Meet the Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is the World’s smallest dog breed. They are either long or smooth coated, come in several different colours and can have a variety of markings. Chihuahuas are intelligent, intuitive, feisty, charming, loyal and devoted to their families. Known as the little dog with the big attitude, Chihuahuas make excellent watch dogs.
While the Chihuahua once had a reputation of being yappy and somewhat aggressive, the overall temperament of the breed has improved significantly in recent years through the dedication and efforts of responsible breeders. In general, the Chihuahua has a good temperament and makes a great companion dog due to the strong bond that he forms with his owner. However, it is critical that the Chihuahua be socialized with other dogs, children, people and all types of situations from a young age. (This can be said for all breeds.) It is also important to discipline and train the Chihuahua as though he were any other larger dog. Too often, new Chihuahua owners tend not to correct their dog when he is jumping up, growling or barking. This can lead to a dog that believes he is the pack leader and one that will take full advantage of this role.
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A Bit of Breed History:
The Chihuahua is thought to have originated from the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The breed’s history is fueled by much speculation but, based on legend and artifacts found during archeological excavations, it is generally accepted that the Chihuahua existed in Mexico as early as the 9th century A.D. or earlier. A common theory is that the Chihuahua descended from the Techichi which was a small dog that lived in central and northern Mexico. The Techichi was sturdier and more heavily boned than the Chihuahua of today which was selectively bred for a smaller size in the early 1900s.
Did you know?
· The Chihuahua was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904 and with the Canadian Kennel Club in 1928.
· The Guinness World Record holder for the “Smallest dog living in terms of height” is a female Chihuahua named Miracle Milly from Puerto Rico. She measured 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall.
· The smallest dog in terms of length, according to the Guinness World Record, is a female Chihuahua named Heaven Sent Brandy who measures 15.2 cm (6 in) from the nose to the tip of the tail. Brandy lives with her family in Florida.
A Few Facts
~ Lifespan: Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans for dogs and often live 16 years or more.
~ Weight: Should not exceed 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) (per the CKC and AKC Breed Standards)
~ There are two varieties of Chihuahuas: The Long and Smooth coat.
~ Many Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on the top of the head, known as the Molera. This is the same as that found in human babies. The presence of a molera does not mean the Chihuahua has a medical problem.
For more information about the Chihuahua, see www.canadasguidetodogs.com/chihuahua. For a list of breeders, see the Breeders page as well as the Breed Clubs page, and be sure to check out the Breed Rescues page where Chihuahuas are occasionally available for adoption.
Here are some details on just a few Chihuahuas who have risen to fame for one reason or another — from heroic acts to movie star celebrity:
A Chihuahua named Bambi, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roland Morin, was credited with saving the life of a visiting friend by awakening her after a fire started in the house. The visitor who suffered from asthma, was resting at the time of the fire and believed she would have been asphyxiated had it not been for Bambi.
Japan’s newest police dog is a long-haired Chihuahua named Momo. She was one of 32 successful candidates out of 70 dogs, passing a search and rescue test by finding a person in five minutes after merely sniffing their cap. Momo will work in rescue operations in cases of distasters where her size may allow her to squeeze into areas where the larger rescue dogs may not fit.
Harley the Chihuahua was voted “American Hero Dog” for 2015 by the American Humane Association. Harley became a spokes-dog with an inspirational story of survival after spending his first ten years living in a small cage in a puppy mill. After finally being rescued by his current owners, Harley was in terrible shape with a rotting mouth, fused spine, gnarled toes, deformed legs, and he was missing an eye. 4 1/2 years later, Harley is all over social media as the spokes-dog for National Mill Dog Rescue. His campaign called “Harley to the Rescue” has raised enough money to save more than 500 puppy mill dogs in the last two years.
The Chihuahua is no stranger to Hollywood and has been featured in several movies and television shows. It all started with the $500 million Taco Bell advertisement campaign featuring a talking Chihuahua. Since then, Chihuahuas have starred in shows like “That’s so Raven”, “Ren & Stimpy”, “Courage the Cowardly Dog” to name a few. Chihuahuas have even had their own movies: “Beverley Hills Chihuahua -1 ,2 and 3” and starred in blockbuster movies like “Legally Blonde”.
We would like to acknowledge and thank the people who helped us put this breed spotlight page together by providing us with the beautiful photos shown on this page:
- Picasso Reg’d Chihuahuas – www.picassochis.com
- Jones Chihuahuas – www.joneschihuahuas.com
- Chihuahua Palace – www.chihuahuapalace.com
- Armoso – www.armoso.com
All photos are copyright to the dog owners or as indicated and used here with permission. It is strictly forbidden to copy, reproduce or otherwise use any of the photos without prior permission from the copyright holder.