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Breed Profile: Chihuahua

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Photo of a black and white smooth coat chihuahua dog breed

A black and white smooth coat chihuahua

Photo Duncan Smith / Getty Images

Group:

Toy

History:

The Chihuahua originated in Mexico and was developed in the state for which it was named. A likely ancestor of the breed was the Techichi, a sacred dog of the ancient Toltecs. However, ancestors of the Chihuahua may have been present earlier than the ninth century. Some believe that the smaller size of the breed may have resulted from crossing with Chinese Crested dogs.

First registered by the AKC in 1904, the Chihuahua is one of the oldest breeds on the American continent and one of the smallest breeds in the world. The Chihuahua is also a very popular dog breed, probably due to its tiny size and big personality.

Size:

2-6 pounds

Coat & Color:

Chihuahuas can have smooth coats or long coats. They are seen in many colors, either solid or a combination of two colors. Most common colors include black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate and red.

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Chihuahua (pronounced "chiwawa") is a tiny but confident dog that loves giving and receiving attention. Despite its petite and fragile appearance, the breed is quite bold and can even be considered brazen. Its wide eyes and big ears are quite possibly its best know features. The ears are erect and very large in relation to its small head and body. The Chihuahua has a unique personality and can be a quite affectionate, loyal companion dog.

Smooth coat Chihuahuas need little more than basic routine grooming due to their short hair. However, the long coated variety requires more frequent grooming, especially routine hair brushing.

The sassy attitude of the Chihuahua demands proper socialization and obedience training. Without adequate socialization, the breed can become fearful and defensive - especially around new people or animals. An untrained Chihuahua can act defiant and dominant towards their owners. Though stubborn at times, the breed is smart and can become well-behaved with dedication and consistency from its owner.

When raised and handled appropriately, the Chihuahua can make a wonderful companion for all kinds of families. Its affectionate and attention-loving nature makes it a snuggly dog that enjoys being carried around, pampered, and even dressed up in cute little outfits!


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