Is the Chihuahua the right breed of dog for you?

That the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world is well known, that his name is derived from the Mexican State is also known. As to his origins: archeological evidence suggests that he's a native of Mexico, and was probably developed from the Techichi, a pet dog considered sacred by the Toltechs; a pre-Mayan Indian nation.

What is beyond doubt is the popularity of this charming little dog. And nowhere more so than in the United States where the American Kennel Club recognised the Chihuahua as a breed in 1904, and classified them in to the Toy Group. They stand from 6-8 inches at the shoulder, and weigh in at from 2-6lbs.

They have an apple-shaped head, generously erect ears, and large, round, dark eyes that reveal the Chis' innate intelligence. The coat is either long or shorthaired and comes in a thousand and one different colours; and can be solid, spotted, or in any variety of patterns.

These dogs seem to be the optimal apartment dogs, and you can frequently see them being carried about by their owners. But, this doesn't mean that they don't require regular, daily walks on and off the lead. This is an active, inquisitive breed of dog, and without regular exercise they will become bored and frustrated; usually resulting in bad behaviour.

Chihuahua puppy--Aaaahh!

Grooming presents few problems, you can simply brush him once a week to remove dead hairs, or just wipe him over with a damp cloth. The Chi doesn't relish cold climates and when it does get chilly you need to supply him with a warm jacket.

The Chihuahua is prone to several health concerns including, dental problems, and eye and ear infections. They're also born with a soft spot in their skull called a molera; this should fill in as the puppy gets older, but care needs to be taken until the skull is correctly formed.

The Chi has a reputation as a picky eater, so the owner needs to make sure that her Chi gets a nutritionally complete diet, as well as keeping an eye on her dog's waistline to take remedial action if there's any signs of obesity.

This breed is fearless, protective, territorial, and can be snappy, for that last reason it isn't advisable to keep a Chi in the same house as very small children. Training your Chi is a must-do.

Owners' of small dogs have a tendency to opt out of training, and you can often see the behavioural consequences of this. Puppy socialisation classes will help him to get accustomed to other dogs and other people, as they are very protective of their families, and living quarters.

If you're looking for a dog that's exceptionally smart, eager to please, adores attention- are completely loyal, and an admirable companion. But, can also have an attitude that requires understanding and correction; then perhaps the Chihuahua is the right breed of dog for you.

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For further help, and to get in touch with the Chihuahua Breed Club, which can direct you towards a responsibe and a reputable breeder, please follow the links to your respective country.

For America: The American Kennel Club

For the United Kingdom: The Kennel Club.

For Canada: The Canadian Kennel Club.

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