Smooth Coated Chihuahua14 July 2023
Let's talk about... Smooth Coated Chihuahua: what are they?
- The Smooth Coated Chihuahua, also known simply as the Chihuahua, is a small and lively dog breed that originated in Mexico.
- They are the smallest dog breed in the world and are highly recognisable with their distinct apple-shaped head, large round eyes, and erect ears.
- Despite their small size, they possess a bold and confident personality.
- On average, male Smooth Coated Chihuahuas stand around 15 to 23 cm in height, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 15 to 20 cm.
- Their weight typically ranges from 1.8 to 2.7 kg.
- Their average lifespan is 12-14 years, but it is not abnormal for them to live longer.
What is the temperament of Smooth Coated Chihuahuas like?
- Smooth Coated Chihuahuas are known for their sassy and feisty personalities.
- Despite their small size, they often display boldness, confidence, and even a touch of stubbornness.
- They are deeply loyal and devoted to their owners, forming strong bonds with their family members.
- They can be wary or aloof with strangers, and early socialisation is important to help them feel comfortable in different situations.
- Due to their small stature, it's important to handle and interact with Smooth Coated Chihuahuas gently to avoid accidental injuries.
- They generally get along well with older children who understand how to treat them with care and respect. However, it's recommended to supervise interactions between Chihuahuas and young children to prevent accidental mishandling.
- They tend to bond well with other dogs, and can get on with other pets too, as long as they have been well-socialised from a young age.
How much exercise do Smooth Coated Chihuahuas need?
- Smooth Coated Chihuahuas have relatively low exercise requirements.
- They still benefit from daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, but their exercise needs can be met with shorter bursts of activity.
- On average, they need around 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day.
- This exercise can be in the form of walks, playtime in a secure backyard, interactive games, or even indoor activities such as hide-and-seek or puzzle toys.
- It's important to note that individual energy levels may vary, so adjust the exercise routine to your Chihuahua's specific needs and preferences.
- Although there is no scientific basis to the 5 minutes of exercise per month of age “rule”, it can be a guide to make sure you don’t over-exercise your puppy. Chihuahua pups could get 5 minutes of exercise per month of age once or twice a day, but reduce that if it’s too much or as advised by your vet.
- As well as walks though fun, mental stimulating games can entertain and tire an active pup.
- As they reach adulthood, usually around 8 to 12 months of age, they can handle the exercise needs of an adult Smooth Coated Chihuahua.
- Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise, so be sure to engage them in playtime and fun, interactive games.
Do Smooth Coated Chihuahuas need a lot of grooming?
- Smooth Coated Chihuahuas have a short and sleek coat that requires minimal grooming.
- They come in various colours and patterns, including fawn, black, white, cream, chocolate, and more.
- Their coat naturally sheds, but regular brushing with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt can help remove loose hairs and keep their coat in good condition.
- Aim to brush their coat once or twice a week to maintain cleanliness and prevent mats or tangles.
- As they are so lightweight, some Chihuahuas need their nails trimmed, and some of them can be quite shy of their feet being touched, so be sure to play with their feet from a young age, so nail trims don’t seem scary.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that much, just do it as often as you can.
Are Smooth Coated Chihuahuas easy to train?
- Smooth Coated Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs and can be trained successfully with positive reinforcement methods.
- They respond best to reward-based training techniques that involve treats, praise, and consistency.
- Start training from a young age to establish good behaviours and manners.
- Focus on socialisation, basic commands such as sit, stay, and come, and addressing any behavioural challenges.
- Keep training sessions short and engaging, as Chihuahuas have a relatively short attention span.
- Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when training your Smooth Coated Chihuahua.
- Remember to make training sessions fun and rewarding for them, and always provide them with mental stimulation to keep their intelligent minds active.
What do Smooth Coated Chihuahuas eat?
- Smooth Coated Chihuahuas should be fed a high-quality dog food formulated for small breeds twice daily as per the portion sizes provided by the manufacturer.
- Chihuahua puppies should be fed a good quality puppy food three to four times a day, until they are 6 months old when it should go down to twice a day. When they are 9-12 months old, depending on the brand and advice from your food supplier and your vet, they should be moved on to an adult small breed puppy food.
Are Smooth Coated Chihuahuas healthy?
Smooth Coated Chihuahuas are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Some potential health concerns to be aware of include:
Bones and Joints
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: a hip condition that affects the blood supply to the head of the femur bone, leading to breakdown of the bone, pain and lameness.
- Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be
- Dry eye - an ongoing condition where the tear glands in the eyes don’t produce enough protective tear film, which can lead to discomfort, infections and damage of the eye
- Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye
- Hydrocephalus - a build up of fluid around the brain
- Tracheal Collapse - when a dog’s windpipe collapses due to the weakening of cartilage leading to a narrowing or closing off of their airway, often first noted as a honking cough
This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Smooth Coated Chihuahua is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.
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