Chihuahua (dog) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Chihuahua
Chihuahua1 bvdb.jpg
A purebred Chihuahua showing the classic features of the breed
Other names Chihuahua
Nicknames Chi, Chi-chi, Hua-hua
Country of origin Mexico
Height 15–25 cm (6–10 in)
Coat Short-haired (smooth coat) and long-coat
Color Any colour except merle (KC standard)
Litter size usually 2–5
Life span 12 – 20 years
Babylone 3ans1
Sable and white chihuahua with long hair
Gavin the Chihuahua
Gavin the Chihuahua. He is a Chihuahua crossed with a Shih Tzu.

A chihuahua is a very small kind of dog and is bred to be a pet.

It is the smallest breed of dog, and is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Appearance

They can reach a height of 6-9 inches (12.7–20.3 cm) and a weight of 2–6 pounds (0.9–2.7 kg). Chihuahuas can have a long or short coat, and come in many different colors. These are black, white, beige, brown, and dark brown. They only need grooming once a week if short coat or it may be twice if you have a long coat. Chihuahuas can have up to six puppies because of their small bodies.

Apple head vs. Deer head Chihuahuas

Profile of deer-headed dog
A shorthair deer head Chihuahua.
Profile of apple head dog
A shorthair apple head Chihuahua; note the pronounced stop.

Dogs of any coat type may be identified as either "apple head" or "deer head" Chihuahuas. Apple heads have rounded heads, close-set eyes, and relatively short ears and legs. Deer heads have flat-topped heads, more widely set eyes, larger ears, and longer, more slender legs.

The Apple Head Chihuahua is known for having a round/apple-shaped head and a definite "stop" whereas a Deer Head Chihuahua "may" have a flatter head, thinner skull, but is unlikely to have a "stop" and will probably have a much longer nose. Their physical body shape is largely the same, except the Deer Head Chihuahua is known to have longer legs than other Chihuahuas. The Deer Head Chihuahua tends to be larger in weight, where an Apple Head is more likely to keep their weight under ten pounds.

Apple Head Chihuahuas are longer than they are tall and have shorter necks. Deer Head Chihuahuas have longer ears than Apple Heads and their head also has a slope-shaped form. Both Apple Head and Deer Head can have short hair or long hair. They also both come in various different colors such as brown, black, tan, or white. Chihuahuas can show traits from both Apple Head and Deer Head.

Origins

The Chihuahua's start goes back to Mexico as the descendants of the Techichi, a long haired and silent dog. The Techichi was liked by the Toltec people, one of the indigenous (original) people of Mexico. Chihuahuas are believed to have been made by breeding the Techichi and Chinese Crested Dogs (a type of small hairless dog) to form today's Chihuahuas.

Another possible start for Chihuahuas was the breeding of Techichis with Spanish terriers, which were well liked at the time and were known for their small body and black and tan colors. Mating with another type of dog increased the loudness of the Techichi's bark while making it smaller.

Chihuahuas were named after the Chihuahua state in Mexico. The word Chihuahua comes from the Na'huatl word "xicuagua", which means "sandy, dry place".

Temperament

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Chihuahua lounging on owner's lap

How a Chihuahua behaves depends on the genetic temperament of their parents and grandparents. Their small size makes them delicate and vulnerable to injuries and attacks from larger animals. Like all dogs, they benefit from appropriate socialization and training. Chihuahuas tend to learn better when being rewarded positive reinforcement, such as a treat or praise. With the proper training a Chihuahua needs, this dog can be extremely intelligent. The way a dog is trained will influence its behavior.

Chihuahuas can be easily frightened or provoked to attack, so are generally unsuitable for homes with small children. The breed tends to be fiercely loyal to one particular person and in some cases may become overprotective of the person, especially around other people or animals, and tend to have a "clannish" nature, often preferring the companionship of other Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes over other dogs. These traits generally make them unsuitable for households with children who are not patient and calm.

Because Chihuahuas get cold easily they tend to love their dens and will often burrow themselves in pillows, clothes hampers, and blankets. They are often found under the covers or at the bottom of the bed, deep in the dark and safety of what they perceive as their den. Chihuahuas also enjoy time in sunlight. Chihuahuas sometimes act like cats and climb up to the highest point on a couch, usually on top of the pillows, and curl up into a ball. Chihuahuas have their own type of personality. They tend to be alert. Chihuahuas typically do not show fear; even though they are a smaller breed, they do not view their size as a disadvantage.

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Chihuahua (dog) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.