Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the world's smallest dog and its history is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that it originated in Asia, others that it came from Europe. But no matter where the breed got its start, it really is a dog of Mexico. Figurines found in Chi-Chen-Itza, Colima, and other ruined cities of the South American continent are very much like the present day Chihuahua. This coupled with the fact that in several Mayan dialects ‘chi’ means dog, would seem to place the ancestors of the Chihuahua in the Mayan period.

There are two types of Chihuahua:
The Smooth Coat – featuring a soft, glossy coat that is placed well over the body with a ruff on neck.
The Long Coat – featuring a flat or sometimes slightly curly coat and a long, full tail.

Overview

Average lifespan
This small and feisty little dog will often live up to 12 years of age, but Chihuahuas can live up to 15 years of age if cared for with the correct nutrition.

Average height & weight
With these little dogs a healthy female usually weighs 1.8kg and is just 15cm tall, while the male is not much bigger at 2.7kg and 20cm tall.

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The Chihuahua is a great little companion dog that is just as content to exercise itself in the back yard as it is to take a long, sprightly walk. Despite their size, these happy dogs are ‘blessed’ with a surprisingly loud bark and thrive on human company.

Compatibility with other pets
The Chihuahua is truly a companionable animal and therefore thrives on the company of other animals. It will stand up for itself, but if you do have big dogs in the home it is best to keep an eye on this little dog while it is playing with them just to make sure all is well.

Care requirements
Minimal care requirements exist with this breed, but it is an active little dog and should be fed and cared for accordingly. It requires an amount of regular exercise or will tend to gain weight. The Long Coat needs a good brushing once or twice a week to keep it healthy and free of any debris it may pick up. The Smooth Coat, depending on how often it is taken outside, will only need minimal attention to its coat.

Decision time

Ideal owners
Being such a small dog, it is well suited to almost all types of living environments. They are especially ideal for heavily populated cities and can be happily housed in a small flat, but some outdoor exercise is still a must.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
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