The Chihuahua is more than small; he's tiny. His adorable, apple-shaped head and big moist eyes make him nearly irresistible to kids. This sassy charmer is a healthy dog, but he is fragile. He likes to bark and scamper around, but is mainly an indoor dog, not able to tolerate cold weather.
Chihuahuas become extremely devoted to their owners, enjoying a lap-perch view on social occasions. They are also smart and high-spirited, and usually don't need much obedience training. They do need house-training and socializing, so it's a good idea to set up rules for acceptable behavior. This gives Chihuahuas a sense of security.
The Chihuahua's main ancestor was probably the Techichi, who existed as early as the ninth century as a favorite dog of Central American Indians. Chihuahuas appear in numerous stone carvings, and mummies of them have been found in ancient burial sites. Somewhere in their history, the Mexican hairless dog, which originally came from Asia, was bred with the smaller Techichi. Chihuahuas can have smooth or long coats. Any color--solid, marked, or splashed--is acceptable.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A graceful, alert, quick little dog with a saucy expression.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Not to exceed 6 pounds.
Much folklore surrounds the Chihuahua breed. The ancient Aztec culture of Central America may have used the dogs for religious sacrifice, burying them with their dead masters so the person's sins could be transferred to the dog. Some people believe the Chihuahua's small warm body can be used to relieve stomach upset and arthritis, or to discourage asthma attacks! True or not, the stories show the Chihuahua has long been a cherished companion.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.