The Chihuahua: A Complete Guide

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If you are on a quest to find a small dog with big curious eyes, perfect to carry around in a tote bag, the Chihuahua might be just the dog you are looking for.

Those of you who have a passion for portable and adorable dogs will immediately fall in love with this little breed.

And, if we add loyalty and human family dedication into the mix, the Chihuahua fan base will drastically get bigger.

This is one of, if not the best breed for people with an active city lifestyle and for those who like to travel a lot since they are great traveling companions.

If you live in an apartment, your Chihuahua will be really happy because it doesn’t need much exercise. It’s simply a small apartment dog that just loves spending time with his owner.

But, since this is probably the most popular year in the last decade or so, when choosing a Chihuahua puppy you need to be very careful and need to ask the right questions if you want to have a healthy dog with good genes.

This is exactly the reason we decided to write this guide so that we can make that research time extremely shorter, and to help you in making the right choice.

To start off, we will be talking about what you need to pay attention to when choosing a puppy.

The Chihuahua Puppies – Before You Buy…

A brown Chihuahua in a blanket
Chihuahuas have beautiful big eyes.

Before buying a puppy from any breed, you need to make sure that you don’t have to sell a car for it. You need to be comfortable with the price range before you even consider looking for a breeder.

And, speaking of breeders, you need to be extremely careful who you buy the puppy from. In this section, we will be dealing exactly with these questions.

What price are Chihuahua puppies?

The price range for a Chihuahua goes anywhere between $400 to $1,200. But, keep in mind that cheaper in most cases means low genetic quality and health issues.

For a pup that comes from a healthy bloodline with good temperament genes, you will need to pay a higher price.

How to find reputable Chihuahua breeders?

As you might have guessed from the pert above, good quality comes at a higher price. But, what does that price include?

Well, reputable breeders with litters that come from healthy parents, have their health test clearances and were properly taken care of. By properly, we mean regular vet checkups and high-quality food.

Also, a lot of time, effort, love, and money has been invested in their development, and that reflects on their offspring.

So, if the breeder offers a complete, documented medical history and tests clearances for both the pup and the parents, you know that you are dealing with a professional, reputable breeder, and you can be sure that you are going back home with a healthy puppy that has no hidden issues.

On the other hand, if the breeders you are talking to offers a suspiciously low price, doesn’t have all the necessary documentation, and doesn’t seem to know or care much about the breed or his dogs, you should skip buying a pup from him and look further.

3 Little-known facts about the Chihuahua puppies

Before you decide to give a breeder a visit and see if any of the pups seem like the perfect choice for you, there are a few things you should know about the Chihuahua puppies, so that you pretty much know what you are getting into.

  • Good genes are everything!

What type of a Chihuahua your pups grow up to, is highly dependent on the genes it inherits from its parents.

In other words, there’s always a 50/50 chance that you might end up with a neurotic puppy that snaps at everything that moves, and, even a heavy dosage of socializing might not be able to help.

So, ask the breeder about both pup’s parents’ temperaments before making the final choice.

  • They love hanging out with other Chihuahuas

Even while they are still puppies, Chihuahua will immediately recognize its own breed.

And, having in mind how heartbroken they can get if left alone, it might not be a bad idea to get two Chihuahua pups so that they keep each other occupied while you are out working.

  • Housebreaking?

The Chihuahuas are one of the hardest dog breeds when it comes to housebreaking. This is one of the biggest challenges you will face when it comes to your puppy.

Therefore, to make it easier while your dogs get used to going out to do his thing, you should include a litter box.

This will especially come in handy during the winter or when it’s raining because Chihuahuas will not go out in such weather no matter what.

Physical Traits of the Chihuahua

A Chihuahua wearing a flower shirt
Chihuahua needs regular daily exercise.

In this part of the guide, you will get to know how “big” your Chihuahua can get, and what weight to expect.

It sounds funny when weight and Chihuahua are in the same sentence because they weigh nearly to nothing.

How big is a full-grown Chihuahua?

Size is not something this breed can brag with. But, that is actually why so many people love them!

When it comes to how tall you can expect your dog to be when full-grown, let us say that it most likely won’t go over 9 inches.

Even that size is considered to be huge in the ChiChi world, so expect a height range of 5 to 9 inches.

As for the weight, the maximum you can expect is 6 pounds, while the lowest weight with which a Chihuahua can be considered healthy and properly developed is around 2 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Chihuahua?

When speaking about the life expectancy of your Chihuahua, you should expect him (or her) to be your companion for the next 15 to 18 years.

Yes, you will have plenty of time to travel and hang out together.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Chihuahua

A Chihuahua in a holiday outfit
Chihuahua is a perfect dog for travelers.

They may be a small package but have no doubt that a Chihuahua is bursting with personality.

Also, regardless of their size, these dogs will not even blink when it comes to confronting a much larger dog or a human.

The only beings, they tolerate without getting to know them first are… Well, Chihuahuas. However, a Chihuahua takes his role of a human companion extremely seriously.

And, they will quickly become jealous or protective anytime someone tries to approach you while they are in your hands or somewhere near you.

As a matter of fact, they can even sometimes get protective of you even when your other family members are around.

However, if they grow up with a family, Chihuahuas will usually bond with all members, and live to enjoy their company.

They have an insatiable need to be around their human family all the time, and they are happiest when everyone is together in one room.

Furthermore, these agile, brave and cheerful little dogs are known to be with a strong will and if you don’t provide firm leadership, you can easily end up with a Chihuahua that thinks he is your master.

Even though some people find that training a Chihuahua is more than they can handle, we assure you that with a gentle, yet firm training, and thanks to the fact that this is a very intelligent breed, you will see positive results quite quickly.

Also, remember not to allow your dog to take a pass with some of the bad behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated with a larger dog.

For example, do not encourage his small dog syndrome, where he thinks he is the boss of everyone and finds jumping on people a thing he can do anytime he wants.

Likewise, if you, when back from work, immediately pick up your Chihuahua and place him in your lap, you are encouraging him to think that he is the leader of the pack and that you are there to please him because he was all alone while you were gone.

If you let him think that he is the leader, he will become jealous and aggressive with other people and dogs, and develop a tendency to be extremely suspicious of anyone except you.

If you notice a dominant behavior and start treating your Chihuahua as a dog of a larger breed, meaning no special treatment just because he is small, and you position yourself as the Alpha of the family, your little dictator will change his temperament into a one that is much more appealing, and will grow up to be a perfect little companion for both you and your family.

Chihuahua Diet

When thinking about what you should feed your Chihuahua with, you should first know that a large number of commercial dog food labeled as “Premium” is not the best choice when it comes to offering enough nutrients and a well-balanced vegetable to meat ratio.

Therefore, instead of opting for this food, we recommend checking out what your local pet stores have to offer as they are specialized in providing high-quality food for pets.

Now, when it comes to which ingredient is the most important one for your dog, the answer is meat. And, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about lamb, beef, chicken, or fish, what matters is that it makes 40% of your dog’s meal.

The second important ingredient is vegetables, and it should make 40% of the meal as well. As for which vegetables your dog should have in his diet, we recommend broccoli, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and peas.

The final ingredient, which should be 20% of the meal, is pasta.

Finally, the amount of food your Chihuahua should eat during the day, best if divided into 3 meals, should be from half a cup to one and three-thirds of a cup, depending on the size and weight of your dog and his activity levels.

How much Exercise does a Chihuahua need?

Even though carrying your Chihuahua around in your arms might seem like you are doing him a favor, in reality, you are doing harm.

They are an active breed and they need their daily exercise. Instead of carrying your dog, make sure you have a real walk with him for some half an hour and know that playtime during the day doesn’t count as an exercise.

Chihuahua Health and Conditions

If you are worried about Chihuahuas being health sensitive, due to their small size, there’s no need for it because they are generally a healthy breed.

However, there are some conditions and diseases you should know about:

  • Rheumatism
  • Colds
  • Slipped stifle
  • Gum problems
  • Corneal dryness

So, before buying a Chihuahua puppy from a certain breeder, make sure you have an insight into both of the pup’s parents’ medical history.

My final thoughts on the ChihuahuaA Chihuahua looking at you

We are at the end of your Chihuahua guide and by now, you have surely realized that this 2-pound dog comes with a 2-ton personality.

Also, they have beautiful big eyes that seem to uncover every single of his thoughts, as well as with a very expressive face that makes you want to squeeze and hold him forever.

But, it is exactly this treatment that can lead to a bossy nature problem, and you should not give your Chihuahua a special treatment.

Instead, you should treat him like a big dog that needs to walk instead of being carried around, and he needs to socialize with other breeds and people outside your family so that he doesn’t become suspicious and aggressive to anyone but you.

Once you establish a proper owner/dog relationship, you will have an adorable little dog that follows your lead, and likes to hang with the rest of your family, friends, and other dogs in the park as well, and doesn’t think the sun revolves around him.

To get to that point, you need to start with consistent and gentle training as soon as possible, and not allow him to take the role of the leader of the pack. You are the leader and you should let him know that.

We hope that this guide helped you in getting to know this breed much better and that now you know if you and a Chihuahua are a match made in heaven or not.

Thanks for reading!

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