Chihuahua – decorative dogs of extremely small size. Infinitely devoted to the owner and extremely proud. They are among the top 10 most popular breeds in the world.
- Breed Name: Chihuahua
- Country of origin: Mexico
- Weight: 0.5-3 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 15-23 cm
- Life expectancy: 11-14 years old
- In relationships with larger dogs, they behave on equal terms. Barking a 50-pound shepherd dog for a chihuahua is a common thing.
- Are able to get along with other pets if they agree to recognize their authority.
- Ideal companions, ready to accompany the owner wherever possible.
- Are playful and active, but often require increased attention to their own person.
- Have a strong attachment to the owner and follow his every step.
- Easily adapt to any environment and can be content with rare and short walks, and if necessary, completely do without them.
- Do not agree to put up with loneliness and long absences of the owner.
- Are very touchy and prone to frequent outbursts of jealousy.
- Chihuahuas fully mature by the first year of life.
Chihuahua - a small dog with a big heart. These crumbs easily adapt to the interests of the owner and the situation, so they can simultaneously combine the features of an incorrigible stay-at-home and a desperate traveler. Chihuahua is easy to transport, he is welcome in all hotels offering accommodation with pets, and at social events such a dog is almost always persona grata. Recently, chihuahuas have been actively conquering the world of gloss, traveling in celebrity handbags and actively participating in magazine photo shoots.
History of the Chihuahua breed
The name of the breed was given by the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It was from here that the companion dogs began their triumphal march first across the American continent, and subsequently around the world. The ancestors of today's Chihuahuas are considered to be ancient Techichi dogs, which were bred by Toltec Indians in the IX century. Small in size and absolutely mute animals were raised by the indigenous population purely for practical purposes: they were eaten, and sometimes sacrificed to local deities. When the Toltec civilization declined, its lands passed to the Aztecs, who continued breeding "delicious dogs" and engaged in this business until the arrival of the conquistadors of Cortes.
With the fall of the Aztec Empire, difficult times came for the Techichi, as well as for their "breeders". The animals were almost completely exterminated by the Spaniards, and only a few survivors took refuge in the forests. For almost a century nothing was heard about Techichi, and only since the middle of the XIX century traces of their descendants began to be traced. During this period, tourists from America increasingly visited Mexico, to whom local merchants offered exclusive live goods – tiny dogs that fit in their pockets. The color of the animals at the same time could be very diverse, but one thing remained unchanged – their miniature size.
At first, the dogs were named after the places where they were bought, for example, "Arizona" or "Mexican". But gradually the name of the northern state of Mexico – Chihuahua, or in Russian pronunciation – Chihuahua, became fixed for the breed. The descendants of the Aztec Techichi entered the US stud book in 1904, and three years later the mini-dogs crossed the Atlantic and settled with British breeders. The first breed standard for Chihuahuas was signed in 1923 in America, and at first the breeders' association recognized only short-haired dogs as pedigreed. Long-haired individuals were included in the FCI standard only in 1954.
The first owner of a chihuahua in the USSR was N. S. Khrushchev. Puppies were presented to the Secretary General in 1959 by Cuban Comandante Fidel Castro. Soon the chihuahua with the nicknames Mishter and Mushinka migrated to the breeder Evgenia Zharova, who took the breeding of the breed under personal control. As a result, Mishter, who was tied up with another imported bitch, became the ancestor of domestic "pocket" dogs. Mushinka, who for health reasons and age was not suitable for the birth of offspring, made a career in cinema. You can see this "Mexican emigrant" in the movie "The Elusive Avengers", where she sits on the arms of the character Boris Sichkin.
Appearance of a chihuahua
The appearance of modern chihuahuas is partly the legacy of ancient techichi, partly the product of many years of experiments on mating animals with representatives of other breeds. For example, genes can be found in the blood of today's chihuahuas toy terriers , spitz , papillions and pinscher .
The skull is rounded, shaped like an apple. Individuals without a fontanel are considered standard, but for animals of the pet category, the presence of a small non-ossified area of the skull is allowed. The muzzle is wide and short, gradually tapering to the nose. When viewed from the side – straight. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is quite wide, pronounced clearly. The cheeks are flat and dry, tightly fitting to the skull.
Jaws and teeth
The bite of a chihuahua is straight and scissor-shaped. The optimal number of teeth is 4 canines, 12 incisors, 10 molars and 16 premolars.
Short, looks up a little. The color of the lobe can be black, or in the tone of the main color of the animal, although in the case of show-class individuals, preference is given to the first option.
Round, large, but without bulge. The ideal shade of the iris is dark. Light eyes are not a reason to disqualify a chihuahua, although they are undesirable.
Erect, wide at the base, with a gently rounded tip. In a dog that is in a calm state, they are "divorced" in different directions and hang at an angle of 45 °.
Medium length, with a slight bend at the top. Males have a more massive neck.
Compact, with a short back and a muscular loin. The top line is smooth. The croup is broad, strong, without a noticeable slope. Chest of sufficient width, moderately deep. The abdominal muscles are well tightened. An insufficiently toned stomach is not desirable.
The front legs of the chihuahua are long and even. The shoulders are muscular, dry. The elbows are strong, pressed against the body. Pasterns are flexible, strong, placed under a slight slope. The musculature of the hind legs is developed, the set is correct, even. The limbs are arranged in parallel. Paws are small in size, with fingers apart. The pads are developed, springy. The claws are moderately long, arched.
The tail of a chihuahua is medium-sized, set high, thickened at the base and gradually tapering towards the tip. In purebred individuals, the bend of the tail has the shape of a crescent, and its tip "looks" into the lumbar region.
According to the type of coat, chihuahuas are divided into long-haired and short-haired. The former have a soft silky coat of a smooth or slightly wavy structure with a small amount of undercoat. The longest guard hair grows in the neck, ears, paws, as well as the back of the limbs.
In short-haired individuals, the awn is smooth and short, tightly fitting to the body. The longer coat is in the neck and tail areas, the shortest is on the head and ears.
The coat color can be any, except for the shade of merle.
Appearance defects and disqualifying vices
Deviations from the standard can be both minor and serious. The most common disadvantages of the appearance of a chihuahua are pointed ears, a twisted or short tail, a long body and a short neck. The sloping croup, narrow chest, short or close-set limbs are not welcome. Serious deviations from the norm are considered to be a narrow skull, too long muzzle, deep-set or, conversely, excessively bulging eyeballs, patellaluxation, as well as malocclusion.
The main disqualifying defects of chihuahua:
- open fontanel of the skull;
- behavioral deviations (cowardice, aggression);
- no tail;
- short or cropped ears;
- excessively long body;
- alopecia in shorthair individuals (baldness);
- too long and fluttering guard hair (in long-haired animals);
- "deer" silhouette (small head with elongated neck and legs);
- weight less than 500 g and more than 3 kg.
Chihuahua is a little philosopher who has absorbed the wisdom of his ancient ancestors, who has learned to understand and accept life in all its manifestations. From other dwarf breeds, these babies are distinguished by calmness and poise: they do not get hysterical for any trifling reason and do not shake from an excess of emotions in a feverish "chill". Adults behave seriously and a little haughtily, which does not fit at all with their "pocket" dimensions. In general, chihuahuas are very similar to humans: each animal has a whole set of unique character traits that make it unlike other representatives of its own kind.
Representatives of this breed are very proud, so they respond to disrespectful attitude with cold contempt. These "Mexican amigos" adore their own owners to madness. Whatever the dog does in the presence of the owner, it does it only for one purpose – to get his approval. Passionate love for the owner is accompanied by no less strong jealousy. To verify the truthfulness of this statement, it is enough to pet or treat another dog in front of the pet.
Chihuahuas are great smart girls who quickly recognize falsehood and pretense. They also learn the character of their own owners quickly, which helps animals to actively "rub in" trust, and sometimes openly manipulate their two-legged friend. And they are also extremely inquisitive, so they love to "scan" all human actions. If you are busy in the kitchen, there is almost certainly a chihuahua somewhere at the level of your slippers. Relaxed in front of the TV? You can be sure of that: you have long been "under the hood" of a pet sitting in the next chair.
Most individuals have an urgent need to create their own shelter. In particular, chihuahuas are able to build a lair out of a sofa blanket or a accidentally forgotten T-shirt in a matter of seconds. Usually the dog arranges a kind of burrow in them, into which he climbs to hide from the outside world and calmly reflect.
There is an opinion among breeders that long-haired chihuahuas have a peaceful nature, while their short-haired counterparts are more active and obstinate. There are also a lot of exceptions to this rule, so if you meet a perky but naughty fluffy, do not be surprised – this is the not uncommon case when the law did not work.
Despite the more than modest dimensions, the descendants of techichi are considered notorious bullies. According to breeders, it is much easier to anger a chihuahua than the same pit bull. Moreover, these tiny urchins rise to the defense of the owner with redoubled energy. The chihuahua will not be intimidated by the physical and numerical superiority of the enemy, because in the event of a threat, he completely loses his sense of reality, revealing incredible heroism for his complexion. The animals openly dislike strangers, so they have a good portion of discontent in store for each guest who appears on the threshold, expressed in a loud bark, and sometimes in biting the legs of the "alien".
Education and training
When you look at a chihuahua, you want to constantly caress and pamper them, but not train them in any way. And yet, refusing to train an animal is a serious mistake. The optimal age to start training is 2-3 months. By this time, the puppies are already able to master a complex of simple commands like "Fu!" and "Place!". In general, chihuahua training is aimed at the speedy socialization of the dog and instilling norms of behavior in it, and not at teaching complex circus tricks. The exception is programs for show–class individuals, future exhibition regulars. Here the puppy will have to be taught to stand still, adequately perceive the environment, as well as demonstrate teeth and bite. If you really want to show off to your friends an acrobatic number performed by a chihuahua, you can train your pet in somersaults over the back and jumping over low barriers.
Chihuahuas are capable students. Of course, it will not do without the manifestation of stubbornness on the part of the pet, so you will have to be patient and have your favorite puppy treats in advance. For the mistakes made during the training, the kid can be reprimanded. As a rule, puppies quickly understand what they are being told off for and correct themselves. Screaming and physical violence are categorically unacceptable. The first causes the animal a strong sense of stress, which is why representatives of this breed often make "puddles" in the wrong place, and the second is fraught with serious injury.
From the very first days, assert your own authority and do not allow the baby to violate the boundaries of your possessions, in particular, jump on the bed. Despite the fact that the descendants of techichi are considered dogs of the same owner, a properly educated animal should obey every member of the family. Well, in order for the puppy to learn this lesson, let him understand that for not following the command – whoever it was given – he will not be praised.
Care and maintenance
Chihuahuas are relatively unpretentious dogs, easily getting used to both life in a small apartment and in an elite mansion, but you still have to work on arranging a separate corner for a four–legged newcomer. In particular, the puppy needs to purchase a comfortable couch or a house in which he would have the opportunity to stay "alone with his own thoughts." The food bowl must match the dimensions of the animal, as well as the toys purchased for it.
Since representatives of this breed are distinguished by a fragile physique, they will have to be monitored constantly. Even a simple jump from the sofa or an accidentally overturned vase can cause serious fractures for a dog. In the off-season and in winter, chihuahuas are very cold, so insulated blankets-overalls will come in very handy. In addition, due to natural curiosity, small "Mexicans" often gnaw small objects. Accordingly, household chemicals should be hidden away from them, as well as shoes and electrical wires.
Too frequent water procedures do not affect the condition of the dog's coat in the best way, making it brittle and over–dried, therefore, short-haired individuals are bathed no more than once every 3-4 months, and long-haired ones - once every 1-2 months. During bathing, the animal's ears are covered with cotton swabs to avoid water getting inside. Dry the wool with a towel or a hairdryer.
Brush the chihuahua with a soft brush every 2-3 days. The secretions that accumulate in the corners of the dog's eyes are removed with a cotton pad soaked in water or cool tea. The ears are supposed to be examined once a week. Accumulated dirt in them is removed with the help of veterinary lotion and a cotton swab. The claws are cut once every 7-10 days with the smallest claw cutter. By the way, the dogs themselves hate this procedure, so if the process is carried out at home, the second assistant will not be superfluous.
Anal glands also need timely cleaning, otherwise the animal will experience discomfort and "ride" backwards on carpet surfaces. But since the removal of the secret is an operation that requires a certain skill, it is more expedient to entrust it to a professional (veterinarian). Carefully monitor the chihuahua's oral cavity, removing plaque accumulating in it with a cotton swab.
Using the toilet is a wisdom that chihuahuas do not always learn quickly and easily. First of all, buy a pet a tray with low sides, corresponding to its complexion. Secondly, ask an employee of the kennel or a former owner how the puppy used to relieve himself. Usually, animals that have been taught to go to a diaper or newspaper transfer their habit to a new home. You can also form the skill yourself, after sleeping and feeding by putting the puppy in the tray. For more "attractiveness" of the toilet, you can put a wet diaper in it, which the dog managed to go to earlier. If you often leave the house, put the baby in the aviary, where you first put the tray. It's not a fact that the puppy will immediately understand what is required of him, but the more often he does such a trick, the more likely it is that the chihuahua will start using the tray for its intended purpose.
It is possible to train a puppy to use an outdoor toilet from 3, or preferably 4 months, when the animal has received all planned vaccinations. At first, the dog will have to be taken out often, since the puppies relieve themselves every two hours. Stay in the fresh air as long as possible so that the animal has time to fulfill its plans. Usually they go for a walk right after a nap or a meal. For more motivation, you can take a diaper with you, on which the puppy is used to urinate at home. If the diaper number did not have its effect, find a place on the street where other dogs had previously made a toilet and bring the puppy to it. Usually a chihuahua is inspired by the example of his relatives and sits down side by side.
Chihuahua has a sensitive digestive system, so feeding one "drying" negatively affects the health of the dog. Try to alternate wet and dry feeds, giving preference to varieties of super premium class. The volume of the daily diet for a chihuahua is calculated according to the principle: 60-70 g of feed per kilogram of animal weight, that is, the total weight of breakfast and dinner for a two-kilogram individual should not exceed 150 grams.
Note: mixed nutrition (a combination of natural products and industrial feed in the diet) provokes urolithiasis in chihuahuas.
Adhering to the natural diet of chuhuahua, it is recommended to feed lean meat (beef, veal), sour milk and porridges, and the meat must undergo heat treatment. Once a week, the pet can be treated with boiled offal (liver, lungs, heart, kidneys), fish fillet (only sea fish that has undergone heat treatment) and egg. A couple of times a month they give boiled chicken meat without skin. Of the cereals, buckwheat, rice and corn are in priority. Vegetables are given both raw and steamed. You can prepare some kind of salad by grinding a raw vegetable on a grater, lightly seasoning it with sour cream or vegetable oil. Fruits are used as a treat or encouragement. In addition, it is useful to mix vegetable oils, bone meal and fish oil in food, as sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
- pork, as well as any raw meat;
- sweets and confectionery;
- fried and fatty foods;
- river fish;
- legumes and nuts;
- spicy and salty dishes;
Chihuahua puppies eat up to 6 times a day, three–month–old babies - 3-4 times, half-year-old animals - 2-3 times. It is preferable to feed babies under the age of one year with the same products / feeds that he ate at the nursery or at the previous owner. The diet should be changed smoothly. In particular, the transition from "straight" to "drying" should be stretched for 4-5 weeks. To make the reverse transition to natural nutrition, use semi-moist varieties of industrial feed.
Important: the food in the bowl must be at room temperature.
Adult animals are fed twice a day. In between the "meals" chihuahua can be treated with a rye cracker or a special bone. Elderly dogs are often transferred to one-time meals in order to avoid gaining excess body weight.
Chihuahua and children
The affectionate appearance of a chihuahua forms in children a false idea of a dog as a living toy. In fact, the pet will not tolerate someone's whims and especially violence. The animal responds to disrespectful attitude with resentment, and sometimes aggression, so leaving a dog as a babysitter with a baby is a bad idea. Older children need to be explained that chihuahuas are very fragile creatures, so you can't start a comic fight with them or arrange jumping competitions from the bed.
Walks and trips
For walking, you need to purchase a leash or a tape measure that will help control the dog's behavior in case of danger. For traveling and trips to the veterinarian, a carrier bag and a closed container are suitable, and, according to the breeders, the pets themselves prefer the first option. In transport, a chihuahua can feel nauseous, so be sure to take with you pills for motion sickness, as well as a small container with drinking water. Diapers and bedding for a bag / container will be useful for long trips (plane, train).
Note: in order to be able to travel with a pet on a public transport, you must first obtain a veterinary certificate of Form 1.
Chihuahua Health and Diseases
Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years, although the average life expectancy of these crumbs is 12-15 years. In general, the descendants of techichi are in good health, but in spring, autumn and winter animals are allowed to walk only in clothes, since representatives of this breed are susceptible to SARS.
Diseases most common among Chihuahuas:
- dental problems (caries, periodontitis, pulpitis, retention cysts);
- mitral heart valve dysplasia;
- pulmonary trunk stenosis.
How to choose a puppy
Carefully study the breed standard and do not be tempted to choose a chihuahua solely by color and eye color. The health and purity of the puppy should always be in the foreground. We avoid individuals with eye secretions, bad breath and traces of alopecia. A strict "no" to melancholic and cowardly kids.
Buying a half-breed in order to save money is also not the best alternative. Most of these dogs have congenital genetic pathologies, in addition, they are characterized by mental instability. When choosing a chihuahua puppy, its gender also plays an important role. Girls are more fastidious and capricious. Boys, on the contrary, are more obedient and softer. By the way, both bitches and chihuahua males mark the territory, but the former do it less often.
Pay attention to the weight of the future pet. A three-month-old puppy should not weigh less than 0.5 kg and more than 2.7 kg. The exception is considered to be super-mini-class animals. Adult representatives of this variety have a weight from 500 g to 1 kg and can fit in a teacup. However, it is more difficult to keep such individuals. In addition, due to their ultra-miniature sizes, super-mini chihuahua bitches are not able to bear healthy offspring.
Photos of chihuahua puppies
How much does a chihuahua cost
The cost of a chihuahua puppy with the RKF metric is about $150 - $180. Mini-standard animals go by $250 - $450. The most expensive class is super–mini (adult weight up to 1 kg). The price tag for such a "pocket" pet ranges between $800 and $950.