The Chihuahua is a fascinating breed of dog which is often overlooked (no pun intended). Tiny and portable, it displays a degree of loyalty and affection that few humans could reach even if they tried.
With its historic roots in ancient Mexico, the ancestors of today’s feisty little canines were first discovered arizona dog breeders in the region that now carries the breed’s name (Chihuahua, Mexico borders the American states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico).
Our modern-day Chihuahua is descended from the small Mayan Techichi, a dog whose existence dates back to the 5th century AD. Wealthy members of Aztec society as well as their clergy revered the Techichi as a sacred animal.
Likewise, many owners of the adorably minuscule Chihuahua hold their pets in high enough esteem that it seems the animals continue to be regarded as sacred.
The AKC (American Kennel Club) first recognized the breed in 1904. The short haired variety is typically considered the breed standard, though the long haired dogs are growing in popularity. These longer coated relatives look a bit like the tiny French Papillion.
Renowned for their longevity (many Chihuahuas live into their late teens); they’re typically healthy dogs that are relatively low-maintenance. Health issues aren’t prevalent in the breed, making them surprisingly hearty despite their diminutive stature.
Alert and intelligent, the Chihuahua makes a wonderful alarm system. With their tiny size, they of course make the ideal lap dog, making them a perfect companion for the elderly. As they can sometimes be a bit on the nervous side, they are not always the best choice for homes with noisy, active youngsters.
Their exercise requirements are relatively minimal. They do not appreciate colder weather, so a playful romp indoors can often suffice in lieu of outdoor jaunts. Should you take your little friend out for walkies on chilly days, it’s a good idea to dress him in a soft, comfortable coat or sweater. Even if you think they look silly, they have a truly practical application. With short hair and a weight topping out around 7 lbs (even less in some), an extra layer of outdoor protection is just a good idea for any Chihuahua.
For lighter colored Chihuahuas (white, cream and some of the pale shades of fawn) a bit of sunscreen is a good idea if he’s accompanying you on adventures during the summer time.
If you are interested in adopting one of these charming little dogs, be certain you have ample time to interact with your new pet. They require plenty of attention and thrive when they can be included as a member of the family. Once your Chihuahua is housebroken and can be left (if necessary) for several hours on end, a comfortable crate is essential.
Chihuahuas absolutely love their crates when they are introduced to them kindly and correctly. The crate is a safe haven, not a place of punishment. Being a denning animal, they are most inclined to feel safe in their own little secluded space if they cannot be with you. Make sure the crate is big enough that she can stretch out and move around. Line the bottom with an absorbent pad (in case an accident does occur), a soft blanket to sleep on and a stuffed animal to cuddle up with. Be sure any toys do not have parts that could be pulled off and swallowed, such as a Teddy Bears with plastic eyes or nose; such things can pose a real choking hazard.
When deciding where to adopt, look for the most reputable breeders. If you have a local resource where you can visit to take a firsthand look at the parents and environment in which they’ve started their lives, that is a wonderful way to go.
If you have to consider an out of state adoption, do everything possible to be sure you are working with a caring, licensed breeder. Talk to several references. Make sure they have a phone number as well as an email address where they can be reached. Check the BBB to verify that there are no claims against them.
If everything checks out and you feel at ease with the purchase, be sure all your terms regarding the puppy’s travel to your home are entirely agreed upon before you send your certified payment. You will likely have to make the arrangements for the dog’s flight to your local airport, and be sure you are there waiting for him the moment he arrives.
Take a tiny harness, leash, crate, towel and blanket with you, as well as a little bit of clean, fresh water (he will likely be thirsty after his journey) and/or baby formula as recommended by the breeder. Take him outside wearing his harness and set him down gently in a little spot of grass in case he needs to relieve himself. Try to find an area that is not congested; too much activity will be overwhelming at this juncture.
There are many resources, including online information sites and interesting television programs (be sure to keep an eye on the many shows that air on Animal Planet, such as Dogs 101) that may help educate you about various dog breeds.