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FREQUENTLY ASKED CHIHUAHUA QUESTIONS

  

Are Chihuahuas expensive?... If they have their American Kennel Club official certificate papers, or their UK KC registration documents then thay can be.The papers (which the breeder provides) mean that the parents of your Chihuahua are registered with the AKC or the KC in the UK,and that the puppy is registerable. Additionally, some breeders provide pedigree papers which trace the family history beyond the immediate parents. These papers are vital if you plan to enter your new dog into exhibitions and competitions.These certificates and papers ensure that the dog is a purebred; however, I hasten to add that just because a dog has papers, doesn't mean it qualifies for exhibitions and competitions. They must meet the required Chihuahua Breed Standards. Additionally, papers do not necessarily insure that the breeding Chihuahuas were well cared for or that they are free from genetic defect.Chihuahuas who do not have their papers are not significantly different than those with papers. Moreover, they can be bought for much less. Personally I think it is far more important to meet the breeder, see both of the puppies parents,or at least the mother, and to see the conditions in which the puppy was raised.

  

What is their life-span?...Toy breeds live the longest of any size dog. Expect a life-span of 11-18 years, although the latter is rare.

 

How much exercise do they require?... Not much. This little breed has short bursts of energy each day which quickly die down. You should provide toys for your Chihuahua to keep it occupied. Old slippers are ideal, as well as stuffed toys with squeakers inside. You can certainly take your Chihuahua on walks. When buying a leash for your Chihuahua, remember that its neck is rather small and delicate compared to other dog's necks. You cannot (and, indeed, should not) yank your dog around by the leash if s/he has a neck collar on. I recommend either the body-harness, or the string like slip lead that does not require a collar. I never put a collar on my Chihuahuas as this rubs off the fur under the throat, and they can get quite sore from this.A harness, if fitted right, will give your Chihuahua a secure and comfortable walk, and the harnesses also ensure your dog cannot escape.

 

Do they require special dog food?... No, they have the same nutritional needs as most dogs. Please see our pages on nutrition advice. Chihuahuas prefer several small meals per day, rather than one big meal.

Are they nervous, high-strung dogs?...Yes but only if you define high-strung as follows: barks easily, does not adapt easily to change in environment, is suspicious of strangers and will growl at them, and flips in circles and jumps around when excited (like when you come home after a five-minute absence, for instance). However, with the person that they have bonded with they do not display most of these characteristics; infact, they display radically different personalities. Chihuahuas are truly the "Jekyll-and-Hyde" of dog breeds: your friends will see the worst side of them and never believe you when you tell them that your Chihuahua is really a gentle, sweet-natured dog.There is good news, though. If you socialize your Chihuahua at an early age, they will be less stressed when new environments and people are introduced to them in adulthood. Proper socialization is critical, at the earliest age possible.

 

Are they good with children?... Are children good with them I always ask? Be careful when walking your Chihuahua to keep them well away young children who are often unhibited and will approach your dog. Some Chihuahuas are friendly around children (usually as a result of de-sensitization). In this case and others, the master's knowledge of his or her Chihuahua and good judgement should prevail. Children are more likely to hurt a Chihuahua then the other way round.

 

 

Is it safe to take your Chihuahua on a cold weather walk?... Owners must be very sensitive to the fact that short-haired Chihuahuas, and even long-haired ones, are vulnerable to the cold. In temperatures of 35-40 degrees Farenheit, I would recommend dressing your Chihuahua in a special dog sweater for brief walks. Walking your Chihuahua in temperatures below 35 degrees Farenheit is strongly discouraged, especially when there is a wind-chill factor. In this, as in other aspects of dog maintenance, keep your dogs' health top priority, not your own desire. In some cold regions, an indoor heater will be necessary to keep your Chi comfortable.

Are they sociable with other dogs?... Generally speaking, no. However there are many exceptions and many people tell of just how sociable their Chihuahua is with other breeds. So I'm inclined to say that Chihuahuas can be very curious and friendly towards other dogs. Chihuahuas are very sociable with their own kind. So several Chihuahuas can be quite happy living in the same household. That includes two or more males sharing the same house.

What's the difference between the smooth and the longs?... The issue of whether or not there is a difference in personality seems to be a topic of debate within the Chihuahua community. Some claim that there is no difference in personality; others swear that longcoats have a tendency to be soft-tempered while smoothcoats are more prone to aggressive behaviour. Let's set aside the personality issue and focus on physical and maintenance differences. Smoothcoats tend to have coats that are much coarser than longcoats, almost like bristles in some cases. Smoothcoats also shed more than longcoats. However longcoats can shed as well. Heavily coated longhairs require brushing about once a month, but this can be a pleasureable exercise for both Chi and master rather than a chore. As far as bathing is concerned, as a general rule, the longcoats will need to be bathed more frequently, and it'll be a longer process. The bib can easily get dirty and matted.  Longcoats can also occasionally get fecal matter stuck on their pants. You'll have to either bathe your dog or cut the bit off with scissors when this happens. Some Chihuahua owners swear by long-coats and wouldn't have anything else it is as much a matter of personal taste as is coat color.

Aren't Chihuahuas kind of dim?... It is understandable how this breed has developed this reputation. In public, some bark at the slightest provocation, and will not stop sometimes even when the threat is gone. Chihuahuas are actually a very intelligent and alert breed. Indeed on two seperate studies of intelligence in dogs the Chihuahua came out third on each occasion from all breeds.

Why does my Chihuahua always cover themselves up? ... It is a characteristic of the Chihuahua to prefer to sleep under a cloth or blanket. They will even get under pillows in order to feel snug. If you are raising a pup, be sure to provide them with a soft towel or blanket in their sleeping area so they can burrow underneath it. So don't be surprised if your Chihuahua scrambles under your blankets at night, even though your house or apartment may not be particularly cold.

 

Does my Chihuahua expect a suntan?... Chihuahuas are quite the sun-worshipers. They prefer to bask in the sun for hours and have been known to lie in a spot of sun no larger than the size of a half-dollar. Unfortunately, they are not sensible in this regard and will stay in the sun even when panting begins. Watch your Chihuahua in hot weather to be sure that they don't suffer from heat stroke.

My Chihuahua shivers, Is this because they are cold?... Chihuahuas do shiver when they're cold, but they also shiver when they are wary, excited, unhappy, or frightened. This is a result of having a high metabolism, and is a normal characteristic of this breed.

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