Chihuahua pros and cons
Chihuahua owners report many pros and cons associated with owning this tiny breed. Advantages of owning a Chihuahua include the dog's small size. This dog is light and can be easily picked, which can be convenient especially for older Chihuahua owners. Chihuahuas are easy to travel with, which is another positive for owners who like to travel with their pets. Chihuahuas can comfortably live in a small apartment in the city or in a large home in the suburbs. As long as Chihuahua gets to spend most of the time with the owner, this companion dog is happy. Chihuahuas make wonderful pets for seniors and for young families with older kids, which is another advantage to owning a Chihuahua. Owning a Chihuahua has other pros, such as minimal grooming needs, especially for short haired Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas have low exercise needs in comparison to many other dog breeds, which is another positive about this breed. Chihuahua breed is one of the healthiest and longest lived breeds, which is a big advantage.
Owning a Chihuahua has some disadvantages, that include the fragile size of the dog. A tiny dog is easy to accidentally step on or sit on and Chihuahua's owners need to be careful not to hurt their small pet. Another negative about owning a Chihuahua is that this breed can be difficult to housetrain. Many Chihuahuas are picky eaters, which can be a con to owning this breed as well. Chihuahuas are sensitive to cold and owners of Chihuahua need to be careful when bringing the dog outside during the cold weather. Chihuahuas require a lot of attention and affection from the owners and need to spend most of the time with the owner, which can be a drawback for people with busy schedules.
Chihuahuas are among the smallest dog breeds, weighing up to 6 pounds. In height, Chihahuas can reach up to 10 inches. Small and delicate Chihuahuas can be easily not noticed and accidentally stepped on or sat upon. Owners of Chihuahua should exercise caution around this small pet to avoid any unfortunate accidents. Due to the small size, Chihuahuas aren't ideal pets for small children or toddlers who may see the tiny dog as a toy and can accidentally hurt the miniature pet. Chihuahuas are ideal pets for adults of all ages who can spend most of the time with the small sized companion dog.
How much should a Chihuahua weigh?
Chihuahua male weight: 4 to 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg)
Chihuahua female weight: 4 to 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg)
Chihuahua male height: 6 to 10 in (15 to 25 cm)
Chihuahua female height: 6 to 10 in (15 to 25 cm)
Chihuahua coat: two varieties, smooth coat and long haired chihuahua
Chihuahua colors: white, black, tan and many other colors
How many puppys can a Chihuahua have?
Chihuahua litter size: 2 to 5 puppies
How long do Chihuahuas live?
Chihuahuas are among the healthiest dog breeds, blessed with a longevity. These small dogs have the longest lifespan of all dog breeds and can live well into the teens. Chihuahuas live from twelve to twenty years of age.
Chihuahua lifespan: 12 to 20 years
How much does a Chihuahua cost?
Chihuahua price starts at around $500 per puppy and up, depending on many factors
How to potty train a Chihuahua
Chihuahua potty training should start the moment you bring the tiny dog home. Pay close attention to the Chihuahua's behavior and when you notice potty readiness signs that include sniffing the floor and walking in circles, immediately take the dog to the designated potty area. If you are planning to train your Chihuahua to use an indoor dog potty, take the dog there. Indoor dog potties are very popular among Chihuahua owners who live in apartments and would like to have a more flexible dog walking schedule that doesn't rotate around the dog's toilet needs.
As soon as the Chihuahua is done, reward the dog with a small treat and praise him for the good behavior. This positive reinforcement helps the Chihuahua to understand what is required of him. During Chihuahua potty training accidents are prone to happen. Do not punish the dog for an accident as this will only slow down the housetraining process. Thoroughly clean up the mess and be on the lookout for toilet readiness signs. Use a dog odor remover to completely eliminate any traces of the scent of his urine to discourage the dog from using the area as his toilet in the future. If the floor smells like a dog's urine, the dog will more likely use the area again as his potty area.
Be prepared to spend at least several weeks watching the dog's behavior and taking him to the designated potty area whenever you see that the dog is ready. Try to not give the dog an opportunity to go potty in the wrong area so that he gets used to only doing his business in the designated area. Younger Chihuahua puppies have smaller bladders and may not have a full control over their bladder when they are only a few weeks old. Take that into consideration when potty training your Chihuahua. Take the dog to the potty area more often to encourage him to use it. Immediately reward the Chihuahua for eliminating in the designated potty area.
Chihuahuas are usually ready to use the toilet after a meal or as soon as they wake up after a nap. Feeding the dog on a set schedule will help you to know his elimination schedule and after a few days you will notice a pattern of when the dog needs to use a potty.
Chihuahuas that are crate trained are easier to housetrain as dogs do not like to eliminate in the area where they sleep. Do not leave a Chihuahua confined in a crate too long as the dog will have an accident when left in the crate too long. Take the dog to the designated Chihuahua potty area as soon as you let the dog out of the crate. Praise and reward him once he is done with his business.
Having a command word for potty training is very useful. To train your dog to eliminate on command, say the command word every time the dog is going to potty. You may pick any word but keep on using the same word every time. Eventually the Chihuahua will start associating the word with going to potty.
Bathing your Chihuahua once a month or every six weeks is best. Do not bathe your Chihuahua too often, as that will result in dry, flaky skin. As you are bathing your dog, be sure to avoid shampoo entering the eyes. Throughly wash the shampoo off the Chihuahua's coat without leaving any behind as any traces of shampoo may irritate the dog's sensitive skin. Completely dry the dog after bathing before taking him outside. Wipe the dog's ears with dry, clean towel after bathing as moisture accumulation in the ears may cause ear infections in dogs.
Trim your Chihuahua's nails as soon as you start hearing nails clicking when he walks on a linoleum or wood floors. Nails that aren't regularly trimmed begin to curl and grow into the pads of the foot, a serious problem that will affect your dog's gait and cause him a great deal of pain. Only use nail trimmers for dogs.
A Chihuahua with healthy ears will not paw at them and they will not emit a foul odor. If your dog paws at his ears, he may have ear mites. If you notice any issues with your dog's ears, take him to the vet to avoid serious issues.
Keep your Chihuahua's eye area clean by regularly wiping the eye area with a clean dampened cloth or tissue. Do not use the same tissue on both eyes.
Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems. Small dog breeds are prone to crowded teeth. Food particles can easily get stuck between teeth and invite bacteria that will turn into tartar if the teeth aren't brushed on a daily basis. Begin brushing your dog's teeth from the time he is a young puppy to get him accustomed to the procedure that will help preserve his health down the road. When you are training your dog to having his teeth brushed, select a rubber finger brush that slides over your forefinger. For the first few days do not use any toothpaste, just get the dog used to having his teeth massaged with the finger brush. After about a week, start adding a small amount of dog toothpaste. Never use a human toothpaste on a dog as it is dangerous to his health.
See video where a veterinarian is explaining how to take care of a Chihuahua dog breed.
Chihuahua breed was developed in Mexico and as a result, most Chihuahuas dislike cold weather. Short haired Chihuahuas are especially vulnerable to cooler weather and owners need to keep the dog warm when going outside for walks. Do not walk the Chihuahua for long periods of time in freezing temperatures. When the weather is getting cooler, dress the tiny dog in weather appropriate dog winter coat. If Chihuahua is shivering or lifting the feet one after another, the dog may be too cold and needs to go in a warm environment immediately.
During rainy day a Chihuahua can be dressed in a dog raincoat that will protect him from the bad weather.
Some owners like to put small dog booties on their Chihuahua to keep the dog's feet warm and safe from any ice melting chemicals during winter months.
If the temperature inside your home gets cooler during the cold months of the year, shorthaired Chihuahuas can wear a pajama at home to stay warm. Dogs take some time to get used to the new outfit. Be sure that the outfit is the appropriate size for your pet as tight clothes may be very uncomfortable for the Chihuahua to wear.
As you are traveling with your Chihuahua, a dog carrying purse may be very useful to keep your pet comfortable on the move.
Chihuahua temperament can be described as bold, and very much "terrier-like". Chihuahua breed was owned by many famous people, including Paula Abdul, Marilyn Monroe, Paris Hilton and Jayne Mansfield. Chihuahua has a spicy personality and despite miniature size this dog has a big heart and is very loyal to the owners. A well socialized Chihuahua can make an excellent therapy dog. Chihuahuas live long lives compared to most other dog breeds, and when properly cared for, the small dog can live up to 20 years of age. The Chihuahua has nearly no life-threatening diseases to which the dog is predisposed. Low occurence of genetic diseases is one of the reasons for Chihuahua's longevity.
Video that provides more Chihuahua information:
Chihuahua behavior is confident around the family and being in the center of attention is his favorite activity. Chihuahua owners often let their small dog get away with things that they wouldn't let a large dog to get away with. The small dog needs to be treated with respect. Babying the Chihuahua and letting the dog bite people is not a good idea. Provide the Chihuahua puppy with plenty of socialization and encourage good behavior. Rewarding good behavior by playing or praising the dog is a good idea. Small Chihuahuas do need daily exercise to stay in good physical and mental shape. Due to the small size, it is easy to keep the dog in good shape by letting him explore a fenced yard if you have one, or by retrieving a ball for 10 minutes twice a day. These simple activities will provide your dog with a healthy doze of exercise it needs. A Chihuahua that does not get the necessary exercise will start gaining too much weight which in turn may cause various health problems. Chihuahuas make a perfect dog for living in an apartment. Take the dog for walks as this is one of his favorite activities. During cold weather days be sure to keep your pet warm by dressing the dog in weather appropriate clothing.
Many Chihuahua owners decide to have more than one Chihuahuas because Chihuahuas get along best with their own breed. Chihuahuas tend to pick one person as their favorite and some Chihuahua owners decide to have more than one Chihuahua for that reason. The small Chihuahua can be a great companion dog for elderly people. The miniature Chihuahua requires minimal grooming and is easy to take care of.
The small dog has low exercise needs in comparison to other breeds and is easy for an older person to manage. Chihuahuas enjoy lots of attention and do really well in families with older people. Are Chihuahuas good with kids? Chihuahuas can get along fine with older children. This delicate breed is not suitable for homes with very young kids. The small sized dog is too fragile for families with toddlers.
Traveling with a small dog such as the Chihuahua is easier especially for short trips as long as you are well prepared. Bring enough dog food for the trip and only pack the dog food that the Chihuahua is accustomed to. The last thing you need during a trip is a dog with stomach problems because he is not used to the new food. If you can, bring the same water for the dog that you usually use. If your dog always drinks bottled water, have enough of the same water for the trip - changing a dog's drinking water may cause stomach upset for some dogs. Remember to take a dog food and water bowls for the trip. To keep the dog busy and less stressed during the trip, give him a safe, chewable toy for the dog. Always check the dog's toys for any small parts that the dog may accidentally swallow. A chewable treat dispenser toy can help to keep your dog less stressed during the flight.
The small Chihuahua weighs under 6 pounds and is easy to pick up and carry when needed. The dog is relatively easy to travel with due to the convenient size and a Chihuahua carrier can be useful during short trips.
Carriers for Chihuahuas
If you are looking to travel by air with your Chihuahua, look for a dog carrier approved by the airline. Airline approved carriers for Chihuahuas come in many shapes and sizes. The small sized dog should be able to stretch out and turn around in his carrier especially during longer trips.
Due to their high intelligence, Chihuahuas are very trainable. Training a Chihuahua puppy is easier than a full grown dog. Training an adult Chihuahua may take longer but it is possible to get great results and a well mannered pet with consistency and patience. Chihuahuas tend to enjoy barking and early training helps to train the dog to stop barking when necessary. The best way to teach your pet to stop barking is by first training the dog to bark on command. Once the dog is trained to bark on command, it is easier to train the dog to stop barking on command. Intelligent Chihuahuas are very trainable and with positive motivation techniques you can train the dog many different commands.
Start with basic obedience training commands such as sit, stay, heel, down and continue adding more commands. Remember to praise your dog or provide a small treat as soon as the dog does something right. To make housetraining a Chihuahua easier, set a schedule for your miniature dog. Decide on a routine that fits and soon you will notice the pattern when the dog is ready to use a bathroom. Schedule will make this event more predictable thus making housetraining much easier to implement. As soon as you notice that Chihuahua starts sniffing the floor and pacing in circles, it is definitely the time to take the dog outside to let him relieve himself. Never punish Chihuahua for occasional accidents, as this will make housetraining more difficult to accomplish. Instead, use one word command for potty training. For example, as soon as you notice that Chihuahua is doing his or her deed outside, immediately say the command word, like "potty!" and once the dog is done immediately praise and give a small treat for good behavior. Soon the Chihuahua will understand that if he does his business outside, he will get rewarded. Chihuahua will also learn to associate the command with doing his business, which can be very useful especially when you don't have the time for a long walk and need the dog to quickly do his thing.
Crate training is important. Many Chihuahua owners feel that a crate is a necessary tool that helps to housetrain a Chihuahua. Do not leave a Chihuahua in a crate for hours on end as the miniature dog has a small bladder and the dog needs to be let out to use the potty every hour or so. A dog who is crated too long will fail at housetraining, no matter how perfect the crate size is or how much he wants to succeed. When you are crate training your Chihuahua, be sure to only associate the crate with good things. Do not force the dog into the crate during training. The dog should be comfortable and relaxed during training. Put some treats inside the crate and let your dog explore the crate at his own pace. When the dog gets into the crate, do not rush to close the gate. At first your dog needs to take time to feel comfortable walking into the crate and coming out. After a few days you can try to close the gate for a few seconds and then open. Take your time with crate training. The goal is to have your miniature dog relaxed during training. Eventually he will enjoy spending time in his own little den. Never put the dog in the crate as a punishment. The crate can be very useful if you are having guests over and your dog is not fully socialized. A crate trained Chihuahua learns to associate the crate with a safe and secure place where he can relax and chew on his toys. The crate that you choose should be only big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around, and to stretch out. Chihuahuas enjoy to relax in spaces that fit their body size which makes them feel secure. If the crate is too big, the dog may be tempted to eliminate in one part of the crate and sleep in another. You may wish to use a separator if your crate is too big for a small Chihuahua to prevent the dog from using the crate as the toilet. The bedding in the crate can be anything from a towel to a specially made mat. The dog can use the crate to sleep at night and to relax during a day. You can use the crate to transport your pet to places like the vet. Do not leave your dog confined in a crate for more than two hours at a time.
Even a small dog breed such as the Chihuahua needs to be trained to walk on a leash. Chihuahua puppies aren't born knowing how to walk next to you on a leash and it is something that you will need to train the dog to do. Use treats and positive reinforcement. At first, get your dog comfortable wearing a collar without a leash. As soon as you put a collar on the dog, give him a small treat so that he starts associate the collar with positive experience. Same approach will work with a harness. At first not all dogs are immediately comfortable with wearing a collar or a harness and may resist. This is normal. Be understanding and patient with your puppy as this is a completely new experience for him.
Best dog food for Chihuahua
Feeding a Chihuahua a high quality dog food for small breeds is important to help keep your dog healthy inside and beautiful on the outside for many years to come. Because Chihuahuas are small in size, Chihuahuas eat very little, so it's important that the food you choose be the best that you can provide. Commercial dog foods come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Three basic types are available: dry, semi-moist and canned dog food. If you choose to feed your Chihuahua kibble (dry dog food), it is a good idea to add a healthy variety to the dry dog food, such as green beans, carrots, gravy, or canned meat. This plan gives your miniature dog adequate nutrition and variety.
If your older Chihuahua has dental issues that prevent the dog from chewing the dry dog food, try to add some hot water to the kibble for a minute or so and then drain the water. Do not leave the dog food in water too long, a minute should be enough to get the food softer so that your older Chihuahua can easily chew on it. Chihuahuas with low appetite also can enjoy their kibble prepared this way as the dog food gets warmed up in the water and the smell of the food is more enticing to the dog when it's warm.
Do Chihuahuas shed? Yes, both types of Chihuahuas (the short coated and long coated Chihuahuas) do shed and need regular brushing. Brush your Chihuahua's coat daily to prevent mats from forming. Daily brushing is essential for both smooth-coated and long-coated Chihuahuas. For a smooth-coated Chihuahua will need a soft bristle brush with natural bristles. A long-coated Chihuahua can be brushed with a slicker brush or pin brush, which lifts out loose hair and debris in long-coated dogs. A comb with wide teeth can also work well. Long-coated Chihuahuas will mat especially around the ears and around the tail. Remove any mats as soon as you notice one. Regular brushing helps to avoid mats. Long coated Chihuahuas shed more seasonally. Chihuahua females will shed profusely after each estral period, which is a good reason to have your Chihuahua spayed. Good nutrition helps to keep your dog's coat in top condition.
Adopt a Chihuahua
Adopting an older Chihuahua is a noble deed. Chihuahuas are famous for their longevity and even if you adopt a ten year old Chihuahua, you can look forward to enjoying many years with the dog. Expect an older Chihuahua to be a bit more reserved initially than a younger dog might be. He may have bonded with a former owner and needs some time to adjust. Sitting quietly and stroking your older dog while talking softly to him is usually soothing and will help him to relax. Your senior Chihuahua will usually make a transition to his new home in two weeks' time.
Adorable Chihuahua dogs sometimes are given as presents around the holidays. The new Chihuahua owners may not have the time or the desire to care for the "little present" and the dog ends up in a Chihuahua shelter or worse - on the street. Please do not give any dog as a present to anyone - the person may not want the dog, or is not interested in owning this specific dog breed. See video below that shows what happens to Chihahuas that were once given as presents and got abandoned.
Chihuahua health problems
Chihuahuas may suffer from Cancer, Collapsed Trachea, Cystinuria, Eye Conditions, Luxating Patellas, Heart conditions, Pancreatitis, Skin Diseases that include Baldness and dental health problems.
Cancer is less common in Chihuahua breed than in many other dog breeds. Melanoma is among the most common cancers that Chihuahua breed is susceptible to. When caught early, melanoma can be treatable by surgical excision of the tumor and the nearby surrounding tissue.
Collapsed Trachea is characterized by narrowing or collapse of the windpipe. Signs may include wheezing, difficulty breathing, and a harsh, honking cough. If your dog is pulling on the leash, the collar may be exerting pressure on the trachea and worsen the condition. It's best to use a harness instead of a collar on your Chihuahua to minimize the pressure on the throat.
Because Chihuahuas are fragile, they are prone to fractures. Never allow your Chihuahua to jump off high places or from your arms.
The Chihuahua is an ancient dog breed that originated in Mexico. Montezuma II, the last Aztec ruler, supposedly kept hundreds of Chihuahuas in his palace. Chihuahuas really started to become popular in the United States around 1850, when about two dozen of the breed were imported into the country. Others were sold to the American tourists in Mexican border towns. The American Kennel Club accepted the Chihuahua for registration in 1904. The very first registered Chihuahua was appropriately named Midget.