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Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) Dog Breed Profile

Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)

General
Other Names
 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Toy 
Breed Classification
The Chihuahua belongs to the toy group and is used as a companion and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
Chihuahuas have a high and sometimes delicate metabolism, i.e. they can be prone to hypoglycemia, so it is better to give two to three small meals per day rather than one large one. They can eat dry food as well as tinned food and seem to enjoy crunching up the hard biscuits - a practice, which is good for their teeth. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost from £300 upwards. 
Lifespan
> 15 years
Chihuahuas are extraordinarily long lived, 20 years not being uncommon and some are reported to live as long as 24 years. 
Average Litter Size
2 or 3 puppies is the normal size of litter. 
General Physical Description
The smallest of dogs with an apple domed skull and smooth fine coat

Height Min Max
Bitch 15cm (6") 23cm (9")
Dog 15cm (6") 23cm (9")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 1kg (2lbs) 2.7kg (6lbs)
Dog 1kg (2lbs) 2.7kg (6lbs)
Size Category
Tiny 
Weight Height Range
The Chihuahua measures between 15 to 23cms at the withers and weighs ideally between 1 to 2.7kgs as per The Kennel Club Breed Standard. 
Ailments
Almost all small breeds have a tendency to get subluxating patellas, probably due to stress injuries from leaping off the furniture - enormous jumps for such tiny creatures. Many small dogs also have weak tracheas. Chihuahuas, more particularly, suffer from cleft palate, hydrocephalus (excess water on the brain) and hypoplasia of the dens - a lack of development in the second vertebrae, leading to skull instability. As with many breeds, there are also eye problems. Haemphilia, a blood clotting disorder carried by the females and manifesting in the males, also occurs in Chihuahuas. 
Common Ailments

Pulmonic stenosis, heart valve problems
shoulder luxation, hypoglycemia, hypoplasia of dens  
Susceptibility To Illness
Medium 
Other
History
The Chihuahua has a colourful, almost hair-raising past. The breed may go as far back as 5th century Mayan Civilization. Pyramids in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, have carvings of small Chihuahua like dogs. At the Monastery of Huejotzingo, between Mexico City and Pubela, there are more Chihuahua images in the Toltec stones used to build the monastery. These date from the 9th century. It is known that a small dog called a 'Techichi' was an important part of Toltec and Aztec cultures. Techichi were the pets of the wealthy and were an essential facet in the religious practice of these ancient Indian cultures. The dogs were cremated with the dead in order to take on the deceased’s sins so that the person could enter the next world without angering the gods. The dogs were also supposed to guide the deceased through the underworld and fight off evil spirits. Some people believe that the Chihuahua is the product of breeding between the Techichi and a small, hairless dog from Asia that would have entered the Americas across the Bering Strait. Whatever the origins, the devastation of the Central American civilizations was reflected on the dogs and this small, religious figure of the canine world was nearly lost. Chihuahua is a state in Mexico and it is from this state that the modern Chihuahua was first exported to America. Theory has it that the modern breed developed from the ancient strains of the Techichi, mixed with small dogs of Mexico, Arizona and Texas. First exported to the U.S. in 1898, Chihuahuas were shown in 1901 and given AKC recognition in 1904. The breed rapidly gained popularity and is much loved pet all over the world today. In the US both varieties can appear in the same litter but in the UK, the smooth and long coats are quite separately bred and a bitch would be very unlikely to throw two types in a single litter. 
Intelligence
A clever breed, the dog can take well to training if it is begun early on. Some Chihuahuas have been trained to use a cat tray, while others are never house trained at all. It is entirely up to the owner to put some time in from day one of the puppy’s arrival.< 
Show Characteristics
Chihuahuas have a distinctive skull that is very rounded or 'apple domed' with or without a molera (persistent frontal fontanel.) The cheeks and jaws are lean, while the nose is moderately short. In the dark coated dogs, the nose should be black but the nose can be pink in blonde dogs. Large, erect ears flare out at a 45-degree angle from the skull. Quite full, yet not protruding eyes should be set well apart and be dark in dark coated dogs, ruby in lighter coated dogs. The bite of the teeth should be level. As the head is held high, the neck is slightly arched and set on sloping shoulders. In males, the back should be shorter than in the females. Legs are straight and the hindquarters are muscular with the hocks set well apart. This should allow for a gait with a great deal of reach and drive. The back should remain level as the dog moves. A sickle shaped tail or a tail that loops over the back, with the tip just touching the back is the desired tail appearance. The feet should be dainty, set below slender ankles, and the toes should be well divided. The ears should be dripping with fringe, a substantial ruff must encircle the neck and the legs should be well feathered. The tail should be plume like. Any coat colour is acceptable, sol 
Country Of Origin
Mexico 
Famous Examples
 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
Medium 
Overall Exercise
20 - 40 minutes per day.
The Chihuahua can adapt to however much exercise you would like to give it, within reason. Chihuahuas tend to have bursts of energy where they play excitedly, but do not need a lot of walking. It is recommended that Chihuahuas wear harness instead of collars due to their fragile tracheas (windpipes.) 
Distress if Left Alone
 
Personal Protection
Low 
Guard Dog Suitability
Medium 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Low 
Tendency to Bark
High 
High 
Level of Aggression
Medium 
Compatibility With Other Animals
Medium 
Suitable For Children

Low 

General Character And Temperament
Personality wise, the Chihuahua tends to bond closely with one or two people. With its master/mistress the Chihuahua will be curious, lively and intelligent, as well as deeply and constantly affectionate. However, the breed does not take kindly to strangers and can appear nervous, yappy and even snappy with the uninitiated. Chihuahuas must be socialized as early as possible or will become very anxious in new environments and will not get along with other pets (including dogs) and will be risky business around children. On the plus side, the dog is very territorial and will make a good guard dog, although some find the Chihuahua’s barking excessive. They are a clannish breed and enjoy being a pack of Chihuahuas. They adapt quite well to flat dwelling and make excellent, loving companions for single people and the elderly 
Grooming
Coat Length
Short/Smooth 
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Trimming
None 
Requires Professional Groomer
 
Grooming
Grooming is not a demanding chore with the Chihuahua. The smooth coated variety can be groomed using a rubber grooming comb/brush now and again. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas do shed, but being small, there isn’t that much hair to lose. It is a good idea to brush a Chihuahua’s teeth daily as, with all small breeds, they are prone to a heavy tartar build up. 
Colour
The Chihuahua comes in a variety of colours from fawn to black. 
Shedding
Moderate 
Suffers From Allergies
 

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