Chihuahuas - Nature's Fierce Babies
Chihuahuas have a legendary dual nature- they're nature's forever babies with a sweet, affectionate nature. They love to be carried and pampered, and most don't mind looking a little silly at times, hence the propensity for some chihuahua parents to dress them up. The chihuahua is perfect for single people for that reason- they're babies who don't need a babysitter or a college fund.
On the other hand, chihuahuas can be one of the most fierce of all breeds. They don't tend to be physically dangerous, however, but instead imploy several ways to intimidate their foes. Chihuahuas are known for scaring dogs 10 times their size with incessant barking and growling, staring down and an aggressive stance. I've seen chihuahuas frighten away a German Shepherd and even a Great Dane.
The dual nature of the chihuahua makes it one of the most popular breeds among people who love small dogs. Chihuahuas make excellent watch dogs, and will aggressively defend their owner. They tend to form strong attachments to their owners and have trouble maintaining attachments to people outside their human pack.
Chihuahuas Need Special Care
As a small dog, chihuahuas are generally easy to care for. They do, however, need some special care because of their size. Chihuahua puppies are extremely small. When they reach the age that they are no longer dependent on their mothers and are ready to be adopted, they usually weigh less than a pound. Their slight weight makes them vulnerable to injuries.
The first danger to chihuahuas, particularly puppies, is falls. A couch or a bed is probably too high for a chihuahua puppy to fall from and escape bruises or injuries. If you leave a chihuahua puppy alone on a couch or bed, block him in with a pillow or something else that will keep him from falling.
Another danger is items being dropped on the chihuahua. There have been chihuahuas killed by items being droped on their heads. One young chihuahua was killed when its owner accidentally dropped a can of food on its head. When chihuahuas are in the house, be careful when carrying anything remotely heavy. If there's any danger of dropping something, close the chihuahua into another room to avoid the danger.
Finally, chihuahuas are vulnerable to being stepped on. Chihuahuas can be injured by a mistep, particularly if they are young. Puppies can be so tiny that it's possible to simply not see them napping on the floor. When you have a puppy in the house, walk lightly and don't wear shoes inside. This will prevent you from stepping too heavily on the dog if it should happen.
The Tiny Chihuahua
Keeping Chihuahuas Comfortable
Because they are so small, and many have short body hair, chihuahuas tend to get cold in cooler climates. Remember that they are originally from Mexico and were bred for hot weather. If your climate is cold, you might want to provide your chihuahua with a sweater. Though it may look at little silly, a sweater can provide them with some of the warmth they need to be comfortable.
Though the teacup chihuahua isn't a recognized breed, it describes some of the smallest chihuahuas. Full-grown chihuahuas that are 3 pounds are not unusual. The average size is about 4-5 pounds, but it is possible for them to get as large as 10 pounds. The smallest chihuahuas are the most vulnerable to injuries and more care should be taken to avoid injuries.
Long Hair and Short
Types of Chihuahuas
There are really only two official types of chihuahua - long haired and short haired. The short-haired variety has short, smooth hair that is extremely easy to care for. Though the shirt-haired variety will shed in the spring and fall, most of the year the coat requires little maintenance. The long-haired chihuahua's coat can be smooth or curly. Often the long coat needs a little more maintenance, such as occasional brushing to keep it from becoming matted. The coat may not shed more, but it will seem like more because of the longer hair.
The other "types" that people talk about, deerhead and applehad, are not officially distinct varieties. But, there is a broad range of head shapes within the breed of chihuahua. The ones called appleheads have very round heads with short snouts. Deerhead chihuahuas have longer, thinner heads that do resemble deer.