Chihuahua Breed Profile: An essential guide to the tiny wonder dog
Dah dah dah dah dah dah - CHIHUAHUA! The Oneplan Guide to everything you should know about ‘em.
We hope you get the movie reference otherwise that subtitle is going to way over your head. Chihuahuas, you either love them or you hate them and guess which team we’re on? Big-time love.
Although these tiny wonder dogs have gained a reputation for being the perfect handbag accessory (we’re not sure how much we agree with this trend), they really are more than that. These little shaky dogs are wonderful companions for families and pet-owners and we’re here to get the low down on the dogs that really are very low down.
General Breed Profile
Height: 15 to 22cm (They are SO small! And SO cute!)
Weight: Between 1 and 2 kg (can you believe it??)
Coat and colouring: Chihuahuas can be smooth or long-haired dogs. Either they are very sleek or they look like tiny cotton balls running around the place! Most common colours include black, tan, cream, white, silver, chocolate, and red. They can be a combination of these colours or have a single coloured coat.
Life expectancy: 12 to 20 years (we’ll chat about how pet insurance will help you out on this front)
The character of a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have a high affection and friendliness level, so they’re great if you want a devoted and cuddly pet. In terms of kid-friendliness, this doesn’t come completely naturally to them but because they score very high in intelligence, they should become quickly comfortable around children in the home.
Although exercising your dog is a huge part of being a pet parent (and one we’ll discuss now) they don’t need a huge amount of exercise either as they are naturally active dogs and will keep themselves fit on their own (when you’re that small, even a few laps around the house is a workout). So these are great dogs to have if you have a smaller garden but you’ll still need to prioritise time to exercise them, go for walks and keep them stimulated.
Caring for your Chihuahua
If you’ve decided a Chihuahua is the dog for you, you’ll need to brush up on how best to care for them. Getting a Chihuahua as a puppy is ideal because they do need to be socialised and well trained from a young age in order to ensure they are well-behaved pets. These tiny dogs have less than tiny attitudes and leaving training too late can result in bad habits developing. These may include your dog becoming overprotective or defensive over you and defiant around other people. It’s not likely that they can cause any real damage but it isn’t pleasant to have a distressed dog all the time.
This depends on whether or not you have a long or short-haired Chihuahua. Short hair will require less grooming whilst a longer haired will need routine brushing and grooming. Routine grooming of your dog will keep you up to date on their body and any changes that come up.
You will also need to trim their nails regularly as they don’t become naturally worn down because of their small size. Don’t do this on your own unless you know how to or your dog is used to this process. Your vet will be able to do a thorough job.
You’ve probably seen a shivery Chihuahua in your lifetime - they always look freezing and for good reason. They can’t bear the cold. You will probably find your Chihuahua snuggling up to any heaters or fires in your home.
You can have fun choosing cute jerseys for them to keep warm in the winter months, but be observant about whether your dog likes it or not!
Chihuahuas are typically known as “one person” kind of dogs. They will tend to bond with one member of the family over others. This specifically applies to children, who may not know how to handle such a tiny dog at first. It is not advised to bring an adopted Chihuahua into a home with children or a variety of dog breeds as they don’t socialise very well with dogs outside of their breed unless taught from a young age.
Insuring your Chihuahua
Remember those 12-20 years we mentioned earlier?
Chihuahuas come with a whole lot of sass but they also come with a whole lot of common ailments that could end up costing you a whole lot of money. Paying for the health of your pet is a long financial commitment.
Here are some hereditary illnesses to be aware of:
- Patellar Luxation
- Collapsing Trachea
The last two, hydrocephalus and hypoglycemia, are known to begin in puppies so don’t believe the myth that you can wait until your dog is older to get them pet insurance.
Yours in insurance you could cuddle,