Chihuahuas 101

short hair chihuahuaThe Basics:
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world. According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), the Chihuahua can officially weigh between 2 - 6 lbs. The CKC (Continental Kennel Club) allows up to 7 lbs. for Chihuahuas. This weight standard is based on a healthy weight, so if your Chihuahua exceeds these weights, it is no longer considered a Chihuahua! Just kidding! Your Chihuahua is just not a show quality Chihuahua, he is considered pet quality. No worries, if you have a chubby Chi, it is still a Chihuahua regardless of what the kennel clubs say! While the Chihuahua is the officially the smallest breed in the world, the Yorkshire Terrier is a close second which has a max weight of 7 lbs (AKC).

As of 2011, the Guinness world record for the smallest dog is a long-haired female Chihuahua named Boo Boo. She stands at only 4 inches tall and weighs a feathery 2 pounds!The worlds smallest dogBoo Boo - The World's Smallest Dog!

The Chihuahua is usually an agile and graceful dog, capable of fast speeds for their small size and a considerable vertical leap. However, some of the smaller and more fragile types of this breed can be quite frail in the legs and as a result can become overly cautious in their own movements and may even appear clumsy at times. If your chihuahua has long frail legs, you may want to take precaution with letting them onto tall furniture.

Chihuahuas have been known to break their legs simply by jumping off of a couch. Read More About Physical Traits..

If you are considering becoming a Chihuahua owner please watch this video  from the Discovery Channel first:

Your Chihuahua puppy is not born with erect ears! nor even at 2 weeks old, it may take some pups ears from 6 to 8 weeks, some pups may take up to a year, some pups ears may not ever fully stand up. It is still a Chihuahua, if it's ears do not fully stand up, it is just not eligible for the show ring. It does not mean it is not a Chihuahua! No one really knows why. I've seen pups from the same litter where a single pup's ear or ears do not become fully erect. They tend to droop during teething.

Temperament:

Chihuahuas are a very complicated dog breed. They are extremely loyal to their owners and very eager to give and receive affection from them. While not known for their playfulness, Chihuahuas are more than happy to do so with someone they trust. Chihuahuas make a great companion dog because they form such a strong bond with their owners. They are also very fond of snuggling and sleeping under the covers with you.

A Chihuahua can appear to be a peace loving, well tempered dog in the world until somebody new knocks on your door! If you have more than one Chihuahua they seem to join forces in barking! That's pack mentality! Without proper training Chihuahuas can be notorious yappers, barking at the slightest noise or disturbance. Chihuahuas are strong willed and can be difficult to train. They can also be unpredictable around small children. Read More About Temperament..

Health:
The Chihuahua is generally a very healthy breed of dog. The are not prone to many illness or defects, and have one of the longest expected life spans of any breed. The Chihuahua has a life expectancy of 15 - 22 years with some Chihuahuas living to as old as 25 years! There is a woman on YouTube who claims her Chihuahua is 32 years old, but this has not been officially verified (click here for video). While the Chihuahua is a very healthy breed of dog, compared to other breeds, there are common risk factors associated with any breed of dog, and the Chihuahua is no exception.

Virtually all Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on their skull called a molera, or fontenal. This is the same soft spot that human babies are born with so that they can pass through the birth canal without putting too much pressure on the brain. In most Chihuahuas the molera will close up completely by adult hood, but some never completely close. It is considered a normal trait or characteristic not a defect in Chihuahuas, especially the apple head (dome shaped head). It is a trait often desired by some breeders. Studies have found that there is no relationship with an open fontanel and hydrocephalus. They can die if they get hit in the molera, so precautions should be taken, no small children, no dropping them, no playing with big dogs, and certainly no smacking on the head!

Another disorder that is common among Chihuahuas and other toy breeds is called the "reverse sneeze" or "backwards sneeze" which sounds like snorting, honking, wheezing, and well...sneezing. This is believed to be caused by an elongated soft palate that has become misaligned. Read More About Chihuahua Health..

A little about dog registries. Dog registries (AKC, ACA, CKC, APRI) can not guarantee a dog's health, size, personality, etc. They simply record and track a dog's information with a serial number along with names, addresses, breed, color, owners, pedigrees, and now some with DNA records.

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Comments   

+1 #1 Jimmy 2014-01-24 05:15
I love that chihuahua video
#2 KellyAnn 2014-07-25 03:50
I have the sweetest apple head chihuahua. No one believes she is one as she's sooooooo mellow. She rides on the back of my. Harley, goes kayaking, you name it, she loves it. She's only 5 lbs and my bestest bud ever.