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| Physical Characteristics:|
Weight: 3-7 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
| Health & Longevity: 10-18 years|
Breeders screen for the following conditions:
| The American Kennel Club recognizes the Chihuahua in the following colors:|| Common markings for Chihuahuas include:|
Ailments that breeders screen for include knees, hearts and eyes. Dental issues are a very common problem, and some dogs, the very small ones especially, may suffer from hypoglycemia, a potentially fatal drop in blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can usually be managed with diet, but dogs prone to this condition will need careful monitoring, which precludes spending long hours alone. Puppies are especially susceptible to this condition.
Temperament & Train-ability
The tiny, lively, fun loving Chihuahua is one of the most popular breeds, with good reason. Playful and devoted, easy to care for, and a size that makes it easy to include them in all of life’s travels, their loyal following can’t get enough of their charm. Well suited to apartment and condo life, great companions for seniors, these little wonders can even make good family dogs. Pint-sized Chi’s are not suitable for young children, but oversized Chihuahuas can be found that are more appropriate. Still, toddlers are not the best match, even for oversized Chihuahuas. Just as your dog will need careful socialization to learn appropriate behavior around children, your children must be taught how to properly interact with your Chihuahua. Never allow children to pull ears, poke eyes, etc. Children should be taught how to recognize when a dog needs a break and give them space. The moderate exercise needs of a Chihuahua is easily satisfied with 20-30 minutes of play in the house or garden, or a walk about the neighborhood.
Somewhat mistrustful of strangers, early socialization will help them be more accepting; an under-socialized Chi may live in fear of anything new. Wanting nothing more than to be with their beloved people, Chi’s are not suited to spending hours alone. Highly sensitive, this breed thrives on the affection and companionship of their family. They may form an especially close bond with one person and become overprotective if allowed. Having all members of the family care for the dog will help avoid this situation. Alert and vigilant, Chihuahuas make great watchdogs. Chi’s can live with another dog, but often react poorly to strange dogs; care should be taken to teach them how to interact with other dogs to ensure their safety. Since they do not realize their small size, challenging a larger dog is dangerous, and your Chi will need vigilant supervision.
Chihuahuas don’t tolerate cold at all, and will need a sweater or coat when temperatures drop. They may shiver if cold; some dogs also shiver when excited or scared. Chihuahuas enjoy some outside time when the weather is pleasant, but a very secure yard is mandatory; they can squeeze out of very small spaces. Other outdoor dangers include being attacked by hawks, eagles, coyotes and large dogs. A Chihuahua should never live outdoors.
Training a Chihuahua is easy; they are smart, quick-minded, and love interacting with their people. Still, some can be willful and insistent on having their way. It is also easy to be charmed into submission by a precocious Chi, who may delight in bossing an entire household. The answer to these situations is to be calm but unwavering in your insistence that things be done your way. Positive reinforcement methods will get you to your goals far faster than squaring off. Lots of praise and a tiny treat will show your Chihuahua what you want; they generally learn very fast. Harsh methods will destroy the trust and bond that you treasure. With punitive methods, some Chi’s will become fearful and crushed; others may fight back in self-defense.
Size doesn’t stop these little powerhouses from joining the fun; many Chihuahuas compete in obedience, rally, agility, nosework, and some make wonderful therapy dogs. Even if competing doesn’t interest you, training for these sports or even tricks will keep your little one sharp and exercised, and is tremendously fun.
Housetraining a Chihuahua is usually easy, if you follow a consistent plan. Many owners opt for an indoor potty option for their dogs, such as pee pads or another type of potty tray. This ensures an acceptable location for the dog to relieve itself is always close by, reducing the likelihood of accidents in unwanted places. Chihuahuas have very small bladders, and the option to relieve themselves when they need to is helpful for everyone.
Chihuahuas are available in two coat varieties: smooth and long. Both are very easy care, requiring little more than occasional baths and some brushing for the long coats. Both varieties shed little, though during spring and fall you’ll notice an increase.
Ears must be cleaned regularly, and toenails will need to be trimmed, as most Chihuahuas will not wear their nails down even if walked on concrete. Teeth must also be checked and cleaned regularly.
Sizes vary widely in the Chihuahua, but an average range of food would be ¼-1/2 cup per day. This should be fed in 2 meals per day; if your dog suffers from hypoglycemia, you will probably need to feed smaller amounts up to 4 times a day. Your veterinarian can advise on how best to manage your dog’s blood sugar. Some Chihuahuas can be picky eaters, which will be made worse if they are fussed over at mealtime. A constant supply of fresh, clean water must always be available.
Looking for a Chihuahua?
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Chihuahua Puppies For Sale
Adopt A Chihuahua
Many breeders sell Chihuahuas anywhere from $700-$1,500. The “micro” Chihuahuas are sold for upwards of $5,000-$10,000. Be aware, there is only one Chihuahua breed; those marketing “micro” or “teacup” Chihuahuas are using marketing to sell especially tiny dogs. Those intentionally breeding for extremely small size often experience many health issues. There are also many rescue organizations where lovely dogs can be found; adoption fees vary widely, but are generally in the $200-$500 range.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors such as cost, skill level needed, high vs. low maintenance, and how critical regular training is to success. The Chihuahua rates a 1.5. Their cost is not usually prohibitive, they are usually easy to live with and have no great need for ongoing training to be happy.
Breeds Similar To Chihuahua