The Toy-sized long-haired Chihuahua has a flat or slightly wavy coat that comes in a variety of colours from fawn to black. The ears should be dripping with fringe, a substantial ruff encircles the neck, and the legs should be well feathered. A dainty, compact dog, adults measure 15-23cm and weigh between 1.8-2.7-kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Chihuahua (Long Coat)

Origin

Some believe that the Chihuahua is the product of breeding between the Techichi and a small, hairless dog from Asia. Chihuahua is a state in Mexico and it is from this state that the modern Chihuahua was first exported to America. Theory has it that the modern breed developed from the ancient strains of the Techichi, mixed with small dogs of Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

Personality

The long-haired Chihuahua tends to bond closely with one or two people, with whom he will be curious, lively and intelligent, as well as deeply and constantly affectionate. However, without adequate early socialisation, the breed will not take kindly to strangers and can appear nervous, yappy and even snappy. Chihuahuas must be socialised as early as possible or they will become anxious in new environments and will not get along with strangers, children and other household pets. They are a clannish breed and enjoy being with other Chihuahuas.

Health

As with many small breeds, the Chihuahua can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas) and a windpipe problem. The shape of their head can make them prone to water on the brain (hydrocephalus), and some eye problems.

Exercise

The long-haired Chihuahua can adapt to however much exercise you would like to give it, within reason. Chihuahuas tend to have bursts of energy where they play excitedly, but do not need a lot of walking – half an hour daily should suffice. It is recommended that Chihuahuas wear a harness instead of a collar due to their fragile tracheas (windpipes.)

Nutrition

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

Grooming is not a demanding chore with the Chihuahua. The long-coated Chi needs a good brushing and combing once a week. The bib or ruff of the long coats may need a wash, as it can attract food leftovers. Chihuahuas do shed, but, being small, there isn't much hair to lose. It is a good idea to brush a Chihuahua's teeth daily as, with all small breeds, they are prone to a heavy tartar build-up.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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A Toy-sized dog with a fascinating history, the Chihuahua is affectionate, loveable, and forms strong bonds with its owner. Learn more about them with Purina.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information