One of the oldest breeds of dog, Chihuahuas, are nothing like their size. They come with free-spirited energy and unlimited affection and are the smallest dog breeds registered by the AKC. It is believed that Chihuahuas have a Mexican ancestry where they were used by the royals to keep warm. 


About the Breed

Nutrition

Caring for a Chihuahua is like caring for a newborn baby, only - they need the extra care all their life. The breed speaks of fragility, and it manifests in the form of deficiencies and illnesses. Chihuahuas need a vet prescribed diet to ensure optimal growth and prevention of diseases. Besides this, they need supplements for bones, eyes, skin, heart, immunity and digestion. Make sure you have a set diet (including treats) for your Chihuahua and never stray from that diet, even on special occasions!

Grooming

Chihuahuas are low maintenance when it comes to their fur, but they need a regular nail trim, ear clean, and teeth brush to keep them healthy inside out.

Exercise

Chihuahuas don't need much physical exercise, but they do require good mental stimulation to keep them from chewing, barking, or being destructive. They can make do with a half an hour walk around the block, but keeping them engaged throughout the day with puzzle toys, chew toys, obedience training, treasure hunts etc., is a must.

Training

Chihuahuas are easy to train only if you start early. Once they reach six months of age, they reach what some people call 'an old dog who can't learn new tricks'. Persistent, patient and early training is key to making the dog a great pet!

Health

They are quite healthy compared to other small breeds, but they suffer from Melora, where the soft spot on the skull isn't closed, and Patellar Luxation or floating kneecaps. Besides this, Chihuahuas are prone to arthritis and genetic blindness. It is best to adopt from a reputable breeder and feed your Chi a nutritious diet to ensure she lives long and healthy. 

Temperament

Chihuahuas prefer calm and quiet - much contrary to their quirky personality. They tend to bond with only one person in the household. Because of this, Chihuahuas suffer from panic attacks and separation anxiety every time their person leaves home. This breed does not take too well to children and other pets running around the household. 

Chihuahuas are one of India's favourite canine companions; are they yours too?
The Chihuahua's small size makes it ideal for apartment living.
Chihuahuas make good watchdogs because of their alertness and wariness towards strangers.
They need minimal grooming.
Chihuahuas are a please to train if you start at eight weeks
They do not need much exercise and prefer spending their day as lap dogs

As perfect as the breed sounds, here's why they may not be the best fit -
Chihuahuas are very fragile in terms of health and mindset - they tend to get hurt easily and are very sensitive to negative reinforcement
Chihuahuas cannot survive in cold weather
They tend to bond to only one person; this can lead to separation anxiety
They are extreme barkers
They do not do well in families or homes with many guests coming over.

Chihuahuas are everything you'd want in a modern city dog, but they need special attention and care. If you are willing to put in the effort, Chihuahuas are friends for a lifetime and beyond!