The Chihuahua training information you will read here was developed
by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose
combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist
experience training dogs.
Here are a few of our experts:
has been featured in National TV and
Radio shows like Voice of America
and has been
dogs ever since he was 14 years old.
players, NFL players, professional
golfers, singers, wrestlers, governors, CEOs,
billionaire entrepreneurs, and many other celebrities
trust Ty because of his unique approach to training
He has trained dogs in 18 states
in the U.S.A and four other countries worldwide
and has spent several years working with high
level executive protection dogs who make wonderful
family pets, but potent guardians if called
is an internationally recognized Expert
Animal Communicator and Master
who has authored 6 books on Animal Communication
and has been featured in several TV
and Radio shows such as the
Wayne & Jayne Radio Show and Whole Life Radio
with Carmen & John LaMarca.
Her uncanny insight
into 'animal thought' comes from having intimately
worked with over 6,200 animals during the past
30 years, which is why we trust her profound
experience when she speaks.
Dr. Susan Lauten
Lauten has a Masters in Animal Nutrition
and a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences.
Recently a guest of
Marty Becker on "Top Vets Talk Pets"
and interviewed by The Oregon Live,
she has authored several peer-reviewed articles
and veterinary nutrition reference book chapters.
With 5 years of experience teaching Veterinary
Nutrition at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital,
Dr. Lauten brings unequalled veterinary perspective
into how your dog should be cared for both medically
has a current practice which teaches nearly
200 young dog owners to train
their dogs in obedience and
Having spent over 40 years training
dogs, Sally has proven experience in helping
dogs to love and obey their owners and bond
deeply with them - while guiding owners to truly
appreciate the wonderful gift of friendship
this inevitably brings.
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Chihuahua: Temperament, Exercise, Health (Chi)
Also known as: Chiwawa,
Country of Origin, History of the breed
The Chihuahua may have
originated from the Fennec Fox, a very small
animal with big eyes and ears. This would
explain the tiny frame, luminous eyes and
large ears. The breed's name comes from
the Mexican State of Chihuahua, where the
earliest specimens of the breed were found.
The Techichi, a companion of
the ancient Toltecs, is believed to be the ancestor
of the Chihuahua. No records of the Techichi are,
so far, available prior to the 9th century. Dogs
very similar to the Chihuahua were found in the
Pyramids of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the
ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Chihuahua's origin, therefore,
was present-day Mexico. However, the breed may
have traveled to Europe with Christopher Columbus.
A historical letter written by Columbus to the
King of Spain makes reference to the tiny dog.
By the mid-1800s, the breed had traveled to the
United States from various European countries
and from Mexico. It was the first breed registered
by the American Kennel Club and consistently ranks
in the top 15 breeds in popularity in the US.
Today's Chihuahua, the smallest
breed in the world, is much smaller than its predecessor.
Perhaps the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia
to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible
for the reduction in size. Modern Chihuahuas are
also found in a myriad of colors.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Chihuahua the right breed for you?
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Check Your Chihuahua's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Chihuahua's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.
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Does your Chihuahua bark unnecessarily? Does your Chihuahua come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Chihuahua and learn how to control your dog.
Do you make these mistakes with your Chihuahua?
Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Chihuahua? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.
Chihuahua Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Chihuahua needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Chihuahua Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance
of the Dog
Male Chihuahuas are preferred
when they have shorter bodies but they appear
to be longer when measured from the shoulders
to the buttocks. Chihuahuas are known for their
slightly oval head, with a Molera on it, which
may not always be there, their small body and
large, sharp ears. A Chihuahua's snout is usually
short and slightly pointed. They have lean jaws
and cheeks and blue, mole, pink or chocolate colored
noses. They have slightly arched necks, well-rounded
ribs and a tail that is either up or curled in
a loop with the tip of it slightly touching the
There are two types of Chihuahuas.
One of which has smooth, soft glossy coat, which
covers the whole body except the head and ears.
The other version has a long coat with an undercoat.
This type of coat could be either curly or flat.
Male : 6 - 10 inchess
Female : 6 - 10 inches
Male: under 6 pounds
Female: under 6 pounds
Temperament of the Dog
Chihuahuas can adapt to both
tiny apartments as well as busy city lives. Although
categorized as highly excitable, edgy dogs, good
training can bring out the very best in Chihuahuas,
who are lauded for their personality and devotion.
Most Chihuahuas are known to bond with usually
a single, grown-up member of the family and eventually
become possessive about him/her and may not be
best suited to be children's pets. Owing to their
small size, this breed is very sensitive to cold
weather condition. They are extremely devoted
towards their owners and equally snappy towards
strangers. However training Chihuahuas through
positive reinforcement and constant interaction
can teach this breed some important socializing
Better suited to an indoor
or outdoor lifestyle?
In warm climates, they will
need air-conditioning to breathe properly and
in cold climates, they will need heat as they
do not hold body heat well. Most Chihuahuas will
want to wear a sweater indoors and outdoors much
of the time. They are ideal as full-time indoor
dogs since they can more easily be paper or litter
trained than outdoor potty trained. They will
like a walk outdoors, but want to stay with their
owner or cuddled in a blanket on their beds.
Are they suited to homes
Because of their loyalty they
can do well in households housing elderly individuals.
They have sharp teeth and might even unknowingly
bite kids while playing and are thus not fit for
houses with kids.
to take care of the Chihuahua Puppies?
They should be kept indoors
till the time they are old enough to go
out. They are playful and should be given
chewable toys to prevent chewing up of valuable
furniture. Their ears and eyes should be
cleaned preventing infection from setting
in and they need vaccination at the right
age. Chihuahua puppies enjoy sunbathing
and also need adequate rest. Only nutritional
dog food should be fed.
They are not easy to train and
thus, should be trained through walks and interaction
with other dogs and individuals. A small dog like
Chihuahua should be crate-trained and obedience
training could be imparted as well, but with a
bit of persistence. They love attention and hence
should be potty-trained through positive reinforcement
and are never to be treated harshly. While taking
the dog on a walk, one should always put a harness
around him and not a leash.
Short daily walks serve the
purpose for these dogs and they do not need a
lot of exercise. Taking them on walks occasionally
should keep them in good spirits, as the breed
likes to travel.
Both types need bathing once
a month with mild shampoo. The long coated ones
should be brushed several times with soft bristles
while the smooth coated ones occasional brushing.
Strict ear and dental care should to be taken.
Chihuahuas are sometimes picky
eaters, and care must be taken to provide them
with adequate nutrition. At the same time, care
must be exercised not to overfeed this tiny breed.
Overweight Chihuahuas are more prone to joint
injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis,
and shortened life span.
Start your Chihuahua out on
a good quality kibble food for small or toy breeds.
If your dog is under a year old, use the puppy
formula for toy dogs as it will have a higher
proportion of fats and carbohydrates than the
adult food and that will aid in the puppy’s
development. Once your puppy is a year old, use
the adult version of the food. Check the label
and see if the food contains glucosamine because
you will want to add a glucosamine supplement
if it does not.
Make sure the kibbles are small
so that your dog can easily bite and chew them.
Dry food is preferred to canned food as the chewing
of the kibbles helps to keep the dog’s gums
healthier, jaws stronger, and teeth cleaner. If,
however, you have an elderly Chi, most of these
manufacturers also make a canned food which you
can give in small portions.
Dental care is extremely important
for Chi’s. Their teeth must be cleaned at
least twice a week. Daily is ideal as they are
so prone to gum and tooth diseases. The new dental
vaccine is a good idea for your Chihuahua.
If your dog is digging at his
bottom or scooting, he may need a trip to the
vet to get his anal sac emptied.
A common habit some Chihuahuas
is snorting when they are overexcited or alarmed.
Many chis quiver or tremble when keen, alert or
anxious. Quivering can also signify the chi is
cold or frightened.
His prominent eyes are susceptible
to corneal dryness and secondary glaucoma. Chihuahuas
are also prone to eye infections due to their
large, round, protruding eyes and their relatively
low ground clearance.
Chihuahuas are also prone to
some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones,
such as epilepsy and seizure disorders.
Chihuahuas have moleras, or
a soft spot in their skulls, and they are the
only breed of dog to be born with an incomplete
skull. The molera does fill in with age, but great
care needs to be taken during the first six months
until the skull is fully formed. Many veterinarians
are not familiar with Chihuahuas as a breed, and
mistakenly confuse a molera with hydrocephalus
(because Chis are prone to that). The Chihuahua
Club of America has issued a statement regarding
this often deadly misdiagnosis. Chihuahua puppies
exhibiting hydrocephalus usually have patchy skull
platelets rather than a solid bone, and typically
are lethargic and do not grow at the same pace
as their siblings.
Chihuahuas are prone to several
forms of heart disease, so if your Chihuahua coughs—coughing
is one sign of heart disease—visit your
veterinarian. One of the common Chihuahua cardiac
problems is an inherited heart disease called
PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). The gums of dogs
with PDA can be bluish rather than pink because
blood doesn’t follow the normal route through
heart and lungs, thus the blood contains more
carbon dioxide than normal. Chihuahuas can also
have heart valve disease (endocardiosis). Valve
disease is made worse if your pet has dental disease
because bacteria in the mouth circulate through
the blood and grow on the heart valves. It’s
important to brush your Chihuahua’s teeth
and provide good oral care.
Tracheal collapse is common
in Chihuahuas because the cartilage rings that
hold open the airway are fragile. To protect your
pet’s throat and keep pressure off the airway,
use a harness rather than a collar. If your pet
develops a collapsing trachea, it may develop
a cough. Give your dog a daily supplement with
glucosamine to help keep the lining of the airway
in a healthy, moist state—just as these
supplements help keep the inside of joints healthy,
moist , and smooth.
Bone and joint diseases such
as arthritis are common even though the Chihuahua
is very tiny. Chihuahuas can have bone disease
in the hip if the circulation is poor (Legg-Perthes
Chihuahuas, especially males,
have a genetic predisposition to developing cystine
bladder stones. Visit the veterinarian if your
Chihuahua is having difficulty urinating. If cystine
stones develop, which is more likely in acidic
urine, pets are put on medications, such as potassium
citrate, that raise the urinary pH (alkalinize).
Chihuahuas can also be at risk
for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is
especially dangerous for puppies. Left unattended,
hypoglycemia can lead to coma. Your vet will help
you learn how to manage this situation. You may
need to give insulin shots or feed your dog a
special diet or to feed your dog more often, but
only your vet can tell you what will work for
Cautions about Breeding
Each Chihuahua is different
as they all have a different set of temperament
and can develop severe behavioral problems if
it has not met its right match. Most of the Chihuahuas
have severe complications while whelping and they
often have puppies by caesarian section, which
are often abandoned after childbirth. Those dogs
below 4 pounds of weight should never be bred.
Litter Size: Average:
Life Span: 15
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National Breed Club:
Chihuahua Club of America.
NKC, FCI, APRI, ANKC, UKC, KCGB, NZKC, AKC, NKC,
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