The smallest of the toy dogs, the Chihuahua is a firm favorite, fulfilling the twin roles of fashion accessory and loving companion. The Chihuahua gives the cute appeal of a toy dog, mixed in with all the protective and hunting instincts of a larger breed. They come in both short and long haired varieties, both have soft white undercoats. Colors vary all the way from white to blue, with a whole range of marking patterns.
History The origins of the Chihuaha are shrouded in mystery. Some say that the breed is descended from small dogs held in sacred esteem by the ancient races of the Incas and Aztecs. Chihuahuas with blue coats were offered to the gods in sacrifice, whilst those with red were buried with their owners to accompany them to the after life. An alternative theory is that the Chihuahua’s original ancestor was the small Spanish dog that accompanied Hernando Cortez and his Conquistadors on their invasion of the New World in the early 16th century.
Temperament Chihuahua’s are brave and courageous, and completely unintimidated by other dogs, no matter what their size. They are easy to train, being quick intelligent dogs. Relations with children can become strained though, as the kids have a natural tendency to treat a very small dog like a toy.
Care and Exercise The dog’s coat should be brushed 2 to 3 times a week with a soft brush. Ears, nails and teeth must be checked and cared for every week. Being free to roam indoors will usually provide them with sufficient exercise, but they’ll also appreciated the chance of scurrying around your back yard.
Health Chihuahuas have large eyes, and a short nose which can cause some ENT problems like glaucoma, dry eye and wheezing. They are also pone to gum disease, slipped stiffe and rheumatism. Some dogs can become severely stressed and nervous.