Small in size, but big in character, Chihuahuas are loved for their rare and special personality. They love to follow their owners wherever they go and even confronts dog bigger than their size. Yet, they are lovely playmates.
Considered one of the smallest dogs in the world, the Chihuahua just doesn't have size. Anyone who thinks that, for his small size, he might be on the fearful side is completely wrong. In fact, Chihuahua is a dog that tends to be fearless and full of courage, proving brave even than dogs who are much larger than him. He is always alert and tend to alert their owners at the slightest hint of suspicion. Although he is a great family dog, it is not wise to keep him around small kids due to the chances of getting injured. Bred in Mexico in the 19th century as a companion dog, Chihuahua's name is a tribute to the state in which its first specimens appeared.
Although the short-haired Chihuahua is the most common, there is also a variation of the long-haired Chihuahua (which has a slightly wavy coat). Some breeders argue that these seconds are the result of crosses between Chihuahuas, Yorkshires and Papillons, but the truth is that furry chihuahuas are also a charm! The most seen colors of the breed are fawn, gold and white with gold, but other colors are also officially accepted. The long coated Chihuahua has a soft coat which is flat and slightly curly. Though the hair in their body is same as that of a smooth-coated Chihuahua, their ears have a thick fringe of hair. When it comes to grooming, Chihuahuas are the most easiest of the dogs to clean owing to their small size. Owners should brush these dogs weekly with a rubber brush to keep their hair neat and clean. A brush with short, natural bristles would be ideal for Short-haired Chihuahua and a pin brush for a Long-haired Chihuahua.
Firstly, a Chihuahua's diet should consist of top quality protein which should come from sources like Chicken, Lamb, Beef or Fish. They offer quick burst of energy helping your Chihuahua to always stay active. These dogs also need adequate amount of fats that help them absorb essential vitamins and minerals. Carbs are also good for Chihuahua as it helps them stay mentally fit. Puppies should be given lean, raw meat that assist their overall growth and development. It is suggested that you don't feed them human foods as they may become fussy eaters later on. Chihuahua owners should also know that these are dogs having a fast metabolism and therefore they burn their calories very fast. Hence, owners should divide their meals into several portions and feed them multiple times throughout the day inorder to keep their blood sugar levels stable. Also, to keep them in excellent shape and health, pet parents should take them for a daily walk ranging up to 20 to 30 minutes.
Chihuahuas grooming requirements are moderate, with long coated ones requiring more than the short coated ones. Regardless of the type of Chihuahua, brushing is an essential element in keeping their skin healthy and shiny. When it comes to short-haired Chihuahua, owners should brush them at least once per week while long-haired ones should be brushed 3 times per week. Chihuahuas are dogs who shed everyday, but thankfully, they are light to moderate shedders throughout the year. To reduce the problem of shedding, one can use rubber brush with natural bristles for short haired Chihuahuas. While, long-haired Chihuahuas can be brushed with a pin brush, which is highly effective in removing loose and dead hair. When it comes to bathing, Chihuahuas can be bathed once in every 3-4 weeks. Always use a dog shampoo instead of a human grade shampoo as the latter can cause an imbalance in skin pH of Chihuahuas.
Chihuahuas can have a lot of problems with tears, which stain their fur. Frequent cleaning with pet products can alleviate the problem and reduce discomfort. Always keep your pet indoors and, if possible, buy clothes for him to wear in the coldest periods. Their teeth can build up a lot of plaque (tartar), resulting in bad breath and more serious problems. Brush the puppy's teeth or perform periodic cleanings with your trusted veterinarian.
The origin of Chihuahua is still a mystery as there are no clear evidences regarding their ancestors. Although there are several myths that is revolving around them. One of them is that they were believed to be spirit guides that protected souls as they travelled through underworld. Though the stories are quite interesting, historians are still working to establish their true ancestry. Some dog experts genuinely think that these dogs may have originated as miniaturised version of pariah dogs, due to the high resemblance of their ears. These dogs may have then left to breed on their own, which changed their physical appearance drastically.