While Chihuahuas can be the best example if you are looking for a new companion since this breed excels at it and they don’t require much exercise as other breeds making it perfect for small places, they have a bad reputation related to their temperament but this is due to bad management from their owners that doesn’t understand to its fullest how to raise a Chihuahua, resulting in an impossible dog after, for example, you forgot he is actually a dog despite being the smallest dog breed, and so you started to treat him like a toy. They can be such a great family dog but this would depend entirely on you and how much you are willing to give them. To find out more about this amazing and unique dog breed, stay with me for a little longer so I can hopefully guide you in the right direction when it comes to handling this gentleman in dog shape when treated with the respect it deserves.
The Chihuahua had been around for quite a while but unfortunately, their origin remains unclear as there are some theories about it, none of them is certain. Most people will relate this dog breed with Mexico because they are called after one of its states, Chihuahua, and probably some commercials related to Mexican food as well. Some Chihuahua’s were pets of celebrities that helped this breed become known to the world but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was brought to the U.S. according to some data.
Like I’ve mentioned before, a Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed you’ll find averaging between 9 inches and 7 inches of height for the male and female chihuahua respectively, as for the weight is concerned, both male and female share the same range going somewhere in between 2 and 6 lbs. They have pointy and erect ears, big rounded eyes and some may develop a “soft spot” called Molera, which refers to a space on the skull where the bones won’t fuse and thus they leave this soft and awkward area on his head but it doesn’t happen to every Chihuahua. When it comes to the color of their coat you practically have the pick of the litter since they have almost every color and/or pattern, aside from this there are two options you have as for the length of its coat which is short haired or long haired Chihuahua. No matter the length of his coat a Chihuahua isn’t a dog breed that requires that much attention, you can brush their hair once a week and it would be completely fine, same goes for each bath, I don’t mean this so you bathe him once per week, instead is the low necessity of it where one bath per month it’s ok with this breed so you can maintain his smooth coat, and being a small dog it shouldn’t be that expensive either.
Thanks to their size, the Chihuahua lifespan could be considered a long one resembling the average life expectancy of a cat since they practically share the same size, although some cats tend to be bigger than them, you can expect your new pet to last about 14 to 18 years, in some cases pushing it to 20 years if you give them the best and proper care and management.
CARE AND MANAGEMENT
Being a small dog they have different requirements for both care and management to ensure this breed can live happily to its full potential. For starters, they are not a toy and you shouldn’t treat them differently in any way as they tend to be temperamental, so if they feel threatened his behavior will change just as if you never allow them to be a dog, to have the experience of running around instead of being carried all over the place or you have them like a baby, you can be sure you’ll get a problematic pet which will likely end up on a shelter so it can be somebody else’s problem and blame the dog after YOU bred him like something he is not. The size of the Chihuahua can be convenient for many things but you must know when and how to take advantage of this aspect.
They are smart dogs, loyal, loving and quite active, making them seem like the perfect companion and family dog but if you have small children at home you must be aware of how they’ll both behave to one another since kids don’t know how to assess their treatment towards to your new Chihuahua since they are fragile pets that are better handled by adults or someone with experience so you can avoid any problems. You can warn the kids and also teach them how to deal with this new small but great family member that will stick with you for quite some time since their average lifespan, as I’ve said before it can get up to two decades, so I will highly recommend you to deal with this and any other manner you think it can affect the environment in the household.
Something else you must consider is that puppies can’t hold for much time their need to use the potty, it ranges about every 2 hours or so, in the case of the Chihuahua, they are smaller than a regular puppy so their bladder would be smaller as well-meaning you´ll need to have more patience and time when it comes to potty training. Is part of their anatomy and if you decide to adopt a Chihuahua then you should be well aware of this aspect and the rest that comes with every pet you might get. Crate training might be a challenge since every cage would be big enough so your Chihuahua can assign one side as potty and the remaining of it as the resting place, even a bag will end up being the same issue. My best recommendation is that you seek help if you don’t know how to handle this situation before you resort to violence even if you think it is minimal or “just verbally”, it will be enough reason so he can become aggressive in response and may become untreatable even for you. So do your pet a favor and try as best to keep a positive mindset and use positive reinforcement when he gets the job done, no one is born wise or at least has a sense of certain things to tell the difference at such a young age.
More than great companions they thrive in small departments, but you must remember and keep in mind their need of exercise even when he is not as demanding as many other breeds, it is something you should give him as much as possible because besides helping him to socialize and learn to live with other family members and other pets, he will be able to spend more time with his favorite human being. This goes for you as well, meaning if you find yourself at a pickle and can’t handle a certain situation always call for help before you try being a hero or smartass. There are some aspects of your dog that some breeders tend to lecture you or will give you a heads up since they interested in the welfare of their herd, call it interest for reputation or being worried and kind to you, a good breeder will be at your service and it will make the difference, that’s why a reputable breeder earn this title and also will ensure your Chihuahua puppy can be “safer” to some inherited diseases.
Another person what will play a big role during your time as an owner is the veterinarian of your Chihuahua since he will explain in more detail this heritable diseases and more, starting with proper nutrition for your new puppy, he’ll help you choose the best dog food on the market depending on the age and needs of your pet since there is some medicated dog food on the market for some alterations they may have. The same goes as for the time to change the puppy food for an adult one, and the times and the amount you should feed your Chihuahua. Having a smaller dog will mean that you can save some money on the maintenance as a whole, small size requires small portions of food and will be less work when it comes to groomers if you can’t do it by yourself.
Speaking of diseases, there’s also another “bad treat” about the Chihuahua dog, they are known as barkers just like most small dog breeds but this will depend on each particular dog and how you breed him. Some diseases to which they are prone to a heart disease that could start as a heart murmur, epilepsy, Legg-perthes disease, tracheal collapse, and dislocating kneecap or you can also find it as a luxating patella or patellar luxation, while others such as the dental disease could be from bad management but this could easily be avoided if you take your Chihuahua for his regular check-up at the vet every once in a while, this way you not only will save some money on the treatment for a Periodontal disease but you’ll also spare probably a traumatic memory for your dog, not that they treat them bad or that it hurts the treatment but it’s a tedious protocol that can and should be avoided. The tracheal disease can be aggravated or will present more easily using collars that make pressure in the same trachea, so being a predisposed breed is not always indicative of being the main reason and so it is highly recommended that you maintain a good relationship with your vet and tell him everything so you feel sorry or afraid of being judged, as for this particular case he will recommend you to buy a soft collar for example. It is better to be honest as this will save your vet time in making an accurate diagnosis about what is happening to your Chihuahua. Keep in mind that if you don’t tell them something, it may well be represented in a test or exam later on which could be a greater embarrassment, not make them feel sorry for their pet and much worse, an unnecessary and longer bad time.
The Chihuahua breed can get to be one of the best pets you can adopt but it’s important that besides giving them the respect they deserve (as well as every other pet or living being), but you also would need to spend a good amount of time with them to avoid any issues on his behavior towards you, your family or even strangers. Small breeds tend to bark more than a large dog breed so early training is a must and even more when you are dealing with a smart dog breed. This way you can also learn the body language of your Chihuahua in case he might get a serious disease you can detect it at an early stage, take most health issues where your dog will get tired frequently meaning that if you take them for some walks they’ll stop to rest more often or they could even start coughing when they have cardiomyopathy. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether you make them the great companion they can be or add more numbers to abandoned Chihuahuas on shelters. Owning a dog is a responsibility that many people underestimate while others become such a good pet owner that provides the best care that you could give a living being and that is through love.
I hope you’ve liked this article about this little dog that could become a big factor in your life and both of you can enjoy each other’s company since you’ll get stuck with this amazing dog breed for quite some time thanks to this dog’s lifespan. If you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.