 5-10 inches and weighs between 2 to-6 lbs). Chihuahuas have several body styles within the breed. For example they may have either an apple shaped head ('apple head') with a short, pointy muzzle, ~ or ~ a slightly more slender deer shaped head ('deer head'). Most have large erect ears, slender legs and tiny feet. The tail may or may not curve or spiral over the back or side.
Coat: The Chihuahua can have a long or short coat. Their are many coat textures as well: Silky - soft and satiny smooth like a Chinchilla's, Smooth, Coarse, and even wirery.
Color: A variety of colors are acceptable by "Registry" standards including: sand, chocolate, silver, chestnut, and blue. However there a and endless variety of patterns possible including sables, masks, and more. Their is such a wide variety of possibilities that classifying them all would be daunting.
Character: Chihuahuas are very intelligent, graceful, and often times a little too brave for their own good. Often they will bond with just one person and become extremely devoted, kissing the owner's face frequently - both with and without permission/approval. Chihuahuas are fairly reserved around strangers, and will attempt to defend their owners, in situations where real defense is needed their efforts usually yield little or no effect. Chihuahuas are by nature a tenacious, proud, and very energetic.
Temperament: Chihuahuas are often able to live with other dogs and cats. Getting along particularly well with other Chihuahuas. Remember as with any dog, the importance of a proper Socialization of your Chihuahua. Starting as a puppy to prevent overt aggressiveness. Caution with small children, as they may regard the Chihuahua as a just a toy, treating and handling it as such, and their teasing could easily cause it to snap or bite. It is advisable not to leave the Chihuahua unattended with children under the age of 12, unless they are well taught , responsible with other animals and / or supervised.
Care: Chihuahuas that have a long coat may require regular grooming with a brush and comb. The Chihuahua’s claws, as with any puppy/dog must be kept trimmed regularly. A chihuahua's teeth should be be checked just as frequently for tartar buildup as with any other dog breed. Chihuahuas can get cold easily, even if they have a long coat, and should be kept in a warm environment, ideally a soft, warm, and free of drafts. Sometimes, the small nose of a Chihuahua's may cause wheezing or snoring. A Chihuahua, as with any dog should not be overfed, or fed scraps.
There are in some lines of Chihuahuas a soft spot just on the top of the skull, known as a 'molera', or as a 'soft-spot', or as a 'fontanelle' or an 'open fontanelle', which normally closes by adulthood. An 'open-fontanelle' is not considered a desirable condition when choosing a Chihuahua for breeding purposes, however there a relatively few concerns when purchasing a Chihuahua puppy as a pet. For a long time, the presence of a 'molera' or an 'open-fontalle' was considered to be a measure of genetic purity within the breed. We have been very fortunate in picking our beautiful Chihuahuas, which have very strong genetics and this has never been a problem with any of their puppies!
The Chihuahua has a long life span at 12-18 years.
Training: Many Chihuahua puppies are often not trained in 'obedience' because of their small size, however, Chihuahuas are very eager to learn, and quite charming, sometimes comical to see such a small dog trained to shake hands, fetch, roll over, etc... The Chihuahua may a require a little patience and consistent effort to housebreak; often due to their size many people miss understand what is needed to housebreak them; for this reason they are sometimes only paper trained.
Activity: Chihuahuas can easily get all the exercise they need if they are allowed to run around indoors. If the a Chihuahua, as with any dog becomes overweight it should be allowed to walk rather than be carried from room to room (as many owners fall in love with their angelic and willingness to be pampered/babied. Chihuahuas indeed love to go for short walks, however are not considered to be an 'outdoor breed'.