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All About Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas are the ideal lovable, loyal and long-term pal. When you're alone in the house with a Chihuahua, you're never alone -- they sleep on your lap, sit by your side, or follow you from room to room while you do chores. When you're not home, they protect it like their personal domain, barking at the sign of any approaching stranger (making them surprisingly effective watchdogs). This endearing love and devotion, however, can sometimes evolve into a fierce protectiveness, making them a force to reckon with when they try to compete with other pets or family members for your attention. Nevertheless, this big-time attitude packed inside a pint-sized frame has a remarkable way of being endearing rather than annoying. Whether in an apartment, a house or a palace, a Chihuahua is perfectly accommodated. And they're fairly easy to care for, needing minimal exercise and food. But don't skimp on the attention: Chihuahuas crave affection and companionship to the point where they may resort to attention-getting tricks. And watch out: They are so quick-witted and cunning and sweet, you might find yourself doing an overtime shift of petting, scratching and cuddling.
Chihuahuas are wonderful companions, in a very short time they learn your every mood and feeling, if your having a bad day they will try to make you feel better with cuddles and love. These little dogs are not good with very young children as they can be hurt very easy, A young child could drop them of hurt then trying to play with them. I do not recomend if you have young children to get s puppy under 6 lbs.
Things You Should Know
Chihuahuas have a long life expectancy -- as much as 17 to 20 years -- When born the tops of their skulls never fully develop, leaving soft spots ("moleras") that should be protected and will usually close by the time they are 10 weeks. Though Chihuahuas don't need as much exercise as larger dogs, they need daily walks and runs around the house.. They also like to be warm, so you might consider a little sweater for winter walks. Though picky eaters, they can easily be overfed. An obese Chihuahua is more susceptible to diabetes and a shorter lifespan. Bear in mind: The world's smallest dog could also be the world's cockiest. And Chihuahua owners will note -- during their very first walk in the park -- that this breed is fearless when it comes to confronting larger dogs. Don't be so sure that your Chihuahua will know when it has met its match; i.e., always remove them from conflict. Some people believe that Chihuahuas are one-person dogs and therefore not suitable for families. In truth, they may not be suitable for a small child -- since they would not tolerate teasing or random play -- but with proper training and gentle, positive reinforcement, they can adapt to any home.
Chi puppies are born blind and deaf and will not see or hear till they are 14 to 18 days old, it is at this time they are so helpless and take a lot of care. When your puppy is between 8 and 10 weeks they will be ready to go home with you. They will be eating and drinking well and in top health. At 3 weeks I will start with potty training and by the time your pup goes home he or she are well on there way to being pee pad trained. The first 6 months of your puppies life are the most important with there training. Work hard with training your puppy and you will have a wonderful pet and friend for life.
The Chihuahua -- named for the Mexican state that borders Texas and New Mexico -- is the oldest breed on the American continent. Historians believe they evolved from a wild dog called the Techichi that was domesticated by the Toltecs in 9th-century Mexico. Some even claim the modern Chihuahua originated from a cross between the Techichi and a hairless dog that came to North America from China via the Bering Strait. Chihuahuas were discovered around 1850 in Mexico, where merchants were selling them to tourists. They quickly became popular in the United States and were registered with the AKC in 1904.
Chihuahuas are the world's smallest dog breed, normally weighing between 2 and 8 pounds with an average height of 6 to 9 inches. Chihuahuas have a "cobby" body -- stout, stocky and slightly longer than tall -- that still seems flexible, sturdy and muscular. Their rounded, apple-shaped heads feature dark round eyes, pointed ears and a slightly pointed muzzle. The necks slope down to level backs and sickle-shaped tails that sometimes curl up or to one side. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have a soft, glossy coat, while the long-coated variety have curly or straight hair. Chihuahuas can come in practically any color or combination of colors.
Chihuahuas sometimes even today are looked down upon by the unenlightened as being silly little lap dogs of no consequence in canine terms, not real dogs at all. Nothing could be further from the truth, make no mistake a Chihuahua is ALL dog, live with one and you'll discover that fact for yourself! They may be classified in the Toy Group, but they are certainly not toys. Chis are big dogs who happen to be wrapped in a small 'parcel', they generally pay scant regard to their lack of size and are ready to stand up for themselves even if the opposition is far bigger. Sometimes they are too feisty for their own good.
In the early days when chis were first struggling to establish themselves as a breed they were not widely noted for boldness of spirit. Once the breed became more established, breeders recognising the importance of breeding for good temperament began seriously to concentrate on breeding for it alongside the other aspects of the breed which could benefit from improvement. The breed standard requires that the chi temperament is "gay, spirited and intelligent". The task of breeding dogs with this kind of temperament has met with considerable success over the last few decades, because nowadays most Chihuahuas can hold their own for showmanship alongside the best of them. Only a few judges who still harbour prejudice about small dogs look down upon chi"s and dismiss them when handing out top honours.
Chi's are naturally cautious not completely spontaneous by nature. They like to pause, size up a situation before making friends, they will do that in their own good time and on their own terms. This explains why puppies sometimes take a little while to settle down in the show ring. They take their time until they feel sure that the situation is not threatening t them. When the penny drops the chi will relax and respond happily, which is exactly what is required by its handler. Tension passed down the lead from the handler to dog on the end of it has long been commented on by seasoned exhibitors. In these cases it is the handler who needs the training! This cautious approach explains why so many chis hate judges who treat them like idiots by making weird noises, rattling things at them, and/or getting down on the floor to handle them. Nor do chis appreciate or perform well for judges who lift them up off the judging table to hold them up aloft.
Chi"s are highly intelligent and quite nosy, they love to investigate. Their exercise area must be fenced securely. They do need a stimulating environment inside and outside, toys to play with, and company. When possible they like the companionship of another dog preferably of the same breed, as well as the company of its owner. To be shut in an empty house for hours on end with no companion is tortuous for any dog including a chihuahua. They are highly intelligent and have a high I.Q. (for a dog). With love and friendly discipline chis are eminently trainable. Taking time and trouble to train a chi will be very rewarding. It should easily master a vocabulary of commands like no, down, sit, quiet, out, come, bedtime and of course good dog or bad dog as appropriate. Fetch might prove more of a problem, they are not natural retrievers. They are just as likely to regard you with an expression that plainly says "you threw it, so you fetch it". Yes, chis do have a very independent streak.
It is not surprising that chis are intelligent, after all they have a brachycephalic skull, plenty of room for a very 'sharp' effective brain! The skull is not ball shaped, rather it is frequently likened to a cooking apple - minus dimple for stalk of course. Large eyes (never bulging), large flaring ears set at an angle of approximately 45 degrees and a moderately short, slightly pointed muzzle add up to create a perfect head with its unique cheeky chi expression. The base of the ear, the centre of the eye and the base of the stop should be on the same plane. The head is supported by a neck of medium length which is slightly arched forward. Short necks and necks arched the wrong way are ugly and alien, but they still appear from time to time. Without the proper reach and arch of neck the whole balance of the dog is spoiled.
Chis should not be long in back, or as many prefer to say, short in leg. The effect on overall balance is the same. The length of the body is defined clearly in the breed standard as from the point of shoulder to the rear point of croup, chis are slightly longer than the height measured from the ground to the withers. Short square chis are not desirable. Because chis are such active little dogs, it is very important for the shoulder to be set at an angle of 45 degrees. It is as important that the forequarters are correct as it is for the hindquarters to be well angulated. The forequarters take the first impact as the feet hit the ground and the shock is taken throughout the whole frame. The hindquarters give the drive, good angulation at pelvis and stifle are essential for a dog to be, and to remain, sound. Soundness is just as vital for a pet chi as it is for a show specimen. Nobody likes to have to see their dogs face a life of pain and lots of visits to the vet. A high stepping hackney gait may look smart but it is not correct for the chi. Tail set completes the picture for a good chi, it should not be low set, this often accompanies a goose rump. The tail is a continuation of the spine and is controlled by strong muscles. The tail should be held up and over the back like a sickle when the chi is moving, it should remain up when the dog is standing if the dog is happy and outgoing. An anxious dog will often be inclined to drop its tail, which affects the overall picture.
Chihuahuas are remarkably sturdy little characters, they have few hereditary defects. Patella luxation affects many breeds of dogs. Chi breeders have always been very aware of the condition. Conscientious breeders have worked to try to eradicate it from their lines by not breeding from afflicted lines, which has reduced its incidence. A chi's energetic lifestyle will always put strain upon what is basically a rather complex and fragile joint. Breeders and judges who weed out dogs with patella luxation from breeding programes and awards are doing everyone a great service whether they be two legged or four legged. The original chi breed standard described a molera as being desirable. Our previous U.K. standard stated "with or without molera". The current U.K. standard omits all mention of it. Breeders do not breed for it and exhibitors certainly do not want judges poking at little dogs skulls. Because chis have brachycephalic skulls and large heads, the bones of the skull need to be able to give during the birth process. Like babies they have a fontanelle but in the chi it is called a molera. Chi"s are not particularly good whelpers and the rate of C sections is high.I have had to bottle feed puppies every few hours because the Moms milk has not come in or due to the surgery she can't nurse right away. With tiny puppies the time given to raise them can be a full time job with feeding every hour.. With the small pups quite often the molera does not fully close until the pup is several months old, sometimes this is seen and misdiagnosed by some vets as hydrocephalus. These days few chi"s have permanent moleras which persist into adulthood. A quite common little habit some chi"s have is snorting when they are overexcited or alarmed, this I call the Chihuahua chock. This too has on occasions resulted in some scary diagnosis. Quivering when keen, alert or anxious is very common. It seldom signifies the chi is cold or frightened usually it is excited by seeing you.
What ever variety of chi you like best is purely a matter of personal preference, they share exactly the same breed standard except for the definition of the coat. Most people, however sceptical they may be at first about having a chi, soon change their mind when they are owned by one and hooked for life. They really are like potato chips you can't have just one.