Chihuahua – a little dog with a big character
Small but mighty! The Mexican Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. The size of the Chihuahua is between 15 and 35 centimetres at the shoulder. At a maximum of three kilos, the Chihuahua’s weight is also manageable. However, Chihuahuas are by no means suitable for being carried in a handbag, the miniature dog wants action, as befits its southern temperament!
- ClassificationSociety and companion dog
- Size15 to 25 centimetres shoulder height, in individual cases up to 35 centimetres
- Weight1.5 to 3 kg
- Physiquepetite, apple-shaped head with a pointed snout, curved tail
- Eyesdisproportionately large, round
- Coat and colourLong and short hair types with little undercoat, soft and silky; all colours
- Special featuresgets cold easily, blankets recommended for snuggling up in the basket
- Naturelively, attentive, cuddly, tends to jealousy and overconfidence
- Carebrush regularly, bathe every six months
- HealthSusceptibility to swallowing difficulties, hypoglycaemia, eye irritation, kneecap displacement and dental problems
The Chihuahua’s origin lies in the mists of the past. The breeding of very small dogs as sacrificial and food animals is said to have existed as early as the Toltecs, a Central American civilization that flourished between the 10th and 12th centuries. Another theory assumes the origin in the older Aztec culture or even in ancient Egypt. Much later, descendants of the Mexican indigenous people in the province of Chihuahua sold small puppies to tourists. This is how this tiny dog came to the US and started its career there, and since 1905 it has even been a recognised pedigree dog. A distinction is made between the long-legged Derry and the stronger Cobby type. Both types come in long and short hair variants.
Character of the Chihuahua
This little bundle of southern temperament is playful and cuddly with its owners. The Chihuahua knows how to push itself to the fore when it feels that it hasn’t received enough attention. The character of the Chihuahua is sociable and adventurous. It has a strong pack behaviour and feels comfortable with fellow dogs at its side. Typical of its character is a certain overconfidence, which it shows in its behaviour towards other dogs, based on the motto: Even if you are small, you still have guts! But there are differences in character. While long-haired specimens are rather gentle and easy-going, short-haired Chihuahuas often behave energetically and try to take over the alpha position.
Training and keeping the Chihuahua
As tiny as the Chihuahua is, it’s a normal dog and you have to take it seriously as such. This tiny four-legged friend does not differ in its behaviour and needs from larger breeds. However, its daintiness requires a certain sensitivity, you must ensure that the little one is not harmed by holding it too tightly or by unintentional kicks in crowds. A harness is also preferable to a collar to prevent injury. The Chihuahua needs attention, if it doesn’t get enough, it becomes jealous. Its lively nature makes the little bundle of energy the ideal companion if you can offer it plenty of exercise and an exciting dog entertainment programme. City dwellers benefit from the dog’s small format. Chihuahuas also feel comfortable in an apartment – provided they don’t miss out on exercise and play. The Chihuahua is almost tireless outdoors, willing to learn and, despite its size, it is also well suited for agility sports.
Care of the Chihuahua
A Chihuahua enjoys the full grooming regimen. You should brush its silky coat regularly and treat your dog to a wellness routine on this occasion. A soft baby brush is ideal for its delicate fur. During the cold winter months, the best way to protect your Chihuahua from the cold and wet is to provide it with a dog coat. Also pay attention to its eyes, which are prone to weep. Ideally, the vet of your choice has experience with small dogs. The Chihuahua is prone to problems with its large eyes and to tartar. Give it dental care chew items on a regular basis. The life expectancy of the Chihuahua is around 16 years and is usually longer the larger the animal.