The Chihuahua is a great dog with a bad reputation. Many people think of them as a yappy, snappy pest instead of the loyal and affectionate companion that it is. Small dogs sometimes develop bad habits that come from people considering snippy behavior cute, and the Chihuahua’s terrier-like attitude and protective nature takes snippy to the extreme. When properly raised this breed is friendly, outgoing, intelligent and gentle.

The Chihuahua weighs in at six pounds or less. They are technically the smallest breed of dog, but Chihuahuas are not always as small as one would expect. As there are no height maximums, your tiny toy pup might end up being a bit taller than you thought. Many even break that six pound maximum because of overfeeding.

The coat of this breed can be any color and has smooth or long fur. They do not have dense coat so grooming is easy regardless of fur length. The lack of an undercoat means that the Chihuahua is sensitive to cold weather. Their fur comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.

The small size and delicate bone structure makes this breed unsuitable for families with small children. Rough handling or a misstep could be disastrous for the dog. Older children who are capable of gentle play get along great with Chihuahuas.

This dog does great in an apartment. It can get sufficient exercise within a small space, but going out with your dog is important. Their high intelligence leads to boredom if they get no exposure to new scents, sights and animals. Exposure to new things also helps with that unwanted yappy nippy behavior.

Chihuahuas are prone to a several physical and neurological disorders. Regular visits to the veterinarian are important to keep an eye on their well-being. A vet who understands the special needs of this breed can diagnose and treat any physical ailments that appear before they become life threatening.

When their needs are met, Chihuahuas are happy, loyal and confident companions. If you are looking for a fun-loving friend that does not need a lot of space, a Chihuahua might be the perfect choice.

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