This month’s pet spotlight is on a tiny canine that has a reputation for having a big, excitable personality: the Chihuahua. We know them for their bulbous noggins, big eyeballs, and shaky bodies. They also have big voices; and a lot of them have a lot to say . . . to everyone they meet . . . every time they meet them. But wait, there’s more:
- While Chihuahuas come in various colors, there are only two types: those with long, luscious locks and those with short, sleek coats.
- The American Kennel Club first recognized Chihuahuas in 1904.
- The AKC lists these wee pups as the 30th most popular dogs out of their 180+ breeds.
- Chihuahuas are named after the state in Mexico.
- They hail from Mexico. Many they’re the results of breeding between the Mexican techichi and a hairless dog brought over from Asia way back in the day.
- Chihuahuas are smart, feisty little dogs. They and their families will all benefit from proper training.
- Their little bodies are super-sensitive to cold temperatures. This is good news for all those who love to dress their pets. Grab those mini-sweaters.
- The AKC calls Chihuahuas saucy and sassy. Apt if you ask me.
- Because they’re tiny and don’t need as much exercise as larger or higher-energy dogs need, Chihuahuas make perfect apartment dogs. Of course, they do still need some exercise and stimulation.
- They’re good family dogs, as long as they’re not being tossed around and squeezed by toddlers. They need gentle handling to avoid injuries from drops, falls, and being fallen on. Yikes. Patience and a soft touch also help prevent aggression.
- Chihuahuas need simple, occasional grooming: a brush and a wash will do in addition to all the usual like teeth brushing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. Dogs with long hair need brushing more often than those with short fuzz do.
- They have high metabolisms. Good quality food is essential for these little guys. Without a proper diet, puppies can become nutritionally imbalanced.
- Long live the Chihuahua! They have lifespans of 15-17 years.
- These babes are generally healthy beings. Possible ailments include heart and eye disease and patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation).
Small-bodied and big-minded, Chihuahuas add a little hyper spice to the dog world. With lots of love, patience, protection, and training, they make great family members.
American Kennel Club
Chihuahua Club of America