Chihuahua Breed Questions!

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History

Chihuahuas were originally thought to be descendants of an ancient, similar, but slightly larger breed associated with royalty in Aztec civilizations known as the Techichi. However, because of the lack of archaeological remains, it is now believed that Chihuahuas were brought to Mexico by Spanish settlers. The most current theory holds that Spanish merchants brought Chihuahuas to Spain by way of their trade routes with China and from there to Mexico.

The well documented practice in China of dwarfing both plants and animals is the basis for the theory that Chihuahuas originated there, But another theory is that they originated in Egypt and were traded into Spain and later Mexico. Chihuahuas were first taken into the United States by American visitors to Mexico.

Appearance

Chihuahuas are best known for their large eyes; small size; and large, erect ears. The Kennel Clubs recognize two varieties of Chihuahua: the long-coat and the smooth-coat. Many long-coat Chihuahuas have very thin hair, but other long coats have a very dense, thick coat.

Breed standards for this dog do not generally specify a height, only a weight and a description of their overall proportions. As a result, height varies more than within many other breeds. Generally, the height ranges between six and ten inches at the withers. However, some dogs grow as tall as twelve to fifteen inches.

Show dogs must weigh no more than six lb (2.7 kg); the FCI standard calls for dogs ideally between 1.5 and three kg (3.3 to 6.6 lb), although smaller ones are acceptable in the show ring.

However, pet-quality Chihuahuas (that is, those bred or purchased as companions rather than show dogs) can, and do, range above these weights, to ten pounds or even more if they have large bone structures or are allowed to become overweight.

This does not mean they are not purebred Chihuahuas, it only means that they do not meet the requirements to enter a conformation show. Oversize Chihuahuas are seen in some of the best, and worst, bloodlines.

Chihuahuas come in many colors, from solid blacks to solid whites, spotted, or a variety of other colors like fawn (tan), chocolate, (gray), silver, tricolored, (chocolate, blue, or black with tan and white markings), merle, brindle, and, each of these colors varies in shades and tones, as fawn can be a term to describe a tan dog from a very pale cream to a deep (almost red) tan, or any shade in between, and the chocolate coloration can range from a milky light shade of brown, to a deep mahogany brown, to a dark brown that is almost black.

Temperament

Chihuahuas are prized for their devotion and personality. Their alertness, intelligence, and size make them easily adaptable to a variety of environments, including the city and small apartments.

While Chihuahuas are often stereotyped as high-strung, correct training and socialization can result in an outstanding companion animal. Chihuahuas are not well-suited as small children's pets because of their size and physical frailty.

Many Chihuahuas focus their devotion on one person, becoming overly jealous of that person's human relationships. This can be mitigated through socialization.

Chihuahuas also tend to have a "clannish" nature, often preferring the companionship of other Chihuahuas over other dogs. Also, Chihuahuas seem to have no concept of their own size, and may fearlessly confront larger animals, which can result in injury.

Chihuahuas are sensitive to the cold due to their small body size. Chihuahua owners often dress their dogs in sweaters or coats in cold weather. However longer-haired chihuahuas may be fine without additional protection and in the summer may still be known to pant.

Health

This breed requires expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. Chihuahuas are also prone to some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones, such as epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Chihuahuas, and other toy breeds, are also prone to the condition known as patella luxation and collapsing trachea.

Chihuahuas are also known for their moleras, a soft spot in their skulls. Chihuahuas are the only breed of dog to be born with an incomplete skull. The molera does fill in with age, but great care needs to be taken during the first six months until the skull is fully formed. Many veterinarians are not familiar with Chihuahuas as a breed, and mistakenly confuse a molera with hydrocephalus.

Chihuahuas can also be at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Left unattended, hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death.

Chihuahuas are also prone to eye infections due to their large, round, protruding eyes and their relatively low ground clearance.

Although figures often vary, as with any breed, the average lifespan for a Chihuahua is approximately 8 to 18 years of age.

Chihuahua's are very social dogs and like to meet other dogs, but some are temperamental and aggressive because of a lack of training and socialization.

Nutrition

Chihuahuas are sometimes picky eaters, and care must be taken to provide them with adequate nutrition. At the same time, care must be exercised not to overfeed this tiny breed. Overweight Chihuahuas are prone to joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened life span.

The differences between long and short haired chihuahuas

The Long Haired Chihuahua

In the U.S. and the Kennel Club of the U.K. there is one Chihuahua breed, with 2 varieties: short coat (also called smooth coat) and the long coat (also called the long haired Chihuahua).

In Canada and within some kennels of the U.K., these 2 types of Chi are considered 2 separate breeds. The only difference within the 2 types lies in the length of the coat.

How Long Haired Chihuahua Dogs Came to Be When one thinks of a Chihuahua, automatically an image of the Taco Bell dog comes in mind. However, longcoats are very popular as well. Short coats were introduced first. Then (long ago), shorts were breed with other toy breed dogs that had much longer coats, such as the Papillon, the Pekingese, the Yorkshire Terrier and the very fluffy Pomeranian. Now, both varieties are genetically the same breed.

MOST long-haired Chihuahuas have 2 coats of fur and are actually smoother to the touch than shorts. They have soft, fine guard hairs and a downy undercoat, which gives them their fluffy appearance. Unlike many long-haired breeds, long-haired Chihuahuas require no trimming and minimal grooming. Contrary to popular belief, the long-haired breed also typically sheds less than their short-haired counterparts. For those with puppies, one should know that it may take up to 2 or more years before a full long-haired coat develops.

Long-haired Chihuahuas are indoor dogs, even with the longer coat; they should be kept indoors except for supervised play and exercising. Liking a warm environment, they will often find a cozy place to snuggle up in and go to sleep. Many like to bask in the sunlight that streams through windows. Keep an eye out, as they are very small may choose to take naps under pillows or blankets!

Facts Regarding Breeding of the Long Haired Chihuahua

The long coat gene is a recessive gene. What does this mean? It means that the gene that causes the fur to be long can hide It can come out randomly from 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th generations.

In other words, you can have 2 short coat Chis (both may carry a hidden or recessive long haired gene) and when you mate them, they may produce a long coated Chihuahua puppy.

Now, stating this, one should also know that 2 long coats can ONLY produce a long coat. This is the same reason 2 brown eyed parents can have a blue eyed child. And Blue eyed parents can have only blue or more recessive green eye children.

When will my Longhaired Chihuahua get it's adult hair coat??

Long Coated Chihuahuas can take a little time to get their full coats, sometimes up to 14-24 months of age.

The texture of the coat is soft and can be either flat or slightly curly with or without an undercoat (although most do have 2 coats).

Usually, males have a larger ruff around the neck and more hair than the females do. Also occasionally their ears are heavier and have a harder time standing up. Sometimes the heavy ear will flop over on the tips, but they can hold them up at will, and the heavy ear can be upright all the time.

Others have the paper thin ears and they have no trouble standing up. The ear that is not upright at a 45 degree angle is a disqualification in the show ring only.

Grooming for the Long Haired Chihuahua

Long coats need occasional brushing but still require minimal grooming. The long coated needs a good brushing and combing once a week. You will want to take care to search for any mats (tangle hair that knots up), as if they are not taken care of they can grow larger and larger, until you have a big problem and the mat may need to be cut off. If you search for any mats at least 1 time per week, you can catch them early and fix them by covering your hands with conditioner and working the mat out by hand, slowly and gently.

The bib or ruff of the long coats may need extra washes as food can become easily attached to that area.

There will be some shedding, however since the Chi is so tiny, it will be minimal. Do keep in mind that a female will often blow her coat before entering heat, this means that there will be extra shedding during that time. Females can also "blow" a coat after giving birth.

Teacup, Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Miniature, Applehead, Deer head, Deer Type, Mexican Type, Toy, Standard?

The Official Breed Standard describes the Chihuahua as a small dog that comes in two varieties or coat types. The difference in coat type (the Long Coat and the Smooth Coat) is the only official description used to identify a difference within this breed.

ALL Chihuahuas are toy dogs - Meaning that they are classified as a Toy dog Breed.

As with all living things, there will be size variance between individual dogs within this breed. Look within the human family -brothers and sisters will differ in height and in weight, as well as other physical attributes. They are described as humans, male or female, and there is never a need to break the description down further. The same holds true in regard to the Chihuahua.

Teacup, Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Miniature or Standard - are just a few of the many tags and labels that have been attached to this breed over the years. These are breeder-invented terms and may be used to entice prospective buyers into thinking that puppies described in this way are of greater monetary value. They are not and the use of these terms is incorrect and misleading.

Size Matters.

Teacup? Toy? Standard? What does it all mean? Since teacup is a word given by breeders to describe the size of a tiny puppy there is no universal standard.

Each breeder has the right to express their own definition of the size of a puppy. It is not a breed or different from the breed itself. It only describes size. Every breeder might express the word teacup to determine different sizes and weights of their own puppies.

Our standards of the word teacup is stated below:

Teacup is describing a puppy that will be under 5 pounds full grown. We Consider an Average size Chihuahua to be in the 5-7 pound range, at maturity. We consider a Large size chihuahua to be in the 8-10 pound range, at maturity Chihuahuas can and do mature between 10 - 18 pounds and are purebred in their genetics!

Are Teacups Healthy?

Well, these words have brought much controversy between dog breeders today. Many people have the mistaken idea that teacups are not healthy. While it is true that some teacups can have health problems, if a teacup is bred from a healthy line then they can be just as healthy as any other size dog.

Sometimes a puppy will be born extra small and the real reason that the pup is tiny, is because they have something wrong with them that keeps them from growing to normal size. This pup might be sickly, or will have numerous health problems, or might even seem to be healthy, but only lives for a short time or a few years.

This is not a true teacup! This is just an unhealthy pup! This is where many people mistakenly get the idea from, that teacups are not healthy. That is why it is so important to purchase a teacup from an experienced breeder that has the knowledge to know the difference.

We place guarantees on our puppies so if in fact we were selling teacup puppies that were so unhealthy we would not offer a guarantee on them. So, please understand the difference between a true teacup and an unhealthy runt of the litter as there are differences on how they were bred.

How to Care for Teacup puppies?

Care: Teacups are not suitable for everyones lifestyle. Many people get toys and teacups confused. Most people think that they want a teacup, when all they are really looking for is a nice tiny toy!

We Consider a Normal, Healthy Toy size Chihuahua to be in the 5-7 pound range, at maturity. A small toy is still tiny enough to rest in the smallest lap, fit in the new papoose backpacks or reside in a condo or apartment.

They do not realize the extra care that a very tiny teacup requires. Most true little teacups cannot jump on a couch or bed or climb stairs. If they are put on a bed or couch, they must be watched constantly so that they do not fall off, as they can break a leg or be seriously or fatally injured. Plus, as puppies, because of their small size, they cannot have the run of the whole house and must be confined in a small playpen etc.

They are also not suitable for households with small children or even larger dogs, as they can be easily hurt, dropped, or stepped on.

Some (but not all) teacups are prone to *Hypoglycemia. (*Which is low blood sugar). When a dog uses up all his stored source of energy (food) and it isn't replaced, then low blood sugar results. So if you decide to get a teacup, make sure you know the warning signs!

To prevent this, tiny pups should have small frequent meals and plenty of time to rest. Please understand that a teacup might not be the right fit for your family as they do require alot more care than a normal ( Toy) sized puppy.

If we feel that your lifestyle is not suitable for a teacup puppy we may not sell you a puppy. It is for the best interest of our puppies.