The Chihuahua: A Small Dog with a HUGE Personality!
The Chihuahua, charming, graceful and sassy! They are a member of the toy group and rank 33 out of 193 akc dog breeds. They weigh 6 lbs or less by breed standard (mixes often vary) and have an average life expectancy of 14-16 years! They are small dogs with enormous personality. The Chihuahua is a national symbol of Mexico and is one of the oldest breeds in America. The rounded apple head is a breed hallmark. They come in many colors and patterns, and there are both long hair and short hair varieties. They possess loyalty, charm, and believe they are much larger in stature than they really are. They are clever, so they require training as puppies. Their size and demeanor make them ideal city or country companions.
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The exact origin of how the first Chihuahua type dog came to the Mexican people remains a mystery as it predates written history. It is known that the Toltecs held control of Mexico about a thousand years ago, and their breed of choice was the Techihi, a larger version of today’s Chihuahua! The Toltecs were conquered by the Aztecs in the 12th century. It is the Aztecs who are credited for refining the Techihi into a smaller, lighter dog. When the Spanish conquistadors toppled the Aztec civilization in the 1500’s, the Techihi was such an integral part of their culture, it’s considered to be one of Montezuma’s fabled treasures. In the mid 1800’s, the Americas began to take notice of the hardy breed. They were able to find many of them in The State of Chihuahua. This ancient lineage of two lost civilizations gained fame as today's Chihuahua dog.
Grooming the Chihuahua
Chihuahuas come in both long-hair and short-hair types. Both varieties are relatively low maintenance. They all require regular nail clipping and ear cleaning. Routine brushing for both. For the short hair, the brushing is to remove any debris or dead shedding coat. But the long-coated variety will require more diligent brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles. Any clipping of the hair is typically up to the owner’s preference and is not a breed necessity. Small dogs are prone to dental issues, so routine dental care is recommended.
This little but tough breed is versatile, low maintenance, and well suited for city or country living. They are very alert and protective. They tend to be wily, so a firm but gentle hand is necessary for training. Most health issues arise from genetics, and may include heart issues, eye disease, and patellar luxation. But they are a healthy breed overall that lead long lives and are happy to spend most of it on their companion’s lap.