“Aye Chihuahua!” A high utterance after tasting your favorite firehouse chili generously overdosed with cayenne pepper. Or, a greeting to your lovable pet pooch should you prefer the spicier temperamental powder keg pup known as the Chihuahua. Let’s take a look at some fun dog breed facts about Chihuahuas.
Tiniest Dog Breed
One of the most interesting facts about Chihuahuas is they are the tiniest dog breed in the world. They are small enough you can carry them in your purse, although I don’t recommend it! Many people with small homes or apartments choose a Chihuahua for its small stature.
This tiny dog breed hails from Mexico. You may remember the breed from the cute pup in the Taco Bell commercials! And, even though the Chihuahua may be tiny, don’t tell them that! They believe they are Great Dane size and are fearless little things!
Chihuahuas are normally 6 to 12 inches tall with some giants reaching up to 15 inches. They can weigh from three to nearly seven whopping pounds for show purposes. If allowed to overeat, or too many loving treats, they can pack on pounds and can exceed ten pounds.
Physical Attributes of the Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have minuscule legs, freakishly large hypnotic eyes, two pointy radar antennae ears, and a wagging tail.
They come in both long and short hair varieties, or long-coat and smooth-coat, as they are often called.
These cute little dogs come in colors that include fawn, red, cream, chocolate, blue, black, with patterns adding sable, brindle, and merle. The traditional color is fawn.
Head Shape – Apple or Deer Head
There are two head shapes for Chihuahuas – Deer Head and Apple Head. It is easy to tell the difference.
Deer head Chihuahuas have a longer snout and more elongated head. In other words, it is shaped more like a “deer” head. Deer heads also seem to have a longer body than their apple headed cousins.
Apple head Chihuahuas have more rounded heads with a short snout. Their foreheads are much more prominent as is their eyes than those of a deer head. It is to be noted that Apple head Chihuahuas seem to have more health problems than the deer heads.
If you are looking for a show dog, the Apple Head is what you NEED to choose as the Deer Heads are not allowed – something to do with those pesky characteristic rules. However, if you want a family pet with less medical issues, the Deer Head is the one of choice.
Chihuahuas are a devoted loving dog but have high strung personalities. They are also very vicious for their size, heck for any size.
Their larger-than-life bravado often puts their fragile necks on the line – literally! In fact, they are gluttons for punishment and will try to bully dogs much bigger than themselves despite the punishing aftermath that frequently results.
Not For Small Children
Chihuahuas, while super cute little dogs are not suited for small children. Don’t be fooled by their cuteness as they are prone to snappy mood swings.
Another consideration with kids and Chihuahuas is not only can they be snappy but children can easily hurt the dog. After all, their tiny size comes with super delicate legs and feet that can be hurt easily with rough-housing children.
These little dogs can also be extremely jealous and tend to latch onto a single master. This can be a predicament if you are married, have a significant other, or are dating.
One of my very own Chihuahuas (gone on to Rainbow Bridge years ago) would get on the bed, snap, and snarl refusing to let my husband lay down!
Chihuahuas and Other Dogs
When dealing with other dogs, Chihuahuas prefer other small dogs or dogs their size. Right now, our little Chihuahua lives with 9 other dogs both large and small.
She absolutely adores our little Rat Terrier and they stick close together. They even share a bed.
On the other hand, that “big dog in a little body” syndrome has gotten her into trouble with the giant breed dogs on multiple occasions. In true Chihuahua form, she picked the fights by snapping and snarling in their face but was no match for their size. She truly has been on a few suicide missions – EEK! And, it has meant a few vet trips. So, beware if you have other large dogs!
Chihuahuas have more health risks than many breeds. They also have a wide range of life spans, from 8 to 18 years.
They also tend to tremble a lot. This does not mean they are sick. Most of this is comes from nerves, but they also do not tolerate cold or cool weather. Even the air conditioning can be a little much for them. A soft shirt or cuddly blanket is recommended.
The breed is high maintenance requiring expert dental care and even birthing. Those adoring eyes are close to the ground and therefore prone to infections.
Chihuahuas are the only dog breed to be born with incomplete skulls. It requires 6 months of gentle care until their soft spot hardens.
As stated above, they have very delicate bones in their legs and feet. Even jumping down from a bed or sofa and landing wrong can cause a broken bone.
Chihuahuas can also tend to be finicky eaters. So you must be aware that they not only eat enough but not too much as well.
If they don’t eat enough, they can suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can also happen if they don’t eat often enough. In some cases, low blood sugar can lead to a coma if left undetected. For this reason, I recommend giving them smaller meals more often. I feed my little girl 3 times a day instead of the regular 2 meals my bigger dogs get.
On the flip side, they can have a tendency to eat too much. Obese Chihuahuas bring another range of health issues such as joint injuries, trachea collapse, chronic bronchitis, and a much shorter life span.
Why Would You Want A Chihuahua?
By now, you may be thinking this little spitfire is more than I am counting on. So why would anyone in his or her right mind want such a walking wagging disaster?
If you live in an apartment or small home, they are the perfect size companion. And, obviously, if you travel a lot and need to bring your pet with you, Chihuahuas are the lightweight champions.
These little dogs do become very devoted and will give you years of love and companionship. And, what if they are a little spirited? I happen to like their fiery spirit and wouldn’t trade my little “fiery spirited” girl for anything 🙂 I hope these facts about Chihuahuas help in your decision.