The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a dear breed to my heart. My mother had a little Pepe who was her shadow and was carried by Mum everywhere. When Pepe died a friend of mine who bred the Chihuahua present me with a Mongol albino' puppy as gift. This dog who was named 'Bouffy' he was one of the most loveable creatures God created and Mums best friend.

Carvings found in the Monastery of Huejotzingo, constructed by Franciscan Monks around 1530 using stones from the Toltec civilization, give strong evidence as to the Chihuahua's origins. The Toltecs had a breed of dog they called the "Techichi." The carvings on the stones at Huejotzingo give a full head view and a picture of an entire dog that closely resembles the modern-day Chihuahua. From this evidence, we can safely assume that the Chihuahua is a descendant of the Techichi.

Chihuahuas go under the classification of "toy breeds." They are the smallest breed of dog in the world and are, in fact, the only "natural" toy breed. That is, they are naturally small and are not a result of "breeding-down" larger breeds, as were other toy breeds.

Chihuahuas tend to be graceful, energetic, and swift-moving canines. They have often been described as having the terrier-like qualities of being alert, observant, and keen on interacting with their masters. They are extremely loyal and get attached to one or two persons. Tiny dogs, Chihuahuas certainly seem unaware of their diminutive stature: they can be bold with other dogs much larger than themselves, and protective of their masters. They are fiercely loyal to their masters and wary of any strangers or new guests introduced into the household, which the Chihuahua considers to be its personal domain. For these reasons, Chihuahuas make good watch dogs.

The Chihuahua needs a great deal of human contact: touching, petting, and general attention. Keeping more than one Chihuahua can greatly ease the dog's stress when left alone each day. Because they are by nature gentle, loyal, and sweet-tempered, Chihuahuas are ideal for single people, the elderly, the handicapped, and shut-ins. They will keep you company for hours by lying on your lap or beside you in bed, and treat you like royalty.

Chihuahuas are a good breed for city-dwellers, or those who just don't have the time to walk their dogs that often. They are quite happy in apartments, as long as there is enough to play with and explore. They tend towards short bursts of energy each day which quickly die down. You should provide toys for your Chihuahua to keep it occupied. Old slippers are ideal, as well as stuffed toys with squeakers inside.

Finally, while Chihuahuas do shiver when they're cold, they also shiver when they are wary, excited, unhappy, or frightened. This is a result of having a high metabolism, and is a normal characteristic of this breed.

David the Dogman

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