There are many theories about the origin of the Chihuahua. It is believed that the Chihuahua comes from an an ancient breed from Central America called “Techichi” that lived in the Toltec civilisation. The Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, welcoming the Techichi into their civilisation. According to representations and paintings of the discovered Techichi, the Toltec civilisation believed that the Techichis were “magic” dogs, that they could cure illnesses and guide the Toltecs towards eternal life. The Chihuahua as we know it today was discovered in the city Chihuahua (Mexico) in 1850.
How much does a Chihuahua weigh?
The ideal weight for a Chihuahua is between 1 and 3 kilos, although the breed’s standards also accept Chihuahuas weighing a minimum of 500 grams. At this weight, we are talking about the smallest breed in the world. Their light weight and small size make the Chihuahua a great travel companion, but you must also take into account the disadvantages of their size and be very careful that they don’t escape through fences or windows, whether it be in your own home or if you are in another place (parks, friends’ houses, the vets or hairdressers, etc.)
You also have to be extremely careful with the type of collar or harness you choose as they are great escape artists and in one simple movement they could get away from you.
Harness or collar?
Without doubt, the best thing for a Chihuahua is to use a harness, since their neck is small and fragile and, by pulling on the lead, they can cause harm to their trachea. Also, Chihuahuas, like other small breeds of dogs, have a high intraocular pressure and a greater risk of suffering from glaucoma. Pulling on the lead only increases this risk. For this reason a good, well-fitting harness that they can’t escape from is recommended. (Check that when you walk forwards and your Chihuahua pulls back that they don’t come out of the harness.)
The Chihuahua’s health
Chihuahuas normally enjoy good health. A healthy Chihuahua will live for 10 to 18 years with few problems. For this, make sure that your Chihuahua comes from a responsible breeder. Ask for the puppy’s parents health certificate where it will be specified that both of them are free of illnesses. Remember that a responsible breeder will breed with dogs older than 2-3 years old, since there are a series of diseases and hereditary illnesses that don’t manifest in the dog until this age. Also, the ideal situation is to be able to personally meet the puppy’s parents to make sure that they have a good temperament, since your puppy will also inherit “their genes”. Don’t trust those breeders that don’t allow you to spend some time with the parents of your future puppy or that don’t show you said health certificates.
If you want a Chihuahua, we recommend first asking in dog shelters in your town: you won’t believe the amount of breeds (including Chihuahuas) that there are. Adopting a Chihuahua can be much easier than you think.
To be safe, a good breeder will not give you a Chihuahua if it is going to be living with children younger than eight years old, since they could, without intending to, hurt it while they are playing.
They are active dogs, needing at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, whether it be a steady walk or games in the park with their friends. To manage all of this energy, it is certain that your Chihuahua will enjoy and be interested in activities like Agility. They will make lots of friends, you will have a great bond with your dog and they will use all their physical and cognitive abilities to the maximum.
The Chihuahua’s character
The Chihuahua often forgets that they are the smallest dog in the world, which has a tendency to cause them problems with dogs that are bigger than them. As a result, it is important to socialise your Chihuahua from a young age with all types of dogs, with dogs of all sizes and breeds possible, while making sure that bigger dogs don’t hurt them while playing.
Because of their small size, the owner of the Chihuahua tends to overprotect and make a fuss of them. Don’t pick up your Chihuahua unless it is absolutely necessary, and much less when they are with other dogs. Let them communicate and don’t interfere in their canine communication if it isn’t necessary.
The Chihuahua is very protective of their master and their family, making them relentlessly bark when a “stranger” comes to the house. Get your Chihuahua used to people visiting as early as possible using positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding them when their behaviour is good when a visitor comes to the house. Ignore their bad behaviour: over time, they will realise that their behaviour doesn’t affect you in any way and they will stop doing it.
If you have a Chihuahua, join the Gudog pack!