The Chihuahua is one of the world’s smallest breed of dog. Popular amongst young and old alike, this little bundle of smarts is the go-to lapdog of our generation. But don’t let that particular trait fool you. This little dog has a huge personality and the bark to back it up! Let’s have a look at the breed’s history, traits and common medical concerns.
A brief history
The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. A lookalike breed can however be traced back to ancient times where images resembling a bigger version of the Chihuahua were found on artefacts from around the world. It is believed that the Aztecs bred the Techichi (an ancestor of the Chi) into a smaller dog in the 12th century. Americans took note of the breed in the mid-1800s. According to the American Kennel Club, the first AKC-registered Chihuahua, a little boy named Beppie, was recorded in 1908.
The Chihuahua breed
This little dog comes in two varieties, long-haired and short-haired. Most Chihuahuas weigh between 1kg and 3kg, feature upright ears and stand 18 to 23 centimetres at the withers, which makes it the smallest dog in the world. The Chihuahua can live for up to 18 years.
This tiny dog is an energetic and fun-loving companion dog. The breed is also widely known for being smart and courageous. Chihuahuas do, however, tend to bark and can be aggressive with small children and strangers who want to touch or hold them. On the other hand, the Chihuahua is very loyal and affectionate with her own people. For this reason, the Chihuahua is misunderstood. Many see this little dog as a yapping aggressive or scared shaky dog. Or, a lapdog that is not really a ‘real’ dog. But Chihuahua owners will tell you that behind closed doors this breed is one of the sweetest, smartest and entertaining you will ever have.
Since we are talking about toy breed dogs we would like to address a bad human habit – using dogs as accessories. Dogs are not temporary accessories or gifts. If you choose to own a toy breed dog, know that they need a lot of attention and affection. They do not sit in a handbag and look cute all day like the movies will have you believe – they are dogs.
Join us for Part 2 of The Chihuahua where we will discuss common health concerns of the breed.