The Chihuahua (named after the Mexican state and sometimes called the “New Yorker” in Mexico) is the smallest of all dogs. They can feature a long or short coat that comes in a wide variety of colors. Their small size, high sense of importance and intense attachment to their owners make the Chihuahua one of the most popular companionship dogs for smaller households and apartments.
Origins Of The Chihuahua
The Chihuahua’s history is largely based on speculation but they are believed to have descended from the Techichi which was a breed kept by the Aztecs with the intention of companionship. The modern breed is said to be a consequence of cross-breeding this native dog with dogs introduced by the New World explorers.
Average Size Of The Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are classified as a tiny-sized breed of dog. The recommended standard size for the Chihuahua male and female is 6-9 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of under 6 pounds.
Temperament Of The Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is well-known for their lively, alert, self-confident and often devoted nature. They are usually suspicious of unfamiliar people, which often makes them suitable as a watch dog but their size lessens their suitability as a guard dog.
The Chihuahua is not accepted to be highly intelligent – ranking 67th compared to other dogs when considering their ability to be taught obedience commands.
They are also known to be easily injured – making them not the best choice for families with young children. The Chihuahua is generally not very companionable with other animals due to the devotion to their owner who they may be unwilling to share and they may be particularly aggressive with other dogs.
Living Requirements Of The Chihuahua
The Chihuahua enjoys a small yard to run around in, but doesn’t require much space and they can be a very good choice for apartment living if they are exercised on a regular basis. They prefer to live in warmer weather, and they will be made uncomfortable if it gets too cold – so they will need a jacket when venturing outside in cooler weather.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Chihuahua
Similarly to a lot of small-sized breeds, the Chihuahua is in general very long-lived having a life expectancy of 16-18 years. The biggest health concern for Chihuahuas is commonly identified to be their vulnerability to injury which may often result in broken bones due to their small size. They can also be vulnerable to conditions such as hydrocephalus, low blood sugar, eye infections or injuries, dental issues and sensitivity to the cold.
Exercise Needs Of The Chihuahua
The Chihuahua benefits from pursuits such as play sessions or a run around an off-leash dog park. They have a medium to high degree of energy and need exercise each day in the shape of short walks to avoid behavior problems – though much of their daily exercise may be accounted for by simply running from room to room.