Tag Archives: Chihuahua

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Chihuahua


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The Chihuahua is small, sassy and #12 on our list of most popular dog breeds! Chihuahuas are the tiniest dogs in the world, but they have big personalities and aren’t shy when they have something to say. These adorable pups are a family favorite for their loyalty and love of cuddles, but there’s a lot more to Chihuahuas than their reputations as lap dogs. Read on for 10 facts you need to know about the Chihuahua!

1. They vary in coat length and color.
Chihuahuas come in two varieties: smooth coat and long coat. They also come in a number of different colors and markings. One can look tan and short-haired, while another is red and furry.

2. They’re named after their place of origin.
Chihuahuas come from Mexico, specifically—the state of Chihuahua. Ancient paintings of Mexico display dogs that resemble the Chihuahua as we know it today.

3. They’re one of the oldest dog breeds.
Chihuahuas became registered with the AKC in 1904. They are descended from the Techichi, a breed indigenous to Mexico that existed as early as the 9th Century AD.

4. They live very long lives.
Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans of dogs, living 10-18 years on average. Some even go into their 20’s!

5. They like the limelight.

You’ve probably seen this feisty breed on television and in movies. Before her passing in 2009, a Chihuahua named Gidget graced our TV screens with her role as the “Taco Bell Chihuahua.” This same dog also made appearances in Legally Blonde 2 and a GEICO commercial. All those roles from just one Chihuahua!

6. They were once considered sacred.
In the Toltec and Aztec cultures of modern-day Mexico, Chihuahuas were regarded as holy and even mummified with their owners with the belief that they would help their owners reach the afterlife safely (Totally Chihuahuas).

7. Their anatomy is similar to a human baby’s.

Both humans and Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on the skull called a molera. Unlike humans, however, many Chihuahuas maintain their moleras throughout their lives. Don’t poke a Chihuahua’s head!

8. They have two different head shapes.

Speaking of skulls, Chihuahuas can have one of two different head shapes: deerhead and applehead. Applehead is the breed standard accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

9. They’re big brained.

Relative to their body size, Chihuahuas have the largest brains of any dog breed. Their big brains result in their high intelligence and easy trainability. They can even be trained to be service dogs.

10. They make great watchdogs.
Intensely loyal to their owners, Chihuahuas will act contrary to their small sized bodies by going to great lengths to protect their family members. This includes barking to alert their owners when a stranger comes to the door.

Are you a Chihuahua fan? Tell us why in the comments below!

Why the World Needs Purebred Dogs


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May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day, a day to appreciate the centuries-old tradition of breeding dogs for specifically valued traits. The day’s founder, Susi Szeremy, writes that each dog breed is “a living legacy of the culture that created it,” and the continuation of purebreds keeps their respective culture’s history alive. While mixed breeds are cool, too, there are good reasons to support purebreds. Read on for the top three reasons why we think the world still needs purebred dogs.

1. They’re predictable.

One big reason why purebreds are valued dogs is their predictability. Because each breed is bred for specific traits, one can expect to find particular physical and behavioral qualities in any one member of the breed. While these traits can vary within individual dogs, you know that if you breed a Chihuahua you’ll be getting a pint-sized pup that fits in your purse, while if you breed a Great Dane, she’ll be even bigger than the Chihuahua the moment she’s born! Moreover, the predictability of purebreds makes them indispensable in the many pup-powered jobs which our communities depend on. In the US alone, ten million people suffer from allergies, many of whom rely on specific allergy-friendly dog breeds to accommodate their health needs. For example, the intelligent and low-shedding Poodle makes a qualified assistant to disabled people with dog allergies. Purebred dogs are our service dogs, police dogs, military dogs and of course, the loving companions that brighten up our homes. They can be specially trained to serve purposes that go above and beyond fetching a bone. Purebred dogs are society’s four-legged superheroes, often trained as early on as birth to fulfill roles such as guiding the blind, sniffing out drugs or explosives in the airport, detecting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, and the list goes on. Purebred dogs are crucial, irreplaceable members of society who improve the lives of people you know every single day.

2. They help us make scientific advancements.

Purebred dogs help us make advancements in science that enhance our understanding of both humans and other dogs. For example, a recent study discovered a gene found in Dalmatians associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome in dogs. This research not only reveals an important factor of this canine disease, but it may also lead to a breakthrough in research for respiratory disease in humans. This research and others like it would not be possible if not for the uniform traits in purebreds which lend themselves to objective scientific testing.

3. They tell a story of the past.
Each breed tells a unique story form the time and place in history it came from. Perhaps it was the German Shepherd, herding the fields of Germany during the turn of the 20th Century. Or maybe the Yorkshire Terrier, working alongside factory workers during the Industrial Revolution. Each breed has its very own story tell, and believe it or not, these stories are in danger of fading away. There is such a thing as an endangered dog breed, and if it were not for the efforts of responsible breeders, these breeds would not survive.

Breeding purebreds is not just a tradition that provides us with a fun and furry look into the past. Rather, purebred dogs are indispensable to lending a helping hand (or paw) to present day problems such as physical and mental disabilities and health issues. This National Purebred Dog Day, let’s take a moment to look around at the amazing creatures who fill our lives with joy on a daily basis. We hope to have them around for years to come.

Brachycephalic Dogs: The Truth About Those Adorable, Pushed-In Little Noses


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The first thing you probably notice when you see a pug, boxer, or bulldog is that cute, wrinkly, smooshed-in face (Who can resist those velvety folds?). But underneath those wrinkles is a medical condition to be aware of, which can negatively impact a dog’s quality of life. If you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog with a “snub nose,” here’s what you need to know in order to keep him as comfortable and healthy as possible.

Breeds with flat noses have a condition called “brachycephalic syndrome.” The term brachycephalic refers to a broad, short skull shape that gives certain breeds a distinct snub-nosed appearance. While it’s typically easy to spot a brachycephalic dog based on physical appearance, there are varying degrees of severity. Here is a complete list of brachycephalic breeds:

Because Brachycephalic dogs have a structural narrowing at the nostrils, the back of the throat, and in the windpipe, most dogs with the condition prefer to breathe through their mouths due to the increased airway resistance in their noses. Mildly affected dogs will breathe noisily, snort when excited and snore while sleeping. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your pup may become distressed, especially after exercise or in warmer temperatures. On very hot days, brachycephalic dogs run a high risk of heat stroke because of their difficulty regulating body temperature.

In addition to breathing loudly, snorting, and snoring, there are a few other signs of distress to watch out for, including retching or gagging, especially while swallowing, which indicates an elongated soft palate and is a sign of trouble. Dogs with elongated soft palates often prefer to sleep on their backs because it makes breathing easier. Watch out for blue gums, blue tongue or fainting after exercise; in extreme cases, this can indicate lack of oxygen in your pup’s blood. Take a look at your dog’s nostrils, too – do they look normal, or do they appear to be pinched closed? Nostrils that are closed too far to allow for proper air flow are a part of the brachycephalic syndrome, and are called “stenotic nares.” While this condition is present from birth, it may not affect your dog until later in life, so even if your dog does not currently show symptoms, it’s important to continue to monitor your brachycephalic dog closely.

Treatment Options

  • Check in with your vet regularly and keep tabs on the condition. Not all dogs require surgery to be comfortable, but many benefit from corrective procedures if preventative measures are not enough to provide your pup relief.
  • Learn what’s normal for your pooch. Once you figure out which snorts and snores are status quo, you’ll know immediately when you hear troubling breathing sounds or a new type of snorting that it’s time to visit your vet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your pup. Obesity can make breathing problems worse.
  • Always regulate your dog’s temperature and exercise, especially during the summer months. As mentioned, hot and humid weather increases a brachycephalic dog’s risk of heat stroke, so make sure he stays cool.
  •  Consider using a harness instead of a collar. A collar can pull on your dog’s larynx, making breathing even more difficult.
  • Sometimes, surgery is necessary to allow your dog to breathe normally and improve his quality of life. The soft palate can be surgically trimmed shorter, stenotic nares can be widened, and both are simple, minimally invasive procedures.
  •  Lastly, consider spaying or neutering. Since this condition is inherited, it’s a good idea to avoid breeding a dog that suffers from severe brachycephalic syndrome. Use your vet as a resource, stay informed on new treatment options and do your part to keep your wrinkly-faced pooch safe.

7 Dogs Who Live a More Pampered Life Than You Ever Will


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It’s a known fact that many dogs live “the life.” They have a home-cooked meal three times a day, more clothes than Cher Horowitz and endless amounts of puppy love. We’ve compiled a list of seven dogs who probably live a more pampered life than you ever will.

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Source: JillDoppel.com

This Yorkie in a custom dress and matching necklace.

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This Sheltie getting some R+R in a bathtub straight out of Architectural Digest.

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Source: @Zeus.the_husky

This Chihuahua’s first birthday party is more intricate than any one-year-old human’s party we’ve ever attended.

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This Husky whose daily nap makes grown adults everywhere long for the days of scheduled sleep.

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Source: @teddygramnyc

This English Bulldog’s handmade tutu complete with full-on photoshoot backdrop.

This doodle who takes a cab rather than having to brave the streets of NYC.lavish-dog-7

This Maltese has his own train and isn’t afraid to “toot” his own horn.

5 Holiday Gifts for Fido


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The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner! This year, why not stuff Santa’s stockings with your favorite furry friends in mind? Whether looking for a gift for a friend’s dog or your own precious pup, here are 5 gifts that will be sure to fill any dog with holiday cheer!

1. Festive Sweater

Image from puppykisses.com
Source: puppykisses.com


What better way to show your holiday spirit than with a festive “ugly Christmas sweater?” With a sweater like this, your pooch will fit right in with the family while also staying warm and cozy. This makes an especially great gift for more cold-prone pups like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Doberman Pinschers. This page has lots of cute sweater options to choose from.

2. Christmas Collar

Image from puppykisses.com
Source: puppykisses.com                                                                     

If sweaters aren’t your thing, a statement collar is a quick and easy way for your pup to celebrate the holidays in style. Go all out with a colorful, ruffled collar, or keep it simple with a basic red or green piece. You can even buy one that lights up!

3. Sweet Treats

Image from drsfostersmith.com
Source: drsfostersmith.com                                                 

For those of us who favor gifts of the edible variety, there are plenty of holiday-themed dog treats out there that will have your pup howling with gratitude.

4. Spirited Toy

Image from puppykisses.com
Source: puppykisses.com                                             

Other than food, it’s no surprise that playtime will be one of your pup’s favorite gifts. Put him in the spirit with a squeaky reindeer , snowman plush or stuffed dreidel toy , like the one above.

5. Get Personal

Image from personalizationmall.com
Source: personalizationmall.com                            

If your dog loves to claim what’s his, a custom gift with his name on it might be just what he needs. Get him a personalized food bowl, decked-out dog tag or custom bedding to show him how much you care. Find more examples of custom gifts to spoil your furry friend with here.

 

Hold The Elevator: Best Dogs For Apartment Living


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While any dog can thrive in an apartment setting if given the right amount of exercise, there are certain breeds considered ideal housemates in smaller living spaces. As a general rule of thumb, if a dog can fit in your purse, it can fit in your apartment – but there are exceptions! Some small breeds have high energy levels, and would do best with more room to run and play. On the other hand, some larger breeds are low energy and wouldn’t mind living in an apartment with less space. So, with a grain of salt, take a look at these perfect apartment-dwelling breeds based on size, energy level and personality.

Yorkie – The ever-popular Yorkie is cute, cuddly and compact – what more could you ask for? These small, affectionate dogs are keen to be near their owners, typically only weigh between 5-7 pounds, and are easily exercised indoors.

MalteseMaltese are adorable, gentle companions. They are the quintessential lap dog and love to be pampered, cuddled and held. These 4-7 pound dogs are also easy to train, and don’t have high exercise requirements, making them excellent apartment residents.

Havanese – These small dogs have big personalities! Eager to learn and easily trained, Havanese are between 10-15 pounds when fully grown, and make excellent companion pets. They are playful and somewhat active, but are easily manageable in an apartment.

PugPugs have an amusing, distinctive appearance and are generally considered to be a very adaptable breed. They are loyal, quiet dogs that love to be with their owners and have low exercise requirements, making them a good pet for living spaces of any size.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – These dogs want nothing more than to be by your side! Fairly small at 13-18 pounds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly and easy going, and will get along with anyone. They excel in smaller living spaces because of their calm and adaptable nature.

Bichon Frise – This fancy, fluffy pup is energetic, but can be exercised easily indoors as well as out. At only 7-12 pounds., the Bichon makes a quiet, loving apartment dog – and bonus, they shed much less than other breeds, ideal for living in close quarters!

Bulldog (French and English) – Both French and English Bulldogs tend to be low energy, content to laze around and be by your side, which make them great apartment pets. These dogs thrive on human contact and make great watchdogs. Plus, have you seen those adorable wrinkly faces…?

Shih Tzu – Bred to be a friendly lap dog, the Shih Tzu is certainly good at its job! They are affectionate, mellow and adaptable to any living environment.

hold-elevator-thumbnailBoston Terrier – Ideal because of their size, this breed is fairly energetic and will need to be walked daily. But, if you can keep a Boston Terrier well-exercised, these little gentlemen and ladies make devoted, gentle apartment pets.

Dachshund – These distinctive dogs have short legs, long bodies, and big hearts. They are lively dogs that love to exercise indoors and out. Dachshunds tend to attach strongly to their owners and are extremely affectionate, making them great roommates.

ChihuahuaChihuahuas are tiny and love to cuddle – especially in the cold winter months, as they can be sensitive to low temperatures. They require minimal exercise, but are fun and playful when you want to be active. These little guys and girls make excellent apartment dogs!

Pomeranian – This little fluff ball is feisty and full of energy, but at only 3-7 pounds, they don’t need much room to get their exercise! The Pomeranian is affectionate and outgoing and will take comfort in curling up next to you, no matter how small your apartment.

Great Dane – So, a Great Dane might not seem like the best option for an apartment based on his size – anywhere from 100-200 pounds as adults – but these big guys are actually very low energy and are content to lay on the couch right next to you. As quiet and friendly as they are, this breed would make an excellent apartment roommate!