Chihuahua Longevity, Health Issues, Temperament, and Personality
Older or fat Chihuahuas can sometimes have the condition of a collapsed trachea. When a fat Chihuahua lays on its back or has force delivered to the throat, sometimes the trachea will collapse and no oxygen will reach the brain and the dog cannot breathe. Some Chihuahua owners with dogs with this problems has to give their dog mouth to mouth by covering the mouth and nose of the dog with a closed palm. By creating a tight seal, the owners would have to blow into the dog's mouth to start breathing again. Of course, consult your veterinarian on proper preventative action if your Chihuahua is prone to this condition.
Chihuahuas, because of their small size, live longer than most other breeds. This is good because your companion can spend a majority of your years with you. There is a drawback thought. With age there is better chance of disease and health issues. Pateller luxation is a common disorder with Chihuahuas as well as other small breeds. Here the kneecap moves in and out of the joint causing pain. For older dogs, this condition is a way of life and most adjust to it. Your veterinarian will have the best advice if you notice your Chihuahua limping or wincing in pain while walking or getting up or down.
Another health issue is that the organs of a small dog like the Chihuahua are proportionally larger than the rest of their bodies. For example, the large eyes of a Chihuahua are the normal size for a small dog, but since the Chihuahua has a small head, they look large and almost bug eyed. Little dogs do not have the same capacity to store energy like larger dog and sometimes the organs just run to capacity to keep up with the energy demands. This is an argument against reducing the Chihuahua in size through selective breeding. Some people tend to believe that the hardier, larger Chihuahua is more favorable because they have less health issues than the smaller varieties.
As with any animal, the longevity and potential health issues of a breed need to be examined before you decide that breed is right for you. To many times an owner will think they are getting a certain personality type from the breed and find out quickly that the breed does not fit their lifestyle or their family. This leads to homeless pets or pets put in a shelter simply because the potential owner did not do their research on the breed.
If you are willing to gain an extra four to five pounds, a Chihuahua would be the dog for you. The four or five pounds would be the Chihuahua sitting lovingly in your lap all the time. Chihuahuas are one family dogs, and most of the time, are a one person day. They are very intelligent and willing to please. Don't be fooled into thinking that a Chihuahua is a meek little lap dog though. They have the heart of a lion though they have the body of a mouse. They will definitely let you know when something is amiss or if they feel threatened.
Today’s well-known Chihuahua is thought to have its roots in Chihuahua, Mexico. Although the first Chihuahua was not registered with the American Kennel Club until the early 20th Century, ancient art-work found in the area surrounding Mexico City often depicts the small dog. The little canine was often seen painted or carved into items ranging from pottery and paintings to relics of religious importance. Since the Chihuahuas’ formal introduction to American Society in 1905, the breed’s popularity has continued to grow and may now be seen in all types of households from the rural farming community to the New York City penthouse.
Chihuahuas are normally thought of as appearing somewhat hairless, but in fact the smooth flat coats of the well-known dog are but one variety. The little dog may also be long-haired and both types may display a variety of coat colors including fawn, black, tan, and white. In addition, the canine might be of one solid color, slightly variegated, or even display large spots, not unlike that of the bovine variety.
Although the coat of a Chihuahua may vary, the AKC has set standards regarding the breed which must be met. The dog should be no more than six pounds and excess beyond this ideal standard is grounds for disqualification from dog shows. Although the Chihuahua is small in stature, its body should be solid and straight in build with shoulders sitting square over the front legs. While standing, the dog should be slightly longer in length than in height with a straight even back, broad shoulders, and straight posture. The Chihuahua dog should also demonstrate the courageous personality that is comparable to canines of the Terrier persuasion
The appearance of the Chihuahua many alter from one dog to another. Variations in the coat tone and length can affect the coloring of their nose, which may be light or dark depending upon the dog’s over-all coloring. The head should be shaped like an apple with a short muzzle, large eyes, and slightly large, but erect ears. The dog’s mouth should have an even bite, and carry a “saucy” expression on its face. In addition, the little dog must have a slightly long tail that is carried above the back in a half-circle or sickle-like shape.
Many Chihuahua owners spend sleepless nights trying to control their dog's aggression while at the same time trying desperately to find a reason for their behavior. Aggression can be caused by many different scenarios that sometimes can be controlled, but many times cannot. Aggression can come from competition with other animals, territorial issues, or sometimes it is just the nature of that particular dog. It is not best practice to punish your Chihuahua for aggression, but you can remove the dog from the situation that is causing the aggression. Sometimes the reason for the aggression is beyond the Chihuahua control.