Chihuahua – Dog Breed of The Week
Fully capable of competing in dog sports such as agility and obedience, and is among the top 10 watchdogs
The Chihuahua is a saucy little hot tamale and not just because of his association with a certain fast-food Mexican restaurant. He’s renowned for being the world’s smallest dog, but he may well have the world’s biggest personality stashed inside that tiny body. That larger-than-life persona makes him appealing to men and women alike.
Fun loving and busy, Chihuahuas like nothing better than to be close to their people. They follow them everywhere in the house and ride along in tote bags when their people run errands or go shopping. It’s not unusual for Chihuahuas to form a close bond with a single person, and they can become very demanding if they’re overindulged.
Besides being affectionate housemates, Chihuahuas are intelligent and fast learners. They can compete in agility and obedience trials with just as much enthusiasm and success as larger dogs. That said, they’re willful little dogs. You’ll be most successful if you can persuade them that competing — or simply doing as you ask — is fun. Use positive reinforcement in the form of praise and food rewards when training your Chihuahua. He won’t respond to harsh treatment.
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Height:6 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 3 to 6 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 18 years
- Choose a Chihuahua breeder who provides health clearances for patellas and heart conditions.
- The Chihuahua is a long-lived breed; expect to care for him for up to 18 years.
- Chihuahuas are prone to shivering when they are cold, excited, or scared. Provide your Chihuahua with a sweater or coat when he goes outdoors in cold or wet weather.
- Chihuahuas can be unfriendly toward other dogs if they’re not socialized when young. Chihuahuas don’t back down from other dogs and this can cause a problem if they encounter a large aggressive dog.
- Don’t leave your Chihuahua unattended in the yard. He could be attacked by a hawk, other birds of prey, or larger dogs or coyotes.
- Chihuahuas can be reserved with strangers. Choose a puppy that was whelped and raised in a home with a lot of human interaction.
- Chihuahuas are not the best dog to have when you have young children. Chihuahuas are fragile and a toddler may hurt the dog while playing. Most breeders won’t sell puppies to homes with children younger than eight years.
- The Chihuahua’s ears can be prone to ear wax build up and dry skin.
- Chihuahuas are happy as companions, but they do need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily and can go for much longer than you might expect. Monitor your Chihuahua, especially when he’s a puppy, so that he doesn’t wear himself out.
- Chihuahuas have larger than life personalities and will run your life if you let them. They can be destructive when bored and can become finicky eaters if their diet is fussed over. Establish ground rules and stick with them or you’ll find yourself giving up your comfortable chair because your beloved pet has told you to move.
- To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Giant Schnauzer – Dog Breed of The Week
The Giant Schnauzer was created to be a working dog breed, so he has intelligence and drive The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds. He has a commanding appearance and rugged build. But his stoic demeanor is belied by the twinkle...
Japanese Chin – Dog Breed of The Week
This breed is elegant and dainty, mild-mannered and playful. Jumpin' jiminy! Is that a Japanese Chin on your fireplace mantel? It is! People who live with the Chin often marvel at the breed's ability to leap tall furniture in a single bound. The toy-size...
Bullmastiff – Dog Breed of The Week
While standoffish toward strangers he’s got a soft spot for his loved ones In 1901, a Mr. Burton of Thorneywood Kennels challenged a group of spectators at a dog show to take on the task of escaping a muzzled dog he had brought with him, the prize being...
Cocker Spaniel – Dog Breed of The Week
Beautiful to look at (and labor-intensive to groom), the Cocker’s amenable, cheerful disposition also makes him a treat to have in the family The smallest member of the American Kennel Club Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel is the darling of many U.S. pet...
Bull Terrier – Dog Breed of The Week
The Bull Terrier was originally developed as a fighting dog, these days he’s a family companion and show dog If you remember the late 1980s, you probably recall the Budweiser commercials featuring a Bull Terrier named Spuds Mackenzie, whose sly grin and...
Border Collie – Dog Breed of The Week
He’s a dog with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive, all of which make him a premier herding dog If you've ever had the pleasure of watching a Border Collie herd sheep, you know you're watching a master craftsman at work, with his intense stare as...
Boston Terrier Dog – Dog Breed of The Week
today, they’re gentle, affectionate companions with tuxedo-like markings that earned them the nickname “American Gentleman.” The Boston Terrier may have been bred to be a ferocious pit-fighter, but you'd never know it today. The little American Gentleman,...
American Eskimo Dog – Dog Breed of The Week
Eskies are lively, active companion dogs who love to entertain and join in on all family activities Perhaps it's his white fluffy coat. Or jaunty personality. Or intelligence. Whatever "it" is, the American Eskimo Dog's got it in spades, and he uses it to...
Alaskan Malamute – Dog Breed of The Month
The Alaskan Malamute features a powerful, sturdy body built for stamina and strength When you first see an Alaskan Malamute, it's easy to be impressed by his large stature, wolf-like facial markings, and huge plumed tail waving at you. It's often believed...
Beagle – Dog of the Month
Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be...