A small dog breed with a big personality, the Chihuahua has found its way into the hearts of dog lovers from Mexico to Manitoba. Popularized in the American mind by Hollywood (ok, and let’s face it, Taco Bell) Chihuahuas remain a popular breed in the United States. As one of the oldest breeds in the Americas, the Chihuahua dog is described by the American Kennel Club as “charming, graceful and sassy”. We can’t help but agree! Whether your Chi is a sassy purebred or a saucy mix, you’re sure to identify with our Six Reasons Chihuahuas are the Absolute Best.
Weighing in at a mighty 3.3 to 6.5 pounds and squarely in the toy dog category, Chihuahuas are perfectly portable! That giant personality is easily packed into a pint-sized carryon for day trips around town or a first class flight to grandma’s house. While their small size makes them a great choice for a traveling companion (and accessories for Chihuahuas abound!), remember that the Chihuahua is known for its confidence and tendency to rule the roost.
Proper attention to an obedience training regiment early on will help to keep your portable pup an easy and enjoyable travel companion. The Chihuahua Club of America stresses that the Chihuahua is similar to a terrier–which equates to being very vocal. Knowing this tendency ahead of time will help you to prepare your Chi for life on the road and all the adventures you may encounter on the way!
There are many legends about the origins and history of these little dogs, but we do know that they’re one of the oldest breeds in the Americas. While the breed gets its name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the true origins remain a bit of a mystery.
The AKC reports that the breed probably is the result of a cross between the Techichi, the preferred (and now extinct) dog of the ancient Toltec people, with a hairless dog of Asian origins (that came over the land bridge to Alaska–talk about portable!).
After conquering the Toltec people, the Aztecs continued to breed smaller Techichis, and when the Aztecs were conquered by the Spanish, they too fell in love with the small Techichis. It wasn’t until American travelers came upon these dogs in the 1800s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua that they took on the breed name we know today.
While the exact origins are unknown, there are multiple examples of the breed in both the archaeological and written historical record, dating back to 300 BC.
Most kennel clubs recognize two Chihuahua types: the long coat (also known as the longhaired Chihuahua) and the smooth coat (the shorthaired Chihuahua). However, within these two types, there are dozens of colors (such as chocolate, cream, red) and markings (like masks, brindling, spots) that are recognized for the breed. In addition, Chihuahuas are known for either an “apple”-shaped or “deer”-shaped head, which makes for multiple combinations of Chi’s, each cuter than the next.
With so many looks, you may need some assistance coming up with the perfect name to suit your Chi. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Love to shop for dog apparel? You may have found your match! Chihuahuas are known to shiver or tremble when cold, scared or excited, so it’s recommended that you dress your Chi for the weather, particularly if the forecast calls for cold weather or rain. It’s a perfect excuse to accessorize!
And while you accessorize your Chihuahua, don’t forget must-have owner accessories too!
Even though the Chihuahua is a toy breed, they can be high energy—so prepare yourself for some zoomies! Unlike larger dogs, however, they’re easy to exercise and can even be exercised indoors. Like all dogs, an exercised Chi is a happy Chi, so meeting your Chihuahua’s exercise needs is important. When properly exercised and socialized, they’re fantastic companion dogs, which is why so many have a soft spot for their big and loving personalities.
Chihauhuas’ high energy levels can equate to great training results in the proper settings and their eagerness to learn and please can help you to raise a wonderful companion dog. Chi’s thrive on positive reinforcement, which can help tame some of the more common issues Chihuahua owners report, such as barking, aggression, and resource guarding.
Socializing your Chihuahua puppy (don’t forget to introduce them to larger dogs too!) will go a long way toward raising a model adult Chihuahua. Chi’s respond well to rewards—sometimes a little too well—so go easy on the treats as the small breeds cannot tolerate too many extra calories without putting on the pounds.
Whether you’re the proud owner of your first Chihuahua or have danced this cha-cha before, Chi owners are not shy about sharing their love for these tiny dogs. For all of the reasons above—we have to agree!