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Chihuahua Dog Breed Quick Facts

Is a Chihuahua right for you?

Chihuahua Brief History

The chihuahua has its roots in Mexico, which is where they are believed to have originated. There are many theories about the Chihuahua’s history, but most sources agree that it actually began with dogs bred by the Toltec civilization (which was active between 500 and 900 AD) The dogs were used for religious sacrifices during rituals. In the Mayan civilization, which was active from 2000 BC – 1500 AD, a dog that closely resembled the modern-day chihuahua was used as a holder for burning incense.

It is believed that Spanish traders brought these dogs back to Europe where they were known as “the toy dog.” During this time, they were thought of as a symbol of good luck and were frequently given to women about to be married. It is also believed that the dogs were used in religious ceremonies, serving much the same purpose as they did in ancient Mexico.

Chihuahua Temperament

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The Chihuahua is often thought of as an aggressive breed, however, the Chihuahua is a very affectionate breed and makes a great family pet if socialized properly as a puppy. With the proper upbringing, they are very good around other pets and children. They have been known to be somewhat snappy towards people if not socialized as a puppy. Chihuahuas are also very intelligent and can be trained to do various tricks.
Despite their small size, this breed is surprisingly brave and fearless ; in the dog world, it is considered a good watchdog and companion. The Chihuahua has been described as “one of the most challenging breeds to work with” – although they generally do very well in obedience competitions!

Chihuahua Exercise and Energy Levels

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Since Chihuahuas are rather small dogs, they usually only need a few brief daily walks. It is best not to OVER exercise them as this can cause stress on their little bodies. They generally have a medium to high energy level and need regular exercise so they do not become bored and destructive.


Chihuahua Training and Intelligence

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One of the most important things to remember when training your chihuahua is that they are a dog, not a human. Much of the time, they will try to gain your attention in any way possible. When training them, it is important that you remain firm and consistent—only use positive reinforcement when they perform the desired behavior. One method of training for stubborn chihuahuas is clicker conditioning, using a sound or word that is distinct, like “yes” to mark the behavior.
Chihuahua’s are incredibly intelligent dogs. They will be eager to learn new skills and tricks, especially if there is food involved; positive reinforcement training is best because Chihuahuas can sometimes become stubborn. Consistency is very important when training your Chihuahua, so always remain firm with them, correcting any bad behaviors with a stern “no.”

When training your Chihuahua there are some things that they will just not listen to, no matter how hard you try! For example, if they find something interesting on the ground, there is almost no way of convincing them to drop it . This often leads to torn pillows and other household items, ripped apart by a small dog with a huge desire to chew.
Although small, they are fearless and love a good adventure; make sure to take care when around stairs, as Chihuahuas can easily scratch or break their fragile legs .

6 Health Problems Seen in the Chihuahua

  • Obesity

One of the most common health problem for Chihuahuas is obesity; this can cause back problems, decreased mobility, and heart problems. It is recommended that they be fed small portions of food throughout the day rather than one large bowl full of food.

  • Periodontal Disease

Another common problem for this breed is their teeth. Depending on the dog’s diet and dental care routine, they can become diseased and may even fall out. The fact that there are a lot of teeth crowded into a small mouth can cause plaque buildup and subsequent tooth decay which can infect their gums and lead to the loss of teeth.

  • Body Temperature

In order to effectively care for a Chihuahua, it is important to make sure that their body temperature does not drop too low or rise too high . In addition, because they are so small, even a short time in the cold can cause hypothermia. If you take them out on a hot day, always make sure that they have plenty of water and it is best to limit their exposure to direct sunlight.

  • Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation is one of Chihuahua health problems that occurs when there are defects in the bones surrounding the kneecap (patella). This leads to the kneecap dislodging or becoming luxated. The symptoms that your Chihuahua can have due to this disease include: difficulty getting up after resting, limping, and pain in the affected joint. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to get them checked out by a veterinarian right away so you can provide them with proper treatment.

  • Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the 5 common health problems in Chihuahuas. There are several types, but the two most common forms seen in this breed are cardiomyopathy and pulmonic stenosis (PS).

Cardiomyopathy is an enlargement of the heart that weakens it over time. This disease often goes undiscovered until the dog shows signs of congestive heart failure (CHF), which are weight loss, lack of energy, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

PS is a congenital disease where there is an abnormal narrowing or restriction in blood flow through one of its valves. The defective valve makes it difficult for blood to pass through to the heart.

This disease is often detected when the dog seems to be having trouble breathing after exercise, or has bouts of coughing without any other symptoms. The signs are usually worse in the winter months in young dogs with this condition.

  • Hypoglycemia

Another Chihuahua health problem is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is a condition that occurs when the levels of glucose in the blood are too low from not eating for 8-12 hours, which can happen if your dog refuses to eat after surgery or anesthesia.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia include: lethargy and depression, seizures and tremors, and collapse.

If you think that your Chihuahua has low blood sugar, it is important to bring them to a veterinarian immediately. There are several things that can be done to treat hypoglycemia, including intravenous glucose and drugs such as glucagon or dexamethasone.

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