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The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world and is named for the Chihuahua State in Mexico.

Chihuahua History

Chihuahuas were originally thought to be descendants of an ancient, similar, but slightly larger breed associated with royalty in Aztec civilizations known as the Techichi. However, because of the lack of archaeological remains, it is now believed that Chihuahuas were brought to Mexico by Spanish settlers. The most current theory holds that Spanish merchants brought Chihuahuas to Spain by way of their trade routes with China and from there to Mexico. The well documented practice in China of dwarfing both plants and animals is the basis for the theory that Chihuahuas originated there.[citation needed]But another theory is that they originated in Egypt and were traded into Spain and later Mexico.

Chihuahuas were first taken into the United States by American visitors to Mexico.

Chihuahua Appearance

Great Danes contemplate ChihuahuasChihuahuas are best known for their large eyes; small size; and large, erect ears.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognizes two varieties of Chihuahua: the long-coat and the smooth-coat. Many long-coat Chihuahuas have very thin hair, but other long coats have a very dense, thick coat.

Breed standards for this dog do not generally specify a height, only a weight and a description of their overall proportions. As a result, height varies more than within many other breeds. Generally, the height ranges between six and ten inches at the withers. However, some dogs grow as tall as twelve to fifteen inches. AKC show dogs must weigh no more than six lb (2.7 kg); the FCI standard calls for dogs ideally between 1.5 and three kg (3.3 to 6.6 lb), although smaller ones are acceptable in the show ring. However, pet-quality Chihuahuas (that is, those bred or purchased as companions rather than show dogs) can, and do, range above these weights, to ten pounds or even more if they have large bone structures or are allowed to become overweight. This does not mean they are not purebred Chihuahuas, it only means that they do not meet the requirements to enter a conformation show. Oversize Chihuahuas are seen in some of the best, and worst, bloodlines.

Chihuahuas come in many colors, from solid blacks to solid whites, spotted, or a variety of other colors like fawn (tan), chocolate, (gray), silver, tricolored (chocolate, blue, or black with tan and white markings), brindle, and merle; and, each of these colors varies in shades and tones, as fawn can be a term to describe a tan dog from a very pale cream to a deep (almost red) tan, or any shade in between, and the chocolate coloration can range from a milky light shade of brown, to a deep mahogany brown, to a dark brown that is almost black.

Chihuahua Temperament

A black-and-tan ChihuahuaChihuahuas are prized for their devotion and personality. Their alertness, intelligence, and size make them easily adaptable to a variety of environments, including the city and small apartments. While Chihuahuas are often stereotyped as high-strung, correct training and socialization can result in an outstanding companion animal.

Chihuahuas are not well-suited as small children's pets because of their size and physical fragility. However, many Chihuahuas focus their devotion on one person, becoming overly jealous of that person's human relationships. This can be mitigated through socialization. Chihuahuas also tend to have a "clannish" nature, often preferring the companionship of other Chihuahuas over other dogs. Also, Chihuahuas seem to have no concept of their own size, and may fearlessly confront larger animals, which can result in injury. Chihuahuas are sensitive to the cold due to their small body size. Chihuahua owners often dress their dogs in sweaters or coats in cold weather. However longer-haired chihuahuas may be fine without additional protection and in the summer may still be known to pant.

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