If you're looking for a loyal and animated ball of energy, then Chihuahua is definitely for you! They're the guard dog you didn't know you needed. Here's everything you need to know about one of Australia's favourite breeds.
- Size Small dog (1.8-2.7kg)
- Coat Both long and short haired. They shed year-round, but spring being the heaviest shedding period.
- Energy Happy companions that need 20-30 minutes of exercise daily
- Lifespan 12-20 years
- Country of origin Mexico
- Breed type Chihuahua's have two distinct looks to them: Apple head vs Deer head. Temperament: Can be overprotective of their owner, have a clannish tendency and enjoy spending time with other Chihuahuas.
- Other names Chi-chi, Hua-hua
- Great breed for Apartment living, Suitable for quieter homes
What is a Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog in the world and are named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua! They have a convoluted history but there have been archaeological findings that they originated in Mexico. They originally bred as companions as well as food during the time of the Aztecs. Their small size makes them delicate and they can sometimes be defensive. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and don't often see their size as a disadvantage.
What do Chihuahaus look like?
Chihuahuas have a small frame, can have both long and short hair and generally don't weigh more than 2.7kg. They have large, round eyes and pointy ears! Their height ranges from 15-23 centimeters and they vary in colour. You'll often see fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, white and black.
Chihuahuas with apple heads have rounded heads, closely set eyes and shorter ears and legs. They can be more stockier than the deer head Chihuahuas. Deer heads tend to have better health compared to Apple Heads because of their longer noses. Apple Head Chihuahuas are longer than they are tall and tend to have shorter necks.
What makes Chihuahuas special?
Chihuahuas come loaded with tons of personality! They're the perfect travel and lap dog. Because of their history, there are tons of legends that go along with them. The Toltecs, tribes indigenous to Central America, occupied most of Mexico at the time. Originally, Chihuahuas were named "Techichi." During this period, people were often buried with their dogs. Chihuahuas were sacrificed after the death of their master to release them of their past sins and unjust acts. With such a rich history, it's no wonder these pups have so much spark!
How often do I need to groom my Chihuahua?
Short-haired Chihuahuas only need to be brushed once per week. Be sure to get all areas including tail and legs. Long-haired Chihuahuas need to be groomed at least once a week as well to avoid matting and knots. If you decide to bathe your pup, brush out your Chihuahua before putting them in the bath!
How often should I walk my Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas enjoy sun-bathing and curling up in pillows and blankets. Overall, they're very well-tempered and don't require too much exercise. They still need about 2-30 minutes daily to keep them healthy and happy!
How do I train my Chihuahua?
With proper training, Chihuahuas can be extremely intelligent. They tend to learn and listen better when treats, praise and positive reinforcement are involved. It's recommended to use gentle but firm tones. Don't be too aggressive as it can aggravate Chihuahuas.
Keep the training sessions short and fun! Pet Cloud offers dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. One of their trainers will come to your home and use positive reinforcement techniques in line with the RSPCA guide!
Quickfire Chihuahua Questions
How long will my Chihuahua live?
The average lifespan is 12-20 years
Can my Chihuahua be left alone during the day?
If you're someone who can't be home 24/7 to hang with your dog, then a Chihuahua is an excellent choice. Ideally, you'd have two Chihuahuas so they can keep each other company. If not, the one will be just fine! They spend a lot of their time cuddled up sleeping.
Are Chihuahuas "barkers"?
Because Chihuahuas are protective by nature, they are more on the yappy side. They are known to only be faithful to one owner and exclude others. They have a "clannish" vibe and are fiercely loyal to their people.
What kind of health risks do Chihuahuas face?
These dogs need veterinary attention when it comes to birthing for females and dental health. Because Chihuahuas have very small mouths and teeth, they need expert help when it comes to prevention and plaque accumulation.
A common health issue with Chihuahuas is hydrocephalus. This condition causes puppies to have abnormally large heads, makes them lethargic and they do not grow at the same pace as their siblings. This condition is more common with the toy version of this breed.
Where can I get a Chihuahua?
Now that you've decided you're ready for a little companion of your own, you're ready to look at your options! You can either adopt or go through a breeder. If you decide to adopt, you'll be giving a dog a chance at a new home. Be sure to check out the RSPCA's adoption guide to find out more.
If you're wanting to buy your Chihuahua from a breeder, make sure they're not supporting the puppy farm business! The RSPCA also has a handy guide for finding the right breeder.