Among dogs of miniature breeds, chihuahuas are considered the smallest. These cute dogs with a smart face do not leave anyone indifferent. However, keeping a chihuahua requires knowledge of many subtleties of care, upbringing and training. It should also be borne in mind that each pet has its own unique character. So, what are the basic rules of keeping a chihuahua at home?
Chihuahua: breed description
The first chihuahuas appeared in Mexico, where the dogs were named after one of the states, so Mexicans love these dogs and consider the chihuahua a national breed. It is believed that chihuahuas appeared even among ancient American tribes, but only at the end of the XIX century, dog breeders first of the USA, and then of Europe, paid close attention to them.
This breed has become popular among the stars of show business, so there are elite chihuahua puppies, respectively: on average about 30-60 thousand rubles. People who are not going to sell puppies or participate in exhibitions in the future should pay attention to “defective” dogs with minor flaws (hanging ears, cropped tail, too short paws or neck). They are unsuitable for breeding, and therefore they are cheaper – up to 20 thousand.
What do chihuahuas look like?
Adult chihuahuas, according to international standards, should not weigh more than 3 kg, and the optimal weight is 1.5-2 kg. In height, the dog is usually about 23-25 cm, and the female is taller than the male. The “stunting” of the male is a normal sign, not a defect of individual individuals.
An ordinary chihuahua dog has an elegant, fragile build, small strong paws and a medium-length tail. The head of an individual with a good pedigree should be in the shape of an apple, with wide ears at the base, a wide forehead and large eyes of completely dark color.
There are a great many chihuahua colors: from plain white or black to apricot, blue and chocolate. Any coat color is considered acceptable, the main thing is that the dog is purebred.
Varieties of the breed
According to the length of the hair of dogs, they are divided into short-haired and long-haired. Sometimes the name “shorthair” in chihuahua is changed to the term “smooth-haired”, because dogs with short hair have a smooth, as if sleek, coat. The colors of both species are the same.
Smooth-haired Chihuahuas are more popular, because during the molting period they leave less wool and need to be combed less often. The coat of such dogs is short, soft, smooth, pleasant to the touch. A stiff and prickly coat is a bad sign. It is advisable to comb them out once a week: it is necessary not so much to remove the falling hairs, but in order to massage the dog’s body. It is believed that the best chihuahua is the smooth–haired one.
Long-haired Chihuahuas were bred much later than their smooth-haired relatives. Their wool needs daily combing, they need to be bathed more often than shorthair, and during molting, wool will be everywhere. For long-haired chihuahuas, special shampoos are sold that strengthen the hair roots and reduce the amount of hair loss.
Chihuahua: the nature of the breed representatives
The main character trait of the dogs of this breed is courage bordering on recklessness. They fearlessly explore unfamiliar terrain and get to know strangers. In addition, chihuahuas are very mobile, active, they are friendly to both other animals and people, so chihuahua puppies will perfectly take root in a family with children 6-7 years old.
Chihuahuas are characterized by love: they will caress the owner, lick his face, will gladly accept combing and stroking. The pet is very attached to its owner, it will be faithful to you for the rest of its life. It is for this reason that many people choose a chihuahua as a pet. Well, those who are not ready for such energy and excessive love, are advised to get a second chihuahua – dogs of this breed get along well with their relatives.
In addition, chihuahuas, with proper upbringing, have a fairly docile nature and high intelligence, so they are easy to teach various commands.
Chihuahua breed: behavioral features
Domestic chihuahuas have some interesting habits:
- they like to keep their tail high;
- a pet can attack another dog many times its size;
- the chihuahua dog loves to beg for food from his master, and he, looking at her tender eyes, cannot refuse;
- usually they choose one of the family members to whom they are most strongly attached;
- dogs do not tolerate loneliness: if there are no friends nearby, chihuahuas begin to act up.
Chihuahua: care and maintenance
Dogs of this breed, despite their small size, are distinguished by good health. Caring for them will not be difficult even for children. Following a few simple rules will help your pet to live a long and happy life:
- it is necessary to trim the claws in time, at least once every three months;
- it is necessary to bathe the dog at least once every 3 weeks, after that it is desirable to dry its fur with a hairdryer;
- a long-haired chihuahua needs to be combed daily, whereas a short-haired one can be combed once a week;
- the pet’s ears need special care: they need to be wiped in order to get rid of dust.
An undoubted advantage is that these dogs are easy to get used to the tray, so it is not necessary to get up early in the morning to walk a pet. However, this should not be abused: the character of the chihuahua is very mobile, so they need to splash out their energy on walks. During walking, you need to carefully monitor the dog: it can become easy prey for predatory animals, run too far from the owner or eat something dangerous.
Based on the small size of the chihuahua, they need to be fed moderately and in no case overfed. A fat dog is not only ugly, but also dangerous. Excess weight can cause dangerous diseases. Therefore, on average, you need to give your pet 50-80 grams of feed for each kilogram of their weight.
How to feed a chihuahua? It doesn’t really matter if the owner is going to buy dog food or cook it himself. In any case, it should be borne in mind that a chihuahua dog, due to its active nature, should receive a lot of carbohydrates. To do this, the pet’s diet should include cereals, pasta, slices of bread and even fruits – many chihuahuas like apples and bananas.
The best homemade food for chihuahuas is lean boiled meat and fish, which must be cleaned of bones. In addition, they can be fed with cottage cheese, boiled and mashed vegetables, lightly salted cheese, omelet and offal.
As a feed, you can not give:
- pollock, river fish, raw meat and pork – these protein products cause various malfunctions in the body of a chihuahua;
- milk, because it has a laxative effect;
- fried, salty, spicy dishes;
- any confectionery products.
Dry and wet ready-made feeds also need to be chosen wisely. On the packs with premium-class feeds, it is written for dogs of what age and build it is intended, which makes it easier to choose. It is necessary to check the expiration date and the presence of allergen components in the composition if the food is purchased for a dog with allergies.
What affects the life expectancy of a chihuahua?
The breed of Chihuahua dogs has a high life expectancy. With proper care, they live up to 20 years, although their average life expectancy is 10-15 years.
Chihuahuas naturally have good health. If you make sure that the dog does not overcool, does not get hurt, does not eat substandard or expired food, then serious diseases can be avoided.
The most common chihuahua diseases include colds, allergies, hydrocephalus, eye loss, epilepsy and oral diseases (caries, pulpitis). It is impossible to remember the symptoms of all diseases, so you need to carefully monitor the health of the dog. If a pet has a temperature above 38-39 degrees and purulent discharge is present, she vomits, she constantly itches and coughs, her eyes water or she has sudden seizures, then you should immediately contact a veterinarian and in no case self-medicate.
Rules of education and training of chihuahua
Chihuahua is a mini-dog, and therefore she does not need the ability to perform complex commands. Up to 4-5 months, it will be enough to teach her to respond to her nickname, as well as the basic commands “place”, “can’t” and “sit”. It is better to train when the dog is hungry, then it will have motivation to carry out commands. In addition, you need to encourage your pet for a properly executed command and in no case beat him.
The first thing that the dog’s upbringing begins with is to let her know who is the boss in the house, otherwise she can get impudent. To do this , you need to teach the chihuahua the following rules of behavior:
- do not climb on the table, even if there is food intended for her;
- sleep and rest in a strictly designated place;
- to accustom the dog to the tray or to the fact that the need needs to be celebrated on the street, and not in the apartment;
- there are toys for the game, but you can’t touch the owner’s things;
- the owner should be an authority for the dog, who is obeyed in everything, but not a tyrant who is feared.
By adopting a compact chihuahua, you can get a loyal and devoted friend, whose care will not be difficult even for children. True, elite chihuahuas are not cheap, but these costs will quickly pay off when selling puppies of the first litter. In short, a chihuahua is the kind of dog that is worth getting.