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The Chihuahua is the oldest known dog breed in America and the smallest breed in the world. Though native to Mexico, it seems to have been introduced by the Chinese. The Chihuahua was brought to Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua where he was brought to by travelers. This breed is believed to have been sacred to the Pre-Columbian Indian nations.
The most valued Chihuahuas weigh under 2-1/4 pounds. Some can even stand on all fours in a person's palm! There is also a long-haired type or Chihuahua that is seen separately, but is essentially the same except for the coat. The Chihuahua is well known today as a popular, economical companion dog.
The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with an apple-shaped head and a short pointed muzzle. It has round, very dark eyes, sometimes dark ruby or luminous in color. The large ears, which are seen as a trademark, should be held erect. Chihuahua puppies have a soft spot or "molera" on the top of the skull. The bone usually closes the gap by adulthood. The body is cobby, and the tail is curled over the back or to the side.
There are two types of Chihuahuas: the most common short-haired variety, and the long- haired type. Colors include fawn, sand, chestnut, silver and steel blue, but any color is accepted, including black & tan and parti-color. The dog is heartier than he looks. Chihuahuas have a level back, and legs that come down straight and square.
The Chihuahua is well known as a good companion dog. They are seen as courageous, extremely lively, and proud. This breed certainly gives and demands affection. Chihuahua's are strong-willed, intensely loyal and become very attached to their owners, even to the point of jealousy. It is can be suspicious of people except for its owner at times. They are intelligent, learn quickly, and respond well to proper, gentle (positive reinforcement) training.
Because of its size, the Chihuahua must resort to his sharp teeth in self defense. It is not recommended for children. Many owners simply paper train this breed. Be sure to socialize your Chihuahua as a pup to avoid excessive aggressiveness with other dogs as well as reserve with strangers. Chihuahuas generally recognize their own breed, but sometimes disapprove of other breeds. If well socialized, the Chihuahua can be very loving and accepting of other dog breeds and animals.
The Chihuahua is known to be a very confident dog and will make a wonderful companion dog for a family or an individual. You must remember that because of its size, the Chihuahua is best for adults or older children that will respect the needs of a smaller dog. They are protectors and carry terrier-like qualities. They think they are bigger than they really are.
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