What are a chihuahua’s characteristics?
The Chihuahua is a popular breed and often misunderstood or misrepresented in the media. What are a chihuahua’s characteristics?
Not only do they have big eyes and big ears, but they have big personalities too. They are a big, strong dog, all in a cocky little package! They have some very distinctive characteristics that are unique to the chihuahua breed!
Like many small dogs, it can seem as if a Chihuahua simply doesn’t know how small they are. You may find them strutting around with all the confidence of a much larger dog. Feeling like they are the absolute rulers of the world!
That said, chihuahuas can be a sensitive breed and if not properly socialised, could even become fear biters. This means that you need to make sure that you take them out and introduce them to different dogs, as well as different people. Chihuahuas are also quick to step up as pack leader if they feel their is a vacancy. They can become bossy and start to rule the roost!
If you ask someone who owns a chihuahua, they will tell you that their dog has their very own personality. However, one thing is for sure is that they are bright, intelligent and loving dogs. They are curious and loyal, often with a territorial streak.
Chihuahuas are known to prefer the company of other chihuahua breeds, not to mention their owners. Their preferred company will find a loyal companion who is not shy about protecting them and their home.
Recognised has being one of the smallest registered breeds in the Kennel Club, Chihuahuas come in around the .9 kg to 2.72 kg mark. They are often 15 cm to 20.32 cm tall and have a body that is longer than it is tall. However not chihuahuas are the tiny trembling dogs that people associate with the breed.
Our youngest Chi, Mini, weighs 5 kg and stands 24 cm tall. She is the top end of the size chart you would expect of a chihuahua. It does give me the hump when people comment that she is fat, she isn’t at all she is just a bigger chi. It seems human body values are now extended to our dogs.
Chihuahuas are very territorial and will defend their patch well. They make very good watch dogs and will be quick to alert you to potential intruders. The problems may start because they have a very low bar when it come to deciding what is a security breach. This can lead to excessive barking which can be inconvenient and annoying. But they can be trained what to bark at but there is no point in pretending that chihuahuas are silent. However, history suggests, that the original chihuahuas were in fact mute!
Their coat comes in two forms, smooth and long. Smooth coated chihuahuas have a glossy coat that is soft to the touch. The longer coated dogs have a longer soft coat that may be curly or flat. For both types of coat they can come in a solid colour, or have splashes of colour too! Chihuahuas have one of the most varied coat colourations of any dog breed. They come in a huge range of colours solid and patterned. You will be very lucky to come across a fully black chihuahua or a true albino.
A fairly new introduction to the coat colours is the merle. Merle chihuahuas are not recognised by the KC and you cannot register them. This is because merle is not a natural colour for a chihuahua and is considered a cross breed. Read: The Merle Controversy
Chihuahuas often change colour as they get older. Minnie was blue as a puppy but is now a mix of brown, black and pink.
One of the most distinctive parts of a chihuahua breed has to be their rounded head. Here you will find their large and bright eyes, as well as large perky ears, known to stand upright when the dog is ready to go, but flopping down when they are resting, or sideways flat if they are concerned or stressed. You can tell a lot about what your chihuahua is thinking by the position of her ears.
Chihuahuas are often described as: deer head or apple head which describes, well, the shape of their head. But this is not an official term. Show chihuahuas tend to have the apple head shape because this shape fits in more with the KC ideal. It is worth noting that there is no such thing as a T-cup chihuahua. T-cups are just inbred tiny chihuahuas, the name is a marketing term that describes these very tiny chihuahuas. It is now illegal in the UK to breed T-cups as they often come with disabilities and illness that limit their lifespan.
Now you should know more about the wonderful, strong breed that is the chihuahua. They are a fantastic breed to own, whether you are a family, a couple, or someone who is alone and wants some amazing company! You might like to read ‘So you’re thinking of buying a chihuahua‘ which explores some of the myths around this fiesty little dog breed.