Almost without exception everyone has a mental image of Chihuahua puppies most notably the famous Taco Bell dog who spoke the famous catchphrase, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
Of course, Chihuahua pups are more popular than ever today and so it's highly probable that you've seen one on the street, at the dog park or on television in recent years.
Of course besides being a member of the toy breed group, one of the most distinguishing Chihuahua characteristics is its unique apple shaped head. Just like a newborn baby a Chihuahua puppy also features a molera, or soft spot, on the top of its head.
Although it's fun to learn Chihuahua facts like these there is much more to the Chihuahua dog than just its anatomy so sit back, relax and enjoy the information we've got for you about Chihuahuas.
Chihuahua Information and the Breed Standard
Like other purebred dogs that are registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), there is a standard for what an ideal Chihuahua should look like. It's also commonly referred to as the official standard for the Chihuahua.
Like other breeds of dogs, any one that is recognized by the AKC also has the backing of a larger national organization typically referred to as a parent club. The responsibility of the parent club is to provide education to both Chihuahua breeders as well as Chihuahua owners about what constitutes excellence for the various Chihuahua types. Filling this role is an organization known as the Chihuahua Club of America (CCA).
Of course, most people that are interested in getting a Chihuahua puppy are necessarily concerned with whether or not their dog is the picture-perfect image of the breed. Even though these standards only really apply in the dog show arena and with those breeding Chihuahuas its educational to know where the expectations of Chihuahua traits come from.
Even though this is as advanced as we'll get with our discussion of AKC Chihuahua info, you may want to take the time to do additional research on Chihuahua facts for yourself.
That said, we'll still cover many of the basic facts about Chihuahuas so that you can make a well-informed decision about whether or not one of these diminutive canines is right for you and your family.
All about Chihuahuas
There is some controversy about the origin of Chihuahuas. Most historians are basically undecided about the exact origin of the breed.
There are certain archaeological relics that have been discovered in the Mexican ruins of the Aztec, Mayan and Toltec civilizations which include sculptures and images of small dogs. Although most of these do not resemble a modern Chihuahua, some discovered in Toltec Indian research does seem to resemble today's dog much more closely.
There is a competing view, known as the Malta theory, which states that the Chihuahua we know today is a distant relative of a tiny dog which live on the island nation. According to proponents of this theory, the dog migrated to the Americas on trading ships.
Lastly, a final theory says that the Chihuahua dog is actually a Chinese contribution. According to this perspective, the Chinese have perfected the art of dwarfing living creatures which included dogs. If this theory is to be believed, wealthy Chinese traders brought these small dogs to Mexico as their canine counterparts.
No matter which theory you subscribe to about the origins of Chihuahuas, we will go over some basic Chihuahua characteristics so that you know what to be on the lookout for when choosing your Chihuahua puppy.
Facts about Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua has a compact build, moves quickly and gracefully and is well-known as an alert breed similar in behavior to terriers.
Ideally, the Chihuahua that you are considering should have a well-balanced appearance. In other words, you'd want to be sure that your dog's legs or head don't appear too large or small for its body.
The body of the Chihuahua is what is known as off square. In essence, this will mean that when measuring the dog from the shoulder point to the behind, it will be slightly longer than it is tall.
The front half of the Chihuahua, also known as the forequarters, should fit into a few considerations. Under ideal circumstances, when the front legs of a Chihuahua are straight the toes should point forward as well. Any deviation from this such as having a bowlegged appearance or having paws that are misshapen or something similar are considered to be undesirable.
The rear half of the Chihuahua, also called the hindquarters, should consist of legs that are completely parallel when viewed from the rear. Legs that point toward each other are called cowhocks and are also considered undesirable.
A healthy weight for a Chihuahua size should not exceed 6 pounds which is what Chihuahua breeders and dog show experts consider to be "show ring ready".
The Chihuahua Head
As mentioned earlier, a Chihuahua's head should resemble the shape of an apple without being completely round. The eyes should be somewhat large and fairly well apart and be radiant and shiny.
The ears of a Chihuahua sit at a 45° angle when the dog is resting. However, when the dog is alert the years will stand straight up. The ears of the animal are perhaps one of the best-known Chihuahua traits. As an aside, the manner in which a dog positions it ears is also known as its ear carriage.
The Chihuahua Muzzle
The ideal length for a Chihuahua's muzzle, or snout, is somewhat short but not super short since this can cause problems with breathing as well as teeth crowding.
There are two types of bites typically associated with Chihuahua teeth. These are the scissors bite and the level bite. When a Chihuahua has a scissors bite this means that the upper teeth protrude slightly above the lower teeth when the Chihuahua's mouth is closed. Conversely, when a Chihuahua has a level bite this means that the upper and lower teeth meet flush against one another.
There are two types of coats that Chihuahua puppies can have. They are a shorthaired, or smooth coat, and a long-haired coat. Chihuahuas that have short coats may also have an undercoat. This section of fur acts as a protective layer in the belly area.
Like their shorter haired cousins, long-haired Chihuahuas will also possess an undercoat and its outer coat will typically range in length from 1 inch up to around 1 1/2 inches.
Otherwise, the two types of Chihuahuas are virtually identical.
Despite the bad behavior displayed by Chihuahuas on television, most of them do not have an overly high activity level. In fact, effective Chihuahua training often results in a dog that is remarkably well behaved even without human company for extended periods of time.
Most of the time, a Chihuahua tends to mirror the activity level of its surroundings more so than initiating activity or exercise on its own. For the most part, Chihuahua behavior could be described as spirited but not overly excited.
We hope that this brief introduction to and education about Chihuahua puppies has been helpful to you and that if you want to learn more about this unique toy breed, be sure and spend some more time on the site and enjoy.