Chihuahua (Short coat)

Trainability:
Shedding:
Energy level:
Watchdog:
Good with kids:
Popularity:

What He's Like:

The Chihuahua is a confident, feisty, courageous, and loyal dog. He is loving, gentle and sweet-natured with his family. He likes to play games, and needs lots of attention, affection and petting. He usually becomes very attached to one member of the family in particular, and if you are his chosen one he will follow you everywhere you go. He tends to get jealous when you pay attention to someone else or to another pet! He loves to sit on your lap and keep close to you. He will burrow into any blankets he can find, including the ones on your bed. Because of his small size, you need to be careful not to step on him or to let him jump from high pieces of furniture or he could break a bone. He is not sociable with strangers and makes an excellent watchdog because he is so alert and quick to bark when someone treads on his turf. You may have trouble convincing your friends that this ferocious little beast is such an adorable, sweetheart when they aren't around. He can be yappy at times so you will have to let him know, early on, that you won't tolerate it. He doesn't need a great deal of exercise and tires easily, but he does like to go out exploring and needs short walks and romps outside every so often. He may shiver when he is nervous or cold. You must keep firm control of him when you are out, because he has no fear of larger dogs and will ferociously challenge them even if they are ten times his size! He doesn't get along with dogs he doesn't know, although he will get along fine with other dogs in the household if he grows up with them as a puppy. He does prefer the companionship of another Chihuahua, however. He is not easy to train and you will need a lot of patience when teaching him commands. He is notoriously difficult to housebreak. He may snap at, or even bite, a child if the child is rough with him or teases him, but he'll get along well with your children if they are gentle and respectful of him. He is a medium-shedder so he might not be a good pet for you if you are worried about dog-hair in the house.

Appearance

The Chihuahua is 6 to 10 inches tall and weighs 2 to 8 pounds. He has a short coat that is soft and fine on top and has a downy undercoat. His coat can be any color, from solid to spotted black, white, red, cream, chocolate or tan.

Grooming

He only requires an occasional brushing. But you might find yourself brushing him more often to reduce the shedding if it bothers you.

History

The Chihuahua is an ancient breed descended from the Techichi dog of the Toltecs of Mexico, and possibly also from Mayan dogs from South America. Images of him have been found on the pyramids at Chichen Itza. He is named for the northern region of Mexico near the Texas and Arizona borders of the United States. He was eventually brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus, who mentions a Chihuahua in a letter to the King of Spain. He was probably crossed with the Chinese Crested in order to reduce his size. He became a very popular dog in America, where he was at first called a "Texas Dog" or an "Arizona Dog." His AKC popularity was 12th out of 157 breeds in 2007.

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