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Monday, May 10, 2010

Chihuahua | Teacup Chihuahua

No quiero Taco Bell y no hablo español. Huh? Attention all chihuahuas and teacup chihuahuas. Do people stop you in the streets to speak to you in spanish that you don't understand? Maybe that is because you're from Asia. Nobody is certain about the chihuahua's origin. While the first chihuahuas purchased by Northern Americans came from  across the border of Juarez Mexico, and while their name is from the Mexican State of Chihuahua, there are no indications that the Toltecs and Aztecs had any domesticated animals, including dogs. There is also no record of any dwarf dogs in Mexico until the year 1875. A possible theory is that the chihuahua arrived that year to the New World on a ship from Asia. 

Physical description: The chihuahua is a tiny toy sized dog with a rounded head and a short and pointed muzzle. The chihuahua puppies are born with a soft spot on the top of their skull, not unlike human babies. It is called a "molera" and it usually does not close. They have large, rounded eyes, set apart. Their ears are erect and large. The coat can be of various lengths and textures. The chihuahua makes an excellent companion dog. Despite its strong will and adventurous personality, the chi is a loyal dog that becomes attached to its owners. No wonder it's rated among the top twelve most popular breeds. 

Size challenge: One more advantage chihuahuas have is their hardiness. But while they're small and mighty, the truth is, especially with tea cup chihuahuas, that they're vulnerable. Teacups usually weight under five pounds and are therefore rather susceptible to physical harm. As joyful and curious as they are, they can easily end up under your foot or you can roll on them in your sleep. Drop a rambunctious teacup chihuahua from less than a foot height, and the poor chi will most likely end up in the emergency room with a fracture or two. Teacup chihuahuas should ideally not be raised in households with small children or large dogs who may accidentally hurt them by merely trying to engage in play. All chihuahuas are to be supervised when outdoors, since they can become victims of all  predators, including birds of prey. 

Training: Due to their strong personalities, chihuahuas need to be trained and disciplined. With today's economy, it's a relatively low cost dog, vet bills excluded, and its messes are easy to clean up. Depending on the household, chihuahuas can be turned into adventurous hikers or couch potatoes. It's up to the owners. Speaking of discipline, there is one issue that needs to be addressed, potty training. All small dogs are particularly difficult to housebreak. Not only do they have tiny bladders, but they also make such small messes that are easy to go undetected, therefore, the best approach is to limit their space, until you are sure they are fully potty trained. An old mess that went undetected will draw them back. If you don't  want to shell out the money for special pet store odor eliminating and enzyme based products, you can clean up and erase all traces of smell by using distilled white vinegar. No worries, after about five minutes the vinegar smell dissipates and then disappears altogether. 

Temperament: Chihuahuas are by nature excessive barkers. Due to their size they are easily overwhelmed and they will either break out into barking or even snapping. Their voices are high pitched and annoying but all those problems can be eliminated with proper training, firm, consistent, and gentle. Balanced chihuahuas, are easy to introduce to an existing pack, and they even get along with cats nicely. 

Some of the chihuahua's health problems are bladder stones, arthritis, and tracheal and heart diseases. They are also prone to seizures. ¡Ay, caramba! One thing I highly recommend to all chihuahua owners, and especially teacup chihuahuas, is have some Nutrical handy. It's a caloric supplement paste, loaded with valuable nutrients, that can jump start a finicky eater too without burdening the digestive tract. Tiny toy dogs cannot last without food for as long as a regular sized ones. They tend to "crash" and the next best solution is a trip to the dog vet for IV fluids. Nutrical can help prevent that. 

Chihuahuas recently gained even more popularity with the release of the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) and of course as a purse accessory through media's darling, Paris Hilton. Similar to the effect 101 Damatians (1996) had for the dalmatian breed, the pounds were soon overwhelmed. The need for chihuahua rescue was obvious. Because the main concentration of the media victims was exaggerated on the west coast, in the past few months, there have been movements to mass transport these little guys to no-kill-shelter States. One of those that captured the attention of the media was Operation Chihuahua Airlift

As if the tiny chihuahua wasn't enough, breed variations are growing in popularity as well. They are called designer dogs. Here are a few examples:

chihuahua +  doxie =  chiweenie
chihuahua +  corgi =  chigi
chihuahua + dalmatian = chimation
chihuahua +  havanese = cheenese
chihuahua + chinese crested = chi chi
chihuahua + jack russel terrier = jack chi
chihuahua + maltese = malchi
chihuahua + italian greyhound = italian greyhuahua
chihuahua + pomeranian = chiranian
chihuahua + poodle = chipoo
chihuahua + pug = chug

The list goes on and on (you can see the extended version through the American Canine Hybrid Club), anything is possible but sometimes one wonders if there is a step ladder involved, as in the case of the chimation or the italian greyhuahua. 

All scientific facts aside, both the chihuahua and the teacup chihuahua, are adorable. They make sweet baby grunts, burrow on their owners, and make them feel like the center of their universe. There is a multitude of chihuahua geared products being sold to enhance your and your chi's experience, from blingy outfits and designer dog leashes, to beds and even strollers and carry ons. Do your research and if you think this breed is appropriate for your household, go get your own chihuahua, preferable a rescue dog. And try to speak chinese to it. You never know. 

Happy and muddy teacup chihuahua



♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Very interesting post about the chihuahuas. So do you have to take special care not to let that molera get hurt in any way?

Teacup pups are just way too teeny for us.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Remington said...

Very interesting post! Thank you! I can't imagine having a dog that small....

♥ Sallie said...

I think chihuahuas are perfect just the way they are. :)

Anonymous said...

That was very much good information about chihuahuas. It's too bad that Paris woman started carrying one around in her purse, though, cuz that sure did leave a lotta little chihuahuas without homes. I just dunno why peoples can't figure out that we dogs aren't like a scarf or a bracelet or something that goes outta fashion. Sheesh!

Um, and I'm not sure about the name Chipoo. Kinda sounds like a chi's, you know, poo.

Wiggles & Wags,

Sagira said...

I feel very educated about Chihuahuas now. But non are as cute as you Twinkie!

Pat Wahler said...

Chis are interesting little pups, aren't they? But you already know that!


Two French Bulldogs said...

Well gracias for the informacion!
Benny & Lily

Dexter said...

Thanks for the info. It is important for humans to understand that not every dog is for every family. You are a ton of dog in a wee little body.


P.S. Hey! I voted for you in the film festival. I was going to vote for me, but I had to admit that your movie was more exciting. Of course all the entries were amazing.

Sonic said...

Twinkie ni hao ma?

Ni shi gow. Gow pi gow pi!

That's about the extent of my Chinese. Momma knows more, but she's at work. Pops knows less Chinese than I do. Oh well!

Listen to the advice, Twink... don't get rolled over in your sleep!


D.K. Wall said...

We don't speak Russian either (ok, ok, Chukchi Indian, but that would have totally gone over everyone's heads).

houndstooth said...

I feel so much more informed now! Not every breed is for every person, but hopefully some people know better what they do or don't want now.


BOL @ The Herd!

Lorenza said...

Ayyyy Chihuahua!
Interesting to know Chihuahuas are not from Mexico! Hmmm...
Thanks for all the info!
Kisses and hugs

JacksDad said...

We learn something new every day!!

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

What an informative post! Thanks for sharing! WE loved seeing you mud covered. You look like us now...We love to play in the mud!

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Great post!

Not all khan have a Chihuahua NOR khan all have a - ummm - SIBERIAN!


Cocorue said...

TQ for the info and i now know more about myself bol!

we are not for everyone but that someone willing to love us will be very much loved.


Chester said...

I must be part Chi too 'cuz Mom sumtimes says that I got a hole in my head.

Very interestin' Chi facts and it was a very informative post for anybody who's thinkin' of bringin' one of youse into their house.

*I saw yours and Linguine's performance for Pawdance - I have a lot more to watch but I think yours was one of the best. Mom and I laughed and played it over and over! Short, Sweet and to the point!

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

That whole post was quite interesting, but the part about Chiuahuas not being from Mexico was a shocker to me. I mean, you think one thing for your whole life and then learn it's not really true. Wow. Gotta ponder this a while.

wags, Lola

♥Mona + Prissy + Angel Weenie♥ said...

Great informative post. One of Mommy's friends has 1 teacup and 1 cheweinie and they are great fun.

Great dachshud pictures!!


My Mind's Eye said...

Twinkie,interesting information. You are our favorite teacup....Mom loves all the combo names mixed with Chi....Chiweenie makes her smile.
Madi and Mom

Peggy y Mhathy said...

Hi Twinkie, thanks for the info. Chikisses Peggy

Cat Mandu said...

I can understand your plight, Twinkie. People are always trying to talk Nepalese to me!
Cat Mandu

3 doxies said...

Ok, so according to all this info...I coulds be a chiwawa too...well, except fur da ear thing. You know, cuz mine don't stick up. But, I does have a strong personality, does that count? And I was very much hard to housebreak. I think it has to do with my personality rather than my bladder though. My neighbor has, fur da past 2 yrs, thought I was a chiwawa....hehehe! What a moron he is.

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

Mama would like to see a teacup Chilhasa!

Thanks for the info!


Anonymous said...

The Chihuahua has remained consistently popular as a breed, particularly in America when the breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904. Although it was once thought that the present day Chihuahua was much smaller than its ancestors, a change thought to be due to the introduction of miniaturized Chinese dogs, such as the Chinese crested dog, into South America by the Spanish, it is now known that this is not the case. A wheeled dog toy which has been dated to 100 A.D. from Tres Zapotes in Veracruz, Mexico, depicts a dog identical in appearance and size to the modern "apple head" Chihuahua thus proving conclusively that the breed was in Mexico over 1400 years before the first Europeans arrived.

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