The following Chihuahua facts are a guide on what you may expect from your Chihuahua. If you do not yet own a Chihuahua, it will be a good idea to read these facts prior to doing so.
A well balanced dog will not weigh more than 6 pounds, with the weight varying from 2 – 6 pounds. When showing the dog, ring disqualification is based upon weight not upon size.
The terms pocket Chihuahua, miniature Chihuahua, toy Chihuahua, teacup Chihuahua and miniature teacup Chihuahua are mainly marketing terms used by breeders, since officially the Chihuahua only exists in one size.
The shape of the head required by the breed standard is a “rounded apple dome head”. This is a shape similar to that of an apple, with a short nose. This Chihuahua is referred to as the Applehead Chihuahua.
Any Chihuahua which does not have a head shaped like this, is known as a Deer head Chihuahua or a deer Chihuahua. Deer heads have a longer nose, and their head shape is similar to that of a young deer.
Most Chihuahuas puppies have an area which is slightly sunken on top of the skull, much like an apple. This is called a molera and is similar to the soft spot that newly born human babies have on their heads. This tends to close by adulthood.
Its eyes are expressive and are large, round, protruding, and dark They are set wide apart. They have large ears which are erect when alert, but inclined to the side when relaxed. They have long sickle shaped tails which can be curled over the back or to the side, with the tip directed towards the back. It should not be carried between the legs or be docked.
The neck should be slightly arched. The ribcage should be wide and rounded, although it is undesirable for it to be barrel shaped.
Its front and hind legs are muscular. The chest sticks out somewhat, though not as much as it does with other breeds such as the Bulldog.
The Chihuahua’s coat can be a large variety of solid or splashed colours, including, but not limited to, black & tan, blue, sable, sand, fawn, chestnut, black and white.
Although blue is considered rare, no color or pattern is considered more valuable than the others. The classic Chihuahua color remains Fawn.
The coat itself may be either a long or short coat, leading to them being known as either short or long haired Chihuahuas. The long coat is soft to the touch, and may be wavy or straight. The short coat is shiny and flat on the body.
Chihuahuas require minimal grooming. Short haired Chis only need brushing once a week, whilst long haired Chis will need brushing twice a week. Both types only need to be bathed once a month using a mild shampoo. Chihuahuas are prone to ear infections, so care must be taken to not get water into their ears.
Without the proper human leadership, they can be strong willed and difficult to train. Consistency and patience are required. They are intelligent dogs, and will learn quickly and respond to positive reinforcement. It is advisable to introduce your Chi to other people and animals from a young age.
Many of the behavioral problems associated with Chis stem from allowing it to get away with behavior which you would not let a larger dog get away with. Because of its size, people tend to view behavior which would be deemed as bad in a larger dog, as being cute in a Chi. Allowing dominant behavior will lead to issues such as aggression, and jealousy, and they will become suspicious of strangers.
Chis who have been allowed to become the pack leader of their humans, may snap at children, become aggressive towards other dogs and become “yappy” dogs.
Due to their tiny frame, Chis make good apartment dogs, however, these little guys are active dogs who need exercise.
Although playing with them indoors can fulfill most of their exercise needs, they will still need to be taken out for walks and be stimulated; Chis love to explore and roam outside.
As tempting as it is to carry your Chi in the latest Chi bag, it must be remembered that dogs that are not walked daily, are more likely to display behavioral problems. A harness would be better suited than a leash, due to their delicate bone structure.
The Chi is a warm weather dog and dislikes the cold temperatures. You must therefore ensure to that your Chi is kept indoors, although there is nothing wrong with having him explore the backyard for a while each day.
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