We all know that the most common of all Chihuahua facts is that this dog breed is the smallest breed in the world, but here you will find other interesting and helpful Chihuahua facts that are not always easily found.
There are 2 varieties of Chihuahua, however there is only 1 Chihuahua breed. The varieties are the smooth coat (also known as the short hair) and the long coat. There is no difference between the 2, other than the length of the fur.
Even though this is the smallest breed, the smallest dog ever on record was a Yorkshire Terrier that only weighed 4 ounces at the age of 2 years.
This dog is commonly called a Chi as its nickname.
The average sized litter is 3 and it is not uncommon for a dam to have only 1 pup.
Life span is 14 years on average.
Normal weight for an adult is between 2 and 6 pounds (.9 to 2.7 kg).
There is no such thing as a miniature Chihuahua. This is a marketing term meant to mislead potential buyers. If a Chi is purposefully bred to be smaller than 2 pounds (.9 kg) when fully grown, it is unethical and often leads to very disastrous health issues.
This is the 13th most registered breed in the United States.
Behavior and Temperament
They have gotten a bad reputation as being snippy and yappy little dogs, however most are not….It all depends on how they are trained and treated.
Many love the feeling of the warm sun and will love to lie on a spot on the floor or up on a sofa in which sunlight streams in through a window.
Chihuahuas can get along very well with children, however since they are so fragile, children must be taught how to handle them properly…if not, the puppy can be easily injured.
They can get along well with cats, but one should test this first before allowing both to suddenly live together. This is because some cats are larger than the Chi…. The best method is to carefully allow both into the same room. If they stare at each other, this often is a bad sign. A good sign is if they ignore each other, which means that neither sees the other as a threat..They can become good friends later!
This is a very intelligent breed and for this reason, Chihuahuas are used as service dogs all around the world.
They are very loyal and will bark as if they are a huge watchdog if a stranger approaches the home.
A Chihuahua who barks too much usually does so because they have not been socialized to the trigger that is causing the barking.
It is a Chihuahua fact that some love to play in the snow; however an owner should be careful to limit this time and to also protect the paws by putting doggie shoes or booties on the Chi.
They can overheat quickly, therefore when walking on sunny, warm days extra water should always be brought.
Puppies should be allowed to eat whenever they are hungry, this will help prevent hypoglycemia, however by the age of 3 months, scheduled feedings of 3 meals a day is recommended.
They are sensitive to temperature changes and will often be much happier if they are wearing a sweater when outdoors in cold weather.
Puppies are only ounces when born and will be very fragile. They must be checked for daily weight gain…usually done by using a kitchen scale.
It is normal for a 3 week old to stumble and wobble when he or she is learning to walk. They should master this by week 4.
Puppies can be very sensitive to vaccinations; an owner should keep a very close eye on them for up to 3 hours after a shot is given.
Teething will begin any time between 4 and 6 months and should be done by 8 months.
Pups are born with dewclaws (claws that are on the ankle) and breeders generally have these removed as young as 1 week old. If left in, they will grow and change from a simple small nail to an actual appendage similar to a thumb at which time removal would need to involve surgery.
Color and Appearance
There are 29 AKC official colors of the Chihuahua. This includes solids, double color or tri-color of: Black, Black Sabled Fawn, Black Sabled Silver, Blue, Blue Fawn, Blue Brindled Fawn, Chocolate, Cream, Fawn, Gold, Red, Silver, Tan, and White
The most rare and amazing color is blue… it is a diluted black. The coat often looks grey but will have a blue tint when looked at outdoors in the sunlight.
One common issue that most often occurs with newborns and puppies is hypoglycemia. This is a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. The main symptom is weakness. It should be treated ASAP by rubbing Karo syrup on the pup’s gums, so that it can be absorbed immediately into the bloodstream. Then, the pup should be taken to the closest vet or animal hospital for testing…Sometimes IV intervention is required. Without treatment, the puppy can slip into a coma and this can be fatal.
2 other common health issues are hip dysplasia or luxating patella. The first is when the hip joint and socket slip out of place, the 2nd is when the knee cap slips out of place. In many cases, either can be prevented by not allowing a Chihuahua to jump from too high of surfaces…for example, jumping off of the sofa or your bed. Doggie ramps can be a good alternative.
A very common issue that can be so easily prevented is Collapsed Trachea. The trachea is made up of rings of cartilage. When too much stress and pressure is put on this area, the rings can collapse inward causing pain and breathing difficulties. This can be prevented in many instances by never using a dog collar when the Chihuahua is on its leash. Instead, a harness should be used. With a dog harness, any pressure is distributed on the back and chest….and not on the fragile neck.
Longhaired varieties need to be brushed often to prevent tangling and matting of the coat. After brushing, one should then go over the coat again with a comb to make sure that there are no knots….If one is left it will continue to grow until it is out of control.
Bathing is often best done in a clean kitchen sink, with a towel placed down in the basin to help prevent slipping. Only a bit of water needs to be added and should be in the sink before the dog is placed down. One should also test the water temperature with their wrist to make sure it feels warm and not hot or cold.
To protect the skin, only canine products should be used
When breeding, it is a Chihuahua fact that for the health of the dam and potential puppies that the pairing should be between a smaller male and a larger female.
Females should first be checked by an experienced veterinarian to make sure that pelvic size is wide enough to give birth naturally.
Chihuahuas have the highest rate of Cesarean sections that any other breed.
Merle to merle breeding should never be done.
A female will enter heat approximately every 6 months and it will last for 21 days on average.
In the News
A Chihuahua named Honey saved the his owner's granddaughter when a Pit bull savagely attacked her. Springing into action, the Chihuahua barked loud enough to distract the Pit bull, which let go of the girl and chased after Honey, allowing the Pit bull's owner to collar him. The girl recovered from serious injury to her forehead and Honey, the hero Chihuahua, was not harmed.
In northern California, a Chihuahua named Manchas, died protecting his human family member, a 4 year old boy. When 2 Pit Bulls somehow got into the family's apartment, the Chihuahua got between the dogs and the young boy. Unfortunately, he was carried away by one of the dogs, but this act of bravery did save the young child.
In Chicago, an owner saved her 12 year old Chihuahua named Tucker from a coyote. The coyote had the Chihuahua's leg in his mouth and was about to drag the little dog away. The owner rolled up a newspaper, held it up like a sword and chased the wild animal away.
A Chihuahua named Lucy saved her owner's life when the 75 year old woman became trapped in an outdoor lawn chair that collapsed in her back yard. After staying by her side for 11 hours, the Chihuahua barked excessively when the paper boy arrived at the front of the house. Upon hearing the incessant barking, the young boy ran to the back yard, saw what had happened and called an ambulance for help.
In Masonville Colorado, a Chihuahua named Zoey put himself between a striking rattlesnake and the target: a 1 year old toddler. The Chihuahua received treatment and survived the bite.
in Altadena California, a Chihuahua named Paco foiled an armed robbery. His owner had taken Paco to work at his smoke shop and the Chihuahua was deemed a hero after chasing off 2 armed men who attempted to rob the business.