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 about the Chihuahua’s health.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don't make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable breeders have their dogs' eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.
"This is our 8-month-old, 4.5-lb. Chihuahua Tequila. We call her Tiqi as a nickname and we love her to death. She's very energetic and I'm glad to see your site lists that they should be walked daily. Lots of people think that because she's so little, she doesn't need it, but her behavior is so much better when she's been exercised. She's very social and believes that any person she sees is there for the sole benefit of petting her. She's never learned to bark, which is fine for us. She does well with other dogs and children and is very smart! We were able to teach her to sit, shake with both her right and left paws, and 'walk pretty' in one week! This is her getting ready for bed in her PJ's."
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.
Everything a Beagle does somehow leads back to his nose. His powerful sense of smell overcomes any good sense you might have tried to instill and tells the Beagle to escape from the yard or break into the dog food bag in the pantry or see what’s in the trash. When channeled properly, it’s also what makes him a great arson dog or termite detector, so it all evens out in the end. Just remember that when your Beagle’s nose is down, his “other brain” is turned off.
With the mining industry growing steadily into the 17th century, Chihuahua was named the capital of the province of Nueva Vizcaya. From 1640 to 1731, the area experienced increased economic activity and, concomitantly, frequent indigenous uprisings. Tensions developed between the miners and the hacienda owners who continued to force indigenous groups into slavery.
In the Mexican War of Independence, Chihuahua hacienda owners and miners sided with the royalist forces against the independence movement. However, Mexico’s independence in 1821 forced leaders in Chihuahua to join the new country. The 1821 Plan of Iguala established the framework that consolidated the new republic; later, the region of Durango separated from Chihuahua and became an autonomous province. Chihuahua officially became a Mexican state in 1824; the state constitution was ratified the following year.
"These are our Chi babies, from left: Maxwell (6 months), Milo (9 months) and Matilda (also 9 months). While Milo and Matilda are on the bigger side of the Chi scale at 7 and 9 lbs., Maxwell is on the more average size at about 4½ lbs. Milo is a bit more on the lazy side compared to the other two and sometimes will just sit and watch the others play. He is also a bit insecure which we are working on with him. They are all very loving however and are always anxious to share kisses with their humans and with each other alike. Sometimes they'll lie in the sun bathing each other’s faces and making sure they are all looking their best. Then they will burrow in blankets, pillows, etc. until they fluff it up just enough to get comfortable and then proceed to take a long nap. While none of them are the "alpha" (that's the humans job, isn't it?!) our female, Matilda is by far the most bossy out of the group. If she wants to play, you'd better play or else you'll get a "donkey kick" until she gets a reaction. Typical female! (and yes, I can say that because I AM a female! :o)