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Chihuahua - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


The world's smallest dog, the Chihuahua, weighs in anywhere from 2 to 8 pounds. Chihuahuas have apple shaped heads and pointed muzzles. Their yes are very large, very round and very dark. Their large ears are the breed's trademark and sit erect atop the head. They are longer than they are tall and they have curved tails that arc over the back. Chihuahuas may have short or long hair and come in colors of fawn, sand, chestnut, blue, or silver, but all colors of the canine rainbow are acceptable.

Size and Weight

For show purposes, a Chihuahua should never weigh more than 6 pounds, but household dogs will sometimes weigh up to 8. Some Chihuahuas are so tiny that they can stand upright in the palm of a human hand.

Coat and Color

Chihuahuas come in smooth (short) and long haired varieties. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have short, smooth, shiny coats that lay flat against the body. They usually have furry tails and a ruff of thick hair on the neck, but have thinner hair on the head and ears. Long coated Chihuahuas have soft, long hair that may be straight or curly. The hair is long around the ears, tail and legs, which almost makes it appear that the dog is wearing pants.

Chihuahuas also come in all colors of the canine rainbow. They can be solid black, white, chocolate, fawn, silver, blue, or gray. They may be tricolor, brindle, spotted merle or any other marking.

Grooming Needs

Grooming a Chihuahua is a breeze, whether the dog has smooth or long hair. Weekly brushing will keep the coat healthy and will remove loose hair. They shed lightly year round, which, for a dog this small, amounts to almost nothing. They shed a bit more heavily during season changes, and the long haired Chihuahua's undercoat may fall out in clumps, so brushing may need to be more frequent at these times. Regular brushing also ensures that this low-maintenance dog only needs to be bathed once every two months.

Chihuahuas are prone to tear stains around their eyes. There are several over the counter wipes that can be used to remove the discharge. The ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection. If they emit an odor, or wax is visible, the ear should be cleaned with a veterinarian-approved cleanser.

This breed is prone to dental problems, so weekly tooth brushing is a must. Start brushing the dog's teeth as a puppy, so he will be used to it and not fight this beneficial practice.

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