You may not know it, but May 14th is International Chihuahua Appreciation Day. The Chihuahua is an iconic breed and a dog that is linked to the people and culture of Mexico. It is the smallest recognized breed of dog, and it is named after the Chihuahua state in Mexico.
Pint-sized and full of personality, this is a very distinctive breed of dog. Purebred standards include they are no more than 5.9 pounds in weight when fully grown. It is not uncommon for mixed breed or pet quality Chihuahua to weigh more. Regardless of their weight, they are athletic and highly protective, seemingly unaware of their small size. Many owners of these dogs describe them as a giant trapped in a tiny body, and it is not uncommon to see Chihuahuas romping with much larger dogs and even becoming the pack leader in homes with multiple dogs.
General Breed Description
The overall body type of a Chihuahua is very similar to a terrier. They have slender legs and a slightly longer body, with different coat options and colors available. The tail is
There are two distinct head shapes within the breed. One is the apple-head or apple-dome shape, which is the rounded and full look to the forehead area when viewed from both the front and the side. It is the head shape favored by most purebred dog organizations.
The eyes are large, round, and bright, and they are closer together than many breeds. The ears are short and carried erect on the head or out to the side when the dog is not attending to something.
The other head shape is defined as the deer shaped head. This is the older breed style, with a longer, taping muzzle and less pronounced forehead. The eyes are still round and bright, but they are slightly farther apart, and the ears are typically larger and longer than the apple head standard. While not recognized by purebred standards, this head shape is a prevalent type in pet quality and mixed breed Chihuahuas.
Coat Colors and Options
The coat of the Chihuahua can be long, or it can be smooth, which is the short coat. There are many different color options and possibilities with both coat types, including solid colors and color combinations. Splashed, brindle, sable, spotted, solid colors or any color with markings, such as a black and tan coloration, are all acceptable.
While some Chihuahuas can be merle, this coloration is not allowed as a purebred color as there are higher risks of health problems with the merle gene.
Owning a Chihuahua
Despite a reputation as being aggressive and possessive, a well-socialized and trained Chihuahua is a wonderful companion dog. They are not tolerant of weather extremes, either hot or cold. However, they are active and energetic dogs that can also adjust to apartment living but also enjoy a walk outdoors.
Chihuahuas are dogs that love to be around people, and they are eager learners that love to make their owners happy. They should not be overly pampered as this is typically the cause of aggression and possessiveness with this delightful breed of small dog.
Always train and socialize a Chihuahua to ensure they are welcome where ever you may go. They are playful, friendly with older children, and a dog that is just happy to curl up on your lap and hang out with you all day.