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Canine Breed Spotlight: Chihuahua

Here is a quick look at the Chihuahua!

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Dog breed group: Toy dog

Average life Span: 15-17 years

History

The Chihuahua breed originated in Mexico; most likely descended from the Techichi, a companion dog of the the Toltec civilization in Mexico.

The short-haired Chihuahua was discovered in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, and that’s where they got the name. The long-haired variety was most likely originally created by crossing the short-haired Chihuhuas with Papillons or Pomeranians until the breed was developed. American visitors to Mexico brought these little dogs back home with them, spreading the popularity of the breed.

Temperament

Chihuahuas may be the world’s smallest dog, but they tend to have a big personality. The temperament of a Chihuahua depends heavily on the genetic temperament of their parents and grandparents. If bred well they are fun, affectionate and quirky.chihuahua-820087_960_720

Chihuahuas can become very attached to their owners, especially if they get toted around everywhere with them. This can lead them to become demanding if they are spoiled too much. Chihuahuas are also quite intelligent and fast learners, making them good candidates for obedience and agility training. Using positive reinforcement and praise while training will persuade your Chihuahua that doing what you ask of them is fun, curbing any demanding behavior.

Is this breed right for you?chihuahua-1351026_960_720

  • Chihuahuas are small and easy to carry, and they do not require a lot of exercise.
  • Chihuahuas have a long life span, so you must be in for the long haul for caring for them.
  • Like most toy breeds, the Chihuahua are fragile and care must be taken at home so that they don’t get hurt, lost, stuck or stepped on.
  • They are notorious for being hard to house train.
  • Proper training is required to ensure they don’t become bad tempered or improperly socialized.

Health concerns

  • Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors.
  • Chihuahuas can be more prone to injuries because of their small size.chihuahua-842134_960_720
  • Chihuahuas can be prone to luxating patelllas (loose knee caps). Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place. If this occurs in your pet, surgical correction may be needed.
  • Because of their small size, dental disease is very common in Chihuahuas. Good oral hygiene right from the start (daily brushing is most effective) is necessary to keep their mouth healthy. However, even with daily dental care, due to the crowing of their teeth, dental surgery and cleanings under anesthetic may be required a few times over their lifetime.
  • Chihuahuas with a more “bug-eyed” appearance can be susceptible to corneal ulcers. Ulcers can be caused by an abrasion to the eye as well as inability to completely close the eyelids.