The Chihuahua is the world's smallest dog and its history is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that it originated in Asia, others that it came from Europe. But no matter where the breed got its start, it really is a dog of Mexico. This coupled with the fact that in several Mayan dialects "chi" means dog, would seem to place the ancestors of the Chihuahua in the Mayan period.
The Chihuahua comes in two varieties: smooth with a short, close-lying, glossy coat, and the long-coated, with soft-textured, flat or slightly wavy hair that forms a fringe of longer hair on the neck, legs, and tail. Chihuahuas are affectionate but they are also alert and make an excellent little watchdog. They are very loyal and get attached to one or two persons. The Chihuahua is very protective and can bark at the slightest provocation. Chihuahuas are very sociable with their own kind. So several Chihuahuas can live happily in the same household.
The Chihuahua is vulnerable to the colds and should not live outside.
Chihuahua Breed Outline
Country of Origin: Mexico
Classification FCI: Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs - Section 6 Chihuahueño.
Colors: All colors are acceptable. Colors range from snow white to jet black and can be solid, marked or splashed.
Other Names: Chi
Average Litter Size: 3
Life Span: 12-15 years
Personality: Chihuahuas are intelligent, alert, curious and hardy. Chihuahuas are wary of strangers and make good watchdogs. They make excellent companions to elderly and single people.
Grooming Requirements: They need regular brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming.
Social skills: Chihuahuas usually get along with other small animals but can be extremely suspicious about strange dogs.
Suitable for Children: Not the best choice for families with young children. They can be snappy with small children and have low tolerance of them. These dogs are not recommended to families with children under 4.
In recent years there has been an increase in the use of the terms "teacup" (or tea cup) and "deer" (or deer-faced) to describe Chihuahuas.
Along with "mini" and "tiny toy", "teacup" is sometimes used to describe Chihuahuas and other dogs that are very small. These and other terms are not officially used by any kennel club or reputable breeder. Chihuahuas naturally vary in size, and very small Chihuahuas are often runts, unhealthy, or undernourished, or, if otherwise healthy, may have shortened life spans and other health problems due to extreme dwarfing. They are not normally suitable for breeding, and may require special care.
"Deer" or "deer-faced" are terms that are sometimes used to describe Chihuahuas that do not have the breed-standard apple-domed appearance. These terms are also unofficial and have no real meaning.