Breed of the Month–Chihuahua

1February 2011



Color:  Any color, short coat any color, long coat solid-colored markings/ solid color
Height:  6-9 inches
Weight:  Up to 6 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  eye problems, patellar lunation, seizure, collapsing trachea, hypoglycemia, pulmonary stenosis.

Coat:  Long and short coat types, both types can be double or single coat…smooth, soft, silky
Country of Origin:  Mexico

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The Chihuahua is the smallest and oldest breed on the American continent.  It is believed that travelers from Spain brought the beginnings of this breed, mixing them with hairless breeds, making the Chihuahua of today.  The Chihuahua is one of the most popular toy breeds today.

The Chihuahua is affectionate, lively, playful, and alert.  He will bond quickly with his family and must be properly socialized so strangers will not intimidate and frighten him.

Small and easy to transport, the Chihuahua is a favorite choice for many Americans.  It is important that even these small dogs still learn rules, boundaries, and basic manners.  Many people let these little dogs get away with a lot of bad behaviors because they think it looks cute or funny coming from such a small little dog.  It’s not cute, and it’s not funny!  It is very important to teach these dogs proper manners and socialization.  I have also found this breed to be very susceptible to anxiety.  The Chihuahua owner would do well to create a nice calm home life and give their dog plenty of regular exercise to keep this from becoming a problem.

The Chihuahua can be prone to short little bursts of energy.  An easy daily walk and following his owners around are usually enough exercise for this breed.  It is important to give the Chihuahua several little play sessions each day.

The shorthaired Chihuahua is easily kept clean with regular brushing and bathing.  The longhaired version needs more attention, including trimming.  All Chihuahuas must be kept clean around their eyes and ears.

Positive, fun, upbeat training is necessary to keep the Chihuahua’a attention.  This breed can be difficult to potty training.  Never use punishment or harsh tones with this breed.  Socialization is especially important to keep the Chihuahua comfortable in all situations throughout his lifetime.