A very small breed of dog: the chihuahua
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world. It is so small that the shoulder height is no longer mentioned as a breed characteristic, but the weight. The Chihuahua is a small, compact dog, with large upright ears and an apple head. The Chihuahua is very small, but no less brave for that.
The chihuahua was originally named after a Mexican province where dogs used to live in the wild. Chihuahuas were first spotted there in 1880, which were taken by American tourists. There it quickly became a popular companion dog and the breed was thus spread all over the world.
The Chihuahua is a brave, high-spirited dog. He is very brave. They are friendly, but especially to their own people. Strangers, especially in the beginning, can be treated with suspicion. The Chihuahua does not hesitate to defend its territory, but once you are accepted, you have nothing to fear from them. The Chihuahua is usually unaware of their small size and so they often have a large mouth. Owners must therefore educate them well, to prevent them from barking about everything.
A Chihuahua is easily satisfied with a daily walk, although he also loves a long walk in the woods. It is not a dog that just wants to be carried around, it can walk and play well by itself. Agility exercises are fun for a Chihuahua to do. Contrary to popular belief, this dog is strong and has great stamina. Chihuahuas have a pretty high life expectancy, they can live to be fifteen to eighteen years old. The oldest Chihuahua ever turned 24 years old.
The Chihuahua needs a consistent, but also loving owner. This breed is very eager to learn and easily understands what they want from him. The animal should be well socialized, especially with children and other dogs, to avoid becoming a more fearful or excessive barker. It is of course very important that the dog only has positive experiences. A child should never consider such a small dog as a toy and certainly not treat it like that. Also, they should not be lifted by small children. The danger of them falling to the ground and being injured is too great. Moreover, a Chihuahua is also just a dog and can walk very well on its own.
The smaller the Chihuahua, the greater the risk of disease. The weight of this breed must therefore be between two and three kilos. Animals weighing less than two kilos often have an open fontanelle, which makes them very vulnerable. They are also more likely to suffer from Patellar Luxation (loose kneecaps) and palate problems. Females that are too small often have problems giving birth to puppies, often only with a caesarean section.
Many Chihuahuas suffer from “reversed sneezing”. Then the dog forcibly inhales through its nose and this causes a snoring sound. The animal seems to be very short of breath, but it is a harmless condition. When the dog is bothered, it is easy to stop by keeping the nostrils closed for a while and the dog has to breathe through his mouth. Another condition, which is less harmless, is entropion. The eyelid curls inwards and the eye is irritated by the eyelashes. Entropion can be remedied by surgery. Many Chihuahuas also have teardrop eyes. An open fontanelle is also, as mentioned earlier, something that often occurs in these small dogs. With an open fontanelle, the skull is not completely closed, so that it remains a soft spot. Such a place is very vulnerable and such a dog must be handled with care.