Dog Breed 101: Chihuahua

Dog Breed 101: Chihuahua

Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)

Introduction

Can a chihuahua be a guard dog? Yes, Chihuahuas can be an excellent guard dog if trained well. Also, they are loyal and protective of their owners. They are vocal dogs and are wary of intruders and outsiders, so if someone approaches your home or aims to intrude, your Chihuahua is going to make sure everyone knows about it. So, Chihuahuas make excellent guard dogs.

When chihuahuas are treated with respect, they form loyal, friendly and good domestic pets. They can get all the exercises they need at home or in the apartment. So they can live in any place, from a tiny apartment to a large farmhouse.

History

From the beginning of 200 BC, a Chihuahua ancestor appeared in art from Mexico's Colima region. According to travel writer Susan Daring, Mayans and other Mesoamericans were often buried with pictures of dogs or puppies resembling Chihuahua because they believed that dogs helped people travel safely in the afterlife.

Like their modern-day relatives, the early Chihuahuas were important in life as well as in death. Another well-known Chihuahua art is Botticelli's "Scenes from the Life of Moses." This art was completed in 1482 in Rome's Sistine Chapel and featured a small dog resembling a Chihuahua. More significant than the modern-day Chihuahua, that little white dog curled up into the little boy's loving arms.

 Since the 15th century, dogs such as the Chihuahua have been found in paintings worldwide by artists such as Pietro Longhi, Vittore Carpaccio, Charles Van den Eycken, Sir Edward Landseer, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Personality

Chihuahuas are the best companion dogs. They love care and are loyal to their pet parents. Although considered a pet dog, they are active and like to be kept in custody.

Chihuahuas are good family pet when they are respected, but they have a reputation for barking on strangers or small children that can be a threat to their small size.

Like many small dogs, they are more likely to bark than to bite, like some large dogs. They can also try to dominate their bosses and have an individual temperament.

Companionship

Do Chichuahua protect their pet parents? Being a human companion, Chihuahua took it seriously. According to breeders, they are protective and confidant and protect you by using their yappy bark when they see danger. Chihuahuas are known to exclude their other family members and remain loyal to only one person. But these playful, funny little dogs thrive in human contact and are dedicated to their beloved owners. They want to be with you the whole day and need constant companionship to be happy.

Chihuahuas may be small, but these small packages are full of personality. Classified by the AKC as a toy dog breed, they are usually weighed less than 6 pounds (3 kg), but each ounce counts. And despite its small size, the Chihuahua will have no problem standing in front of larger dogs (or acting aggressively). According to the AKC, Chihuahuas are only partial to a single dog breed - their own.

Breed Characteristic

Weight Ranges:

  • Male: 2-6 lbs.

  • Female: 2-6 lbs.

Height at Withers:

  • Male: 9 in.

  • Female: 7 in.

Other Features:

  • Ears: Upright (naturally)
  • Exercise Requirements: <20 minutes/day
  • Energy Levels: Very energetic
  • Longevity Ranges: 14-18 yrs.
  • The tendency to Drool: Low 
  • The tendency to Snore: Moderate to high
  • The Tendency to Bark: Moderate to high
  • The Tendency to Dig: Low 
  • Social/Attention Needs: High
  • Bred For: Companionship

Coat Characteristic

  • Coat Length: short/long
  • Coat type: Flat, straight
  • Coat Colours: Any colour
  • Overall Grooming Requirements: Low

Club Recognition

  • AKC Classifications: Toy
  • UKC Classifications: Companion Dog
  • Prevalence: Common

Fact: Chihuahuas are the most miniature dogs in the world.

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