The Chihuahua dog breed is actually known by several names depending primarily on size but regardless, the dog is small, cute, and has a distinct appearance. The Chihuahua is known for its bold yet sweet nature and of all known breeds, this is the smallest.
However, you should not be fooled by the tiny body because this dog definitely has an alpha personality. While the Chihuahua dog breed has many wonderful character traits and qualities that make it an ideal breed for some people, there are some downsides to consider prior to buying.
Sadly, after the Taco Bell commercial with a talking Chihuahua aired many years ago, demand for this particular dog skyrocketed. However, without first researching and understanding this dog, some people turned puppies and adult dogs into kennels.
Today, overpopulation of the Chihuahua dog breed remains a problem, especially on the West Coast. Just as the saying goes, “Big things come in small packages”, which definitely describes the Chihuahua dog breed.
Information and History
At maturity, the Chihuahua dog breed only reaches up to nine inches tall and six pounds although they can be as small as six inches tall and just two pounds in weight. Typically, organizations list the Chihuahua’s life span as 14 to 18 years but in reality, there have been many owners who have enjoyed the life of their dog for 22 years and more thanks to proper healthcare, good diet, and lots of love.
As far as the dog’s precise history, there are three distinct theories so ultimately, no one is certain how this breed originated. In saying that, one thing that all experts agree on is that in 1850, a Chihuahua was identified in Mexico where it was officially named.
This breed quickly gained popularity because of its adorable appearance but also ease of care and within a short time, the Chihuahua was introduced to the North American continent. Even though there are areas of the country where many beautiful Chihuahuas need to be adopted and given forever homes, the Chihuahua dog breed remains in high demand.
Pros of the Chihuahua Dog Breed
We wanted to mention some of the things that people love best about this dog, followed below by a few negative aspects that should be considered before buying. For starters, because of the small size and due to this breed needing very little exercise, if any at all, the Chihuahua makes an excellent pet for people who live in homes without yards, apartment dwellers, and even individuals with little to no mobility.
Along this same line, the Chihuahua is a great lap and companion dog that loves nothing more than cuddling, especially under bed covers at night.
Another aspect of the Chihuahua breed that people like is that grooming requirements are minimal. Sure, this dog would need regular brushing and nail trimming but in most cases, even the long-haired variety needs little in the way of grooming.
Now, the one thing to know is that the Chihuahua is notorious for having problems with the anal glands becoming full. While the process of emptying the glands is unpleasant, it would be suggest that new owners learn the right way of releasing the fluid but of course, a groomer or veterinarian could also do this. If the anal glands were not emptied, the dog would be miserable and susceptible to more serious problems.
In addition, the Chihuahua dog breed is an incredibly smart dog, one that is easy to train. While there are some that need a little more patience than others, overall, this breed wants to please and therefore, gives all as a way of mastering given commands. As a side note, people must remember that this dog is very tiny and therefore, fragile. Because of this, any training that involves a leash and collar would need to be done properly and with care to prevent harm.
Cons of the Chihuahua Dog Breed
There are not many things that would be considered negative about the Chihuahua but a couple things should be addressed. The most important factor is that because this breed tends to be timid and slightly nervous, the Chihuahua is not recommended for homes with children, especially smaller children. However, even a home with older children would be a problem in most cases because of elevated noise levels.
Additionally, placing a Chihuahua in a home with other pets would need to be carefully considered. Although some Chihuahuas do amazingly well with both dogs and cats, regardless of breed or size, most prefer being a single pet, which allows them all the owner’s love and attention.
It is also important to know that while intelligent, this breed is stubborn. For instance, when training, if a Chihuahua were to become bored, the session would simply end due to the refusal to carry on.
Of course, using positive reinforcement, offering favorite treats, and keeping training sessions limited to no more than 10 minutes at a time would easily rectify the problem. The Chihuahua dog breed is also a fussy eater. In fact, this breed is so particular that many owners bypass conventional food, preferring to make homemade recipes instead.
We also wanted to mention that depending on owner, the Chihuahua’s courage and intense loyalty could be seen as something great or something annoying. This dog does not realize its small size so if a large dog were to enter the property or approach the master, the Chihuahua would have no problem taking a stance and even chasing the dog away.
Finally, anyone thinking about buying a Chihuahua needs to understand that loud noises such as fireworks usually send the dog in hiding and sometimes, to the point of needing to be sedated by a veterinarian. Therefore, environment is one of the key factors when thinking about buying this breed.