Breeds 101: Loyalty thy name is Chihuahua

If you’re looking for courage and love pint-sized, get a Chihuahua. You will never have to chase after the dog that is always by your side.

Of all small breeds, no other dog takes the front seat. We’re not talking the bougie likes of the Beverly Hills Chihuahua or Paris Hilton’s pampered “Tinkerbell.” Instead, we’re describing the itty bitty pooch that’s filled with energy, dares to check anything out, and never defies their owner.

These dogs are loyal to a fault. Quick to bond, they will listen to you from the start. Leave space for them in your bed because chances are they will want to sleep with you, often taking over pillow space.

Hailing from Mexico, their breed name originates from the city they were found. You will find them roaming the streets of the city, independent and resourceful, they will survive. The fearful persona is not a characteristic of this dog. They are daring and are not afraid to approach new comers or intruders.

In ancient times, the Mexican belief was that these dogs would protect the souls through the underworld. There’s absolutely no cuter host to the afterlife than these guys.

They have short hair and bulging, bright eyes. Tiny paws and a short tail, these dogs come in a variety of colors. They are more talkative than most breeds. Their little yelp will let you know if there are strangers approaching. Never quiet in uncomfortable settings, your Chihuahua will tell you how they feel.

Their bark and attentiveness will make them a great watchdog.

Some high-profile Chihuahua’s like the Taco Bell dog displays an energetic and intelligent dog. They couldn’t be more right. These dogs are highly trainable. Most owners keep to spoiling their little guy, avoiding training them like they would bigger breeds. So don’t hold back with training, they’ll be less nippy and approachable this way.

Due to their size however, supervision is a necessity when they’re being handled by small children. They are friendly to kids, but some small pups are at risk of being harmed by naïve handlers.

These dogs can get nippy when protecting their property or when threatened. It is best to slowly approach a barking Chihuahua. Consider this, some will submit, but the last thing you want is an ankle biter under attack. So use your best judgment, and always ask the owner if their dog is friendly before petting.

They make great apartment dogs because of their size. Due to their short hair, grooming is easy and you won’t have to worry too much about shedding.

Overall maintenance of a Chihuahua is low compared to other breeds.

Life expectancy of a chihuahua is 13-15 years. Chihuahuas are prone to health problems like other “purse puppies.” They can suffer from hypoglycemia, neurological issues, and orthopedic problems such as luxating patellas (displaced kneecaps). Vets encourage owners to seek Chihuahuas that are bigger than three pounds because they’re subject to more health issues.

A favorite of small breed owners, the Chihuahua is a keeper. There’s no other breed to take along for an adventure or vegging out on the sofa watching horror movies. After all, this dog is fearless.

Famous onscreen Chihuahuas include Elle Woods’ Bruiser from the Legally Blonde movies, Isabella’s always-shaking Pinky in Phineas and Ferb and the Taco Bell Chihuahua of late 1990s/early 2000s advertisements.

Next: Dog names for the masses

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