The majority of Chihuahuas are healthy little dogs, but there are some genetic issues that can affect the breed. You should choose your dog from a breeder who routinely does genetic health screenings on all breeding stock to ensure that the puppies they produce are as genetically sound as possible. Some of the issues that can possibly affect the Chihuahua include potential heart problems (patent ductus arteriosus, mitral valve disease), eye disease, and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps). Idiopathic epilepsy is also known to occur in the breed.
They have a smooth, somewhat domed skull with a medium-length, square-cut muzzle and a black (or occasionally liver) gumdrop nose. The jaw is strong and the teeth scissor together with the upper teeth fitting perfectly over the lower teeth and both sets aligned square to the jaw. The eyes are large, hazel or brown, with a mild hound-like pleading look. The large ears are long, soft and low-set, turning towards the cheeks slightly and rounded at the tips. Beagles have a strong, medium-length neck (which is long enough for them to easily bend to the ground to pick up a scent), with little folding in the skin but some evidence of a dewlap; a broad chest narrowing to a tapered abdomen and waist and a long, slightly curved tail (known as the "stern") tipped with white. The white tip, known as the flag. has been selectively bred for, as it allows the dog to be easily seen when its head is down following a scent. The tail does not curl over the back, but is held upright when the dog is active. The beagle has a muscular body and a medium-length, smooth, hard coat. The front legs are straight and carried under the body while the rear legs are muscular and well bent at the stifles.
The Chihuahua is a good companion dog. Courageous, extremely lively, proud and adventurous, they enjoy affection. Brave, cheerful and agile, Chihuahuas can be strong-willed without proper human leadership. They are loyal and become attached to their owners. Some like to lick their owner's faces. Socialize them well. For some, they may be slightly difficult to train, but they are intelligent, learn quickly, and respond well to proper, firm but gentle (positive reinforcement) training. May be difficult to housebreak. Do not let the Chihuahua get away with things you would not allow a large dog to do (Small Dog Syndrome), such as jumping up on humans. While it may be cute for a 5-pound tiny dog to put his paws on your leg when you come home from work, it is allowing a dominant behavior. If you allow this little dog to be your pack leader it will develop many behavior issues such as jealousy, aggression with other dogs and sometimes with humans, and will become undeniably suspicious of people except for its owner. When strangers are present, it will begin to follow its owner's every move, keeping as close as possible. A Chihuahua that is pack leader of its humans may snap at children. This breed is generally not recommended for children, not because it is not good with them, but because most people treat the Chihuahua differently than they would a large dog, causing it to become untrustworthy. Because of its size, this breed tends to be babied and things we humans clearly see as bad behavior for a large dog are looked over as cute with a small dog. Small dogs also tend to be walked less, as humans assume they get enough exercise just running around during the day. However, a walk provides more than just exercise. It provides mental stimulation and satisfies the migration instinct all dogs have. Because of this, small breeds such as the Chihuahua tend to become snappish, yappy, protective and untrustworthy with kids and humans they do not know. Chihuahuas that are their human's pack leader tend to be fairly dog-aggressive. An owner who realizes this and treats the Chihuahua no differently than they would a large breed, becoming a clear pack leader, will get a different, more appealing temperament out of this wonderful little dog, finding it to be a good little child companion.
Accustom your American Pit Bull Terrier to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
The Pit Bull immediately strikes one as being a dog of power, passion and undying willingness. The brick-like head, which is especially broad between the cheeks (to house the powerful jaws), is carried upon a thickly muscled, well-defined neck. The neck runs into a deep, thick, well-sprung chest. The American Pit Bull is a very muscular, stocky, yet agile dog that is extremely strong for his size.The tail tapers to a point. The ears are generally cropped, though this is optional. Docked tails are not accepted by the UKC or the ADBA. The eyes are round. Both the ADBA and the UKC do not accept blue eyes or the coat color merle. The American Pitbull Registry does accept a merle coat. The teeth should form a scissors bite. Its coat is made up of thick, short, shiny hair. All colors are admissible. Shades of brown to red with a matching red/brown nose are referred to as red-nose Pit Bulls. Shades of gray with a matching gray nose are referred to as blue-nose Pit Bulls.
My rescue is Iggyboo, a cairn terrier/Chihuahua mix, weighing in at 10 lbs and only 8 inches tall, now at almost 3 yrs. He is very protective and loyal, and pretty much a lap dog. He loves to play with his toys, and is highly intelligent, often preferring his interactive toys over stuffed ones. I find myself constantly teaching him new words or playing new games. He hates children and often adults, but can warm up to people given a few minutes and a few kind words (treats help this process). He also can be a challenge to walk, being aggressive to other dogs, but responds very well to a clicker and a treat for distraction. So, generally I have had no issues with him on walks, but am always careful. He loves bedtime, and burrows under the covers, sleeping a full 8 hours straight, he gets upset if I roll over and wake him up and will growl at me, lol.
In a 1520 letter, Hernan Cortés wrote that the Aztecs raised and sold the little dogs as food. Colonial records refer to small, nearly hairless dogs at the beginning of the 19th century, one of which claims 16th-century Conquistadores found them plentiful in the region later known as Chihuahua. Small dogs such as Chihuahuas were also used as living heating pads during illness or injury. Some believe this practice is where the idea of pain being transferred to animals from humans originated, which gave way to rituals such as burning the deceased with live dogs, such as the Techichi, to exonerate the deceased human's sins. Chihuahuas as we know them today remained a rarity until the early 20th century; the American Kennel Club (AKC) did not register a Chihuahua until 1904.
A high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) will have all the nutrients the breed needs. Some Chihuahuas are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.
I had what I think was a Chihuahua/Cairn Terrier mix but not sure. Her name was Mia and she weighed 7 lbs. I got her from a shelter; she was given up by a young couple when they separated and supposedly she was bought at a puppy mill and was listed as a Chiweenie (but there’s no way!). We got her at 9 months and she was a bit difficult to potty train but we got through it. She loved her cage and got along fabulously with our Golden Retriever. They were buddies. Unfortunately, she darted into the street and someone hit her; she died instantly. I am devastated because she truly was the BEST dog I’ve ever had. She had a HUGE personality for such a tiny dog and she was a loving snuggler who was always there when you needed her. She was killed this week and I am inconsolable. I want another one but I have no idea where to begin.
They were brought to exterminate vermin in those days. Breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier, Skye Terrier, and Irish Terrier were also crossed while developing this breed. These dogs were majorly used as watchdogs, and sometimes, to help control rodents in the gold mines, waterfronts, and on the sheep stations. It is a fast, brave, weather-resistant breed, which will adapt to any living conditions.
We own a 10 lb chi/terrier mix who has some serious itchy under belly hair loss going on. She has tested negative for allergies and has been on hydrolyzed food now for a month with no changes to her hair loss. She also takes appoquel daily. Along with this, she will randomly pee in the house. She seems like a very bright dog, so this trait is very frustrating. Not sure what the next step will be but would appreciate hearing from others in this situation.
Many of the jurisdictions that restrict pit bulls apply their restriction to the modern American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and any other dog that has the substantial physical characteristics and appearance of those breeds. Such jurisdictions include the Canadian province of Ontario, and the U.S. cities of Miami and Denver. However, a few jurisdictions, such as Singapore, also classify the modern American Bulldog as a "pit bull-type dog". In the United Kingdom, a pit bull is an American Pit Bull Terrier.
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation is posted online by anti-Pit Bull acolytes. Many provide information which ostensibly looks credible, but crumbles under scrutiny with only a little digging. One of the major pieces of ‘research’ is the so-called Clifton Report which is written by an author who defrauded readers in terms of his credentials and continually refuses to publish the raw data behind his claims.
Breed standards for this dog do not generally specify a height; only a weight and a description of their overall proportions. Generally, the height ranges between 6 and 9 in (15 and 23 cm); however, some dogs grow as tall as 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in). Both British and American breed standards state that a Chihuahua must not weigh more than 5.9 lb (2.7 kg) for conformation. However, the British standard also states that a weight of 4–6 lb (1.8–2.7 kg) is preferred. A clause stating. "if two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive one is preferred" was removed in 2009. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard calls for dogs ideally between 1.5 and 3.0 kg (3.3 and 6.6 lb), although smaller ones are acceptable in the show ring.
Due to their athleticism and diverse breeding background, the Pit Bull breed tends to be hardy, with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, longer than many breeds of a similar size. There are some genetic conditions to be watchful for. The Pit Bull tends to suffer from bone diseases such as hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy and kneecap dislocation. The Pit Bull can also suffer from skin problems, such as mange and skin allergies, because of its short coat. Other health ailments seen in Pit Bulls include thyroid and congenital heart defects.