The Chihuahua is a fascinating breed of dog that is often overlooked (no pun intended). Tiny and portable, it displays a degree of loyalty and affection few humans could achieve even if they tried.
With their historical roots in ancient Mexico, the ancestors of today’s small fighting canines were first discovered in the region that now bears the breed’s name (Chihuahua, Mexico borders the US states of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico ).
Our current Chihuahua is a descendant of the small Mayan Techichi, a dog whose existence dates back to the 5th century AD. Wealthy members of Aztec society, as well as their clergy, revered the Techichi as a sacred animal.
Likewise, many owners of the adorable tiny Chihuahua hold their pets in high enough regard that it appears that the animals continue to be considered sacred.
The AKC (American Kennel Club) first recognized the breed in 1904. The short-haired variety is typically considered the breed standard, although long-haired dogs are gaining popularity. These longer-haired relatives look a bit like the tiny French Papillion.
Renowned for its longevity (many Chihuahuas live into their late teens); They are generally healthy dogs that require relatively little maintenance. Health problems are rare in the breed, making them surprisingly friendly despite their diminutive stature.
Alert and intelligent, the Chihuahua is a wonderful alarm system. With their small size, of course, they are the ideal lap dog, making them a perfect companion for the elderly. As they can be a bit nervous at times, they are not always the best option for households with noisy and active youth.
Your exercise requirements are relatively minimal. They don’t appreciate colder weather, so a fun indoor game can often suffice in lieu of outdoor excursions. If you’re taking your little friend out for a walk on cold days, it’s a good idea to dress him in a soft, comfortable sweater or coat. Even if you think they seem silly, they have a really practical application. With short hair and a weight of around 7 pounds (even less in some), an extra layer of protection outdoors is a good idea for any Chihuahua.
For lighter colored Chihuahuas (white, cream, and some of the pale shades of fawn), a little sunscreen is a good idea if it goes with you on your adventures during the summer.
If you are interested in adopting one of these charming little dogs, make sure you have plenty of time to interact with your new pet. They require a lot of attention and thrive when they can be included as members of the family. Once your Chihuahua is tame and can be left (if necessary) for several hours, a comfortable crate is essential.
Chihuahuas love their cages when they are presented in a kind and correct way. The box is a safe haven, not a place of punishment. Being a denning animal, they are more likely to feel safe in their own little secluded space if they can’t be with you. Make sure the box is big enough for you to stretch out and move around. Cover the bottom with an absorbent pad (in case of an accident), a soft blanket for sleeping, and a stuffed animal for snuggling. Make sure toys do not have parts that can be torn off and swallowed, such as teddy bears with plastic eyes or noses; such things can pose a real choking hazard.
When deciding where to adopt, look for the most reputable breeders. If you have a local resource that you can visit to get to know the parents and the environment in which they began their lives first-hand, this is a wonderful way to go.
If you have to consider an out-of-state adoption, do your best to ensure that you are working with a caring and licensed breeder. Talk to multiple references. Make sure they have a phone number and an email address where they can be reached. Check with the BBB to verify that there are no claims against you.
If all goes well and you are comfortable with the purchase, make sure all terms regarding the puppy’s journey home are fully agreed upon before submitting your certified payment. You will likely have to make arrangements for the dog’s flight to your local airport and make sure you are there waiting for him the moment he arrives.
Bring a small harness, leash, cage, towel, and blanket, as well as some clean, cool water (you will likely be thirsty after your trip) and / or baby formula as recommended by the breeder. Take him outside with his harness and place him gently on a small grassy spot in case he needs to relieve himself. Try to find an area that is not congested; too much activity will be overwhelming at this juncture.
There are many resources, including online information sites and interesting TV shows (be sure to keep an eye out for the many shows that air on Animal Planet, like Dogs 101) that can help educate you on various dog breeds.
If the Chihuahua is the breed that best suits your lifestyle and temperament, you are sure to be delighted with this new addition to your family!