Despite the many endearing qualities of the Chihuahua, if you're thinking his tiny size makes him a great choice for children, you'd better think again. The Chihuahua may be just right for traveling around in a puppy purse, but he's far too small and fragile for even the gentlest of children's games.
Unfortunately, too many people with Chihuahuas allow them to become little tyrants, displaying manners that would not be acceptable in a larger dog. This dog needs gentle and consistent training from puppyhood on to control his nipping as well as any tendency he has to fight with other dogs. Like many small dogs, Chihuahuas aren't aware of their own size and won't hesitate to challenge a dog many times larger than themselves. Also, like many small dogs, Chihuahuas are difficult to house-train without a lot of consistency and patience.
Chihuahuas come in two coat types, short and long.
the long does require daily brushing to keep it from tangling and to remove dead hairs. But since there's not much dog, there's not much coat, even in the long-haired version.
For the show ring, the Chihuahua should not exceed six pounds, but many Chihuahuas are actually larger than that, making them a better choice for families with children.
Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and take well to training when it comes with positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise.
Chihuahuas come in any solid color or combination of colors, including fawn, black and tan, chocolate and white, blue and red. Avoid breeders who try to get you to pay more for supposedly "rare" colors.
The History of Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua is a native of Mexico, and his ancestors were surrounded by many myths. They were believed to be spirit guides that protected souls as they traveled through the underworld. While the stories about the dog's origins are interesting, there's no real evidence about how long they've existed or that they were known to the Aztecs or other peoples who inhabited Mexico before the Spaniards came.
Some dog experts say they were among the first native dogs of the Americas, others that they were brought to the New World after the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Still others believe the little dogs may have originated as miniaturized versions of pariah dogs, the nondescript brown dogs with prick ears that result when dogs are left to breed on their own with no selection for color or other specific characteristics. Whatever the case, the breed takes its name from the state of Chihuahua, where late-19th-century American tourists first encountered the tiny canines.
The Chihuahua we know today was developed by North American breeders. The first Chihuahua registered by the American Kennel Club, in 1904, was named Midget. The Chihuahua Club of America was formed in 1923. Today, the Chihuahua ranks 13thamong the breeds registered by the AKC.
Chihuahua Temperament and Personality
Chihuahuas are saucy and alert, with a mind of their own. They might not be able to talk, but that doesn't prevent them from letting you know exactly what they want: usually plenty of quality time with their favorite person. Chihuahuas are often devoted to a particular person in the family and can even become obsessive about their desire to be with them and protect them.
Despite his tiny size, the Chihuahua is fearless, never timid or frightened. If you see him shivering, it's usually because he's cold. That's why you see so many Chihuahuas wearing sweaters.
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being spoiled and untrainable, but that's often because people don't make an effort to train them. Chihuahuas are just like any other dog: they need consistent rules and structure if they are to learn effectively. They are highly intelligent.