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    Chihuahua Your Happy Healthy Pet, 2nd Edition

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    内容提示: Your Happy Healthy Pet™(Chihuahua2nd EditionElaine Waldorf GewirtzGET MORE!Visit www.wiley.com/go/chihuahua01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 Your Happy Healthy Pet™(Chihuahua2nd EditionElaine Waldorf GewirtzGET MORE!Visit www.wiley.com/go/chihuahua01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper.Copyright © 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. All rights reserved.Howell Book HousePubli...

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    Your Happy Healthy Pet™(Chihuahua2nd EditionElaine Waldorf GewirtzGET MORE!Visit www.wiley.com/go/chihuahua01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 Your Happy Healthy Pet™(Chihuahua2nd EditionElaine Waldorf GewirtzGET MORE!Visit www.wiley.com/go/chihuahua01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper.Copyright © 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. All rights reserved.Howell Book HousePublished by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New JerseyNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise,except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, withouteither the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of theappropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the web at www.copyright.com. Requests tothe Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing, Inc.,10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or onlineat http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.Wiley, the Wiley logo, Howell Book House, the Howell Book House logo, Your Happy HealthyPet, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without writtenpermission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc.is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.The publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracyor completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, includingwithout limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created orextended by sales or promotional materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not besuitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that the publisher is notengaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If professional assistance isrequired, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Neither the publishernor the author shall be liable for damages arising here from. The fact that an organization orWebsite is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further informationdoes not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the information the organization orWebsite may provide or recommendations it may make. Further, readers should be aware thatInternet Websites listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this workwas written and when it is read.For general information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support pleasecontact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at (800) 762-2974, outside the U.S. at(317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in printmay not be available in electronic books. For more information about Wiley products, please visitour web site at www.wiley.com.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:Gewirtz, Elaine Waldorf.Chihuahua : your happy healthy pet / Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz. —2nd ed.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN-13 978-0-470-03794-2 (cloth : alk. paper)ISBN-10 0-470-03794-6 (cloth : alk. paper)1. Chihuahua (Dog breed) I. Title.SF429.C45G49 2006636.76—dc222006015140Printed in the United States of America109876543212nd EditionBook design by Melissa Auciello-BroganCover design by Michael J. FreelandIllustrations in chapter 9 by Shelley Norris and Karl BrandtBook production by Wiley Publishing, Inc. Composition Services01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 2 About the AuthorElaine Waldorf Gewirtz is the author of Pugs For Dummies, Y our Y orkshireT errier’s Lif e, The Dog Sourcebook, Dogs, The American Pit Bull T errier and Y ourHappy Healthy Pet: Miniature Schnauzer. She has also written numerous maga-zine articles about dogs. She’s also a multiple winner of the Dog Writers’Association of America’s Maxwell Award for Excellence, and the recipient of theASPCA Special Writing Award.Elaine is a member of the Dog Writers’ Association of America, the AmericanSociety of Journalists and Authors, and the Independent Writers of SouthernCalifornia. She breeds and shows Dalmatians in conformation and has livedwith several breeds all her life.She shares her home in Westlake Village, California, with her husband,Steve. The couple has four grown children, Sameya, Sara (and husband Ryan),Seth, and Beth-Jo.About Howell Book HouseSince 1961, Howell Book House has been America’s premier publisher of petbooks. We’re dedicated to companion animals and the people who love them,and our books reflect that commitment. Our stable of authors—trainingexperts, veterinarians, breeders, and other authorities—is second to none. Andwe’ve won more Maxwell Awards from the Dog Writers Association of Americathan any other publisher.As we head toward the half-century mark, we’re more committed than everto providing new and innovative books, along with the classics our readers havegrown to love. This year, we’re launching several exciting new initiatives, includ-ing redesigning the Howell Book House logo and revamping our biggest petseries, Your Happy Healthy PetTM, with bold new covers and updated content.From bringing home a new puppy to competing in advanced equestrian events,Howell has the titles that keep animal lovers coming back again and again.01_037946 ffirs. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 3 ContentsPart I: The World of the ChihuahuaChapter 1 : What Is a Chihuahua?A Toy BreedThe Ideal ChihuahuaChapter 2: The Chihuahua’s HistoryMexican OriginsMediterranean RootsThe Chihuahua Comes to the United StatesChapter 3: Why Choose a Chihuahua?Are You Ready?Why a Chihuahua?Why Not a Chihuahua?Good WatchdogsChihuahuas and Other DogsChapter 4: Choosing Your ChihuahuaAll Your ChoicesFinding a PuppyChoosing Your PuppyAdopting a Dog91 111131 81 820212323252933343535394345Part II: Caring for Your ChihuahuaChapter 5: Getting Ready for Your ChihuahuaYard SafetyPuppy-Proofing Your HomeMust-Have SuppliesPuppy EssentialsBringing Your Chi HomeBeing a Responsible OwnerChapter 6: Feeding Your ChihuahuaChoosing a FoodReading Dog Food LabelsWhen and How Much?Too Many Calories, Not Enough ExerciseThe Picky EaterClean WaterChapter 7: Grooming Your ChihuahuaWhy Groom a Smooth?Grooming SuppliesGetting Started4748485052535457585861636565676869707102_037946 ftoc. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 4 Brushing Your ChiTrimming NailsBathing Your ChihuahuaEar CareDental HygieneEye CareExternal ParasitesMaking Your Environment Flea FreeChapter 8: Keeping Your Chihuahua HealthyChoosing a VeterinarianPreventive CareChihuahua Health IssuesCommon Canine Health ProblemsWhen to Call the VeterinarianHow to Make a Canine First-Aid Kit717475777879808084848890949699Part III: Enjoying Your ChihuahuaChapter 9: Training Your ChihuahuaUnderstanding Builds the BondPractical Commands for Family PetsTraining for AttentionTeaching CooperationChapter 1 0: Housetraining Your ChihuahuaYour Housetraining Shopping ListThe First DayConfine Your PupWatch Your PupAccidents HappenScheduling BasicsAppendix: Learning More About Your ChihuahuaSome Good BooksMagazinesClubs and RegistriesWeb Sites Index1031 041051 111201231 241241261281311321341 371371381391391 4102_037946 ftoc. qxp 7/24/06 2: 32 PM Page 5 °Shopping ListYou’ll need to do a bit of stocking up before you bring your new dog or puppyhome. Below is a basic list of some must-have supplies. For more detailed infor-mation on the selection of each item below, consult chapter 5. For specific guid-ance on what grooming tools you’ll need, review chapter 7. Stainless steel food dishNail clippers Stainless steel water dishGrooming toolsDog foodChew toysLeashToysCollarFlea, tick, and heartworm preventivesCrateToothbrush and toothpasteCrate beddingID tag or microchipping There are likely to be a few other items that you’re dying to pick up beforebringing your dog home. Use the following blanks to note any additional itemsyou’ll be shopping for. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________03_037946 flast. qxp 7/24/06 2: 33 PM Page 6  Pet Sitter’s GuideWe can be reached at (___)_____-_______ Cell phone (___)_____-____________________________________________________________________We will return on __________ (date) at __________ (approximate time)Dog’s Name ___________________________________________________Breed, Age, and Sex _____________________________________________Spayed or Neutered? _____________________________________________Date last heartworm preventive given ________________________________Date last flea and tick preventive given _______________________________Important Names and NumbersVet’s Name _____________________________ Phone ()___- _________Address ______________________________________________________Emergency Vet’s Name ____________________ Phone ()___- _________Address ______________________________________________________Poison Control ____________________________________ (or call vet first)Other individual to contact in case of emergency ____________________________________________________________________________________Care InstructionsIn the following three blanks let the sitter know what to feed, how much, and when;when the dog should go out; when to give treats; and when to exercise the dog.Morning______________________________________________________Afternoon_____________________________________________________Evening _______________________________________________________Water instructions _______________________________________________Exercise instructions _____________________________________________Medications needed (dosage and schedule) _________________________________________________________________________________________Any special medical conditions_____________________________________Grooming instructions ________________________________________________________________________________________________________My dog’s favorite playtime activities, quirks, and other tips_____________________________________________________________________________03_037946 flast. qxp 7/24/06 2: 33 PM Page 7 04_037946 pt01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 33 PM Page 8 Part IThe World of the Chihuahua04_037946 pt01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 33 PM Page 9 TuckupShoulderMuzzleStopSkullCrestWithersToplineRumpHockPasternToesStifle (Knee)The Chihuahua05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 10 Chapter 1What Is a Chihuahua?EClub (AKC).How is it, then, that a dog who weighs less than a sack of potatoes, has abony apple head, and spends his time either intimidating intruders or lookingfor a lap, is so appealing?It’s the cute factor. With this breed it’s all about being adorable and affec-tionate, graceful and alert, swift-moving and compact. And the Chihuahua doesit all with a saucy expression that says, “I’m fearless; bite me!”Here’s a breed with presence. Tenacious and tough, you know when aChihuahua’s around because you’re no longer in charge. The Chihuahua has noclue that he’s smaller than you.There are other reasons for the Chi’s star quality. He needs little grooming,doesn’t need much exercise, and once inside your bag, he travels light.ver since the first Chihuahua made his American debut, he’s become onepopular little Chi muffin. With so much hoopla, it’s no surprise that hefrequently ranks in the top ten of all dogs registered with the American KennelA Toy BreedThe AKC assigns every breed to one of seven groups: Sporting, Hound,Working, Terriers, Toys, Non-Sporting, and Herding. The Chihuahua belongsto the Toy Group.All breeds in the Toy Group are small, but beyond that, each one has distin-guishing traits that set it apart from other toy breeds.1105_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 11 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua12This chapter briefly describes the Chihuahua’s breed characteristics, as out-lined in the breed standard. To read the official breed standard, refer to the Websites of the AKC or the Chihuahua Club of America (listed in the appendix).While car and appliance models change from year to year, breeds remain thesame because there is a breed standard. Breeders hope that fifty years from now,a Chihuahua will look very much like the dog you see today.The standard for the Chihuahua was recorded by the Chihuahua Club of America in 1923. Over the years, there have been changes to the standard,usually for clarification. Even with some slight changes, the Chihuahua hasWhat Is a Breed Standard?A breed standard is a detailed description of the perfect dog ofthat breed. Breeders use the standard as a guide in their breed-ing programs, and judges use it to evaluate the dogs in confor-mation shows. The standard is written by the national breedclub, using guidelines established by the registry that recog-nizes the breed (such as the AKC or UKC).The first section of the breed standard gives a brief overviewof the breed’s history. Then it describes the dog’s generalappearance and size as an adult. Next is a detailed descriptionof the head and neck, then the back and body, and the frontand rear legs. The standard then describes the ideal coat andhow the dog should be presented in the show ring. It also listsall acceptable colors, patterns, and markings. Then there’s asection on how the dog moves, called gait. Finally, there’s ageneral description of the dog’s temperament.Each section also lists characteristics that are considered tobe faults or disqualifications in the conformation ring.Superficial faults in appearance are often what distinguish apet-quality dog from a show- or competition-quality dog.However, some faults affect the way a dog moves or his overallhealth. And faults in temperament are serious business.You can read all the AKC breed standards at www.akc.org.05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 12 Chapter 1What Is a Chihuahua?13remained a relatively stable breed in physical characteristics and has changedvery little since his arrival in the United States.The Ideal ChihuahuaMany dogs are intelligent and have wonderful personalities, but it’s theChihuahua’s physical appearance that makes him unique. This is a compactbreed with a saucy expression and aterrierlike temperament.SizeMost Chihuahuas are 6 to 9 inches tallwhen measured from the ground tothe top of the shoulders (the withers),and weigh no more than 6 pounds.Some Chihuahuas are larger than that,and although these dogs can’t beshown in breed competition, they arewonderful pets and can be muchhealthier than the very tiny dogs.Chihuahuas weighing less than 3pounds are often called “teacups,”“pockets,” or “tinies,” but these arenot another variety of the breed.There is only one designated size ofChihuahua. Some people sellingpuppies will advertise these littleones as exotic and more valuable,but they’re actually just the runts ofthe litter. Teacups have many healthproblems and very short life spans.C A U T I O NChihuahuas are little dogs with big personalities.05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 13 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua14CoatChihuahuas come in coats of many colors and combinations: all one color,marked (white areas on a colored background), or splashed (irregularly patchedcolor on white or white on color). Just a few of the colors are white, peach,lemon, silver-sand, mole, sable, chocolate, blue, red, tan, and fawn. Don’t paymore for a supposedly “rare” color, because there is no such thing!There are two coat varieties, as well: Smooth and Long Coat. Both have thesame breed characteristics. Breeders often have Smooth and Long Coat puppiesin the same litter, and both types shed.The SmoothSmooths have a very short coat that lies close to the body. They may have anundercoat—a layer of soft hair under the top, or outer, coat. The coat may besparser (approaching baldness) on the chest, the temples of the head, and theears. The tail has furry hair.The Smooth should also have a slight ruff around his neck, but no fringes orplume like the Long Coat. If the Smooth Chihuahua doesn’t have an undercoat,he won’t have a full ruff around theneck and won’t have a tail that isheavily coated.Smooth Chihuahuas are morepopular than the Long Coats, andmany people don’t even know thatLong Coats exist.The Long Coat Long Coat Chis have a long, soft,double coat that’s either flat orslightly curly, about one to one-and-one-half inches long, with adefinite undercoat. The long coathas fringe, sometimes called feath-ering, around the edges of the ears;a ruff around the neck; wisps of hairextending along the back of eachleg; long hair, called pants, at thebuttocks; and long, flowing hair,called a plume, on the tail.The Long Coat is sof t and f ull, with f ringes alongthe ears and a ruf f around the neck.05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 14 Chapter 1What Is a Chihuahua?15HeadThis breed’s head is his crowning glory and the Chihuahua’s most distinguishingcharacteristic. Chihuahuas have large, well-rounded, “apple dome” skulls. Theskull is round like an apple and may have a soft spot, known as a molera, at thetop. When you gently rub your hand over the molera, you’ll feel a slight inden-tation. More details about the molera are in chapter 8.The muzzle, sometimes called the snout, is moderately short and slightlypointed. An excessively short muzzle is not desirable because the teeth maybecome crowded or breathing problems, including frequent snorting, may result.The nose is very dark in dark-colored dogs and lighter in light-colored dogs.EyesThe Chi’s eyes are large, set well apart, radiant, and shiny. They’re somewhatfull, but not protruding. They should never bulge like the eyes of some of thevery short-nosed toy breeds. Although eye color is usually dark, lighter eyes areThe Chihuahua Breed ClubAre you a Chihuahua fan? Want to meet other Chihuahuafanciers? Would you like to Iearn more about Chi behavior,care, and training? If so, contact the Chihuahua Club ofAmerica (CCA), a national breed club formed in 1 923 under theauspices of the AKC. The CCA is the parent organization oflocal Chihuahua clubs throughout the United States.Members of the national breed club wrote the original breedstandard of the Chihuahua, under AKC guidelines, and the CCAmaintains it. The CCA holds national dog shows, meets regularly,and disburses information about the breed. Since 1987 it hasproduced five handbooks containing articles about the breed,facts about the club’s history, and information about pedigrees. A Chihuahua owner can apply for membership in the club andjoin the network of dedicated Chi breeders and owners who caredeeply about maintaining the Chihuahua. For further information,contact the Chihuahua Club of America (listed in the appendix).05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 15 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua16permissible in light-colored dogs. The ruby eye has a reddish cast to it and isgenerally found only on very deep red-colored dogs. It’s very pretty but is not ascommon as the dark brown eyes.EarsAnother distinguishing feature of the Chihuahua’s head is his ears. Chi ears arequite large and erect and are set somewhat low on the head. When the ears are atrest, they point to about ten o’clock and two o’clock. When alert, they are carriedcloser to eleven o’clock and one o’clock, or slightly higher. Ears that are carried ashigh as twelve o’clock are considered too high and make the dog look rabbitlike.While a puppy is teething, the ears may be up one day and down the next.Ears are usually fully erect between three and six months of age. If the ears arenot standing up by eight months of age, they may never become erect. Erect earsor not, you will still have a very nice pet Chihuahua.BodySlightly arched, the Chi’s neck slopes gracefully into the shoulders. The bodyitself is well-balanced. When you measure a Chihuahua from the shoulder to thebuttocks, his length is slightly longer than his height. He has a strong, levelback, or topline. He also has very dainty feet with well-divided toes.A Chihuahua should look well-balanced and gracef ul.05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 16 Chapter 1What Is a Chihuahua?17MovementThe Chihuahua moves quickly with strong, sturdy action. Good structuremeans a healthy dog who can run and play without any restrictions.TemperamentFearless, tenacious, and terrierlike, the typical Chi temperament is not fearful,quivering, or cowering. He makes an excellent watchdog, and also likes to enter-tain his family with his singing ability. If he hears a soprano solo, he’ll toss hishead back and burst into song. At least, that’s what he thinks his yodely, whinysounds are. But a singing Chihuahua won’t win a Grammy any time soon.05_037946 ch01. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 17 Chapter 2TheChihuahua’sHistorySpurposes. That’s why we have breeds that can track, herd, hunt, guard, and huntin underground burrows. And that’s why there are breeds that are strictly com-panion animals. The Chihuahua is generally classified as a companion dog, pri-marily because of her diminutive size, even though she can be trained to domany useful things.The Chihuahua’s ancestry is so steeped in myth, secondhand stories, and con-troversial history that it is almost impossible to separate fact from fiction. The lit-tle that was recorded in bygone days was written in an archaic form of Spanish,making later interpretation difficult. Several theories of the Chihuahua’s originare presented here because all the fables, legends, and stories are fun to read anddiscuss, even though they may not be true.cientists believe all dog breeds evolved from only one wild ancestor.Contemporary dog breeds were created and domesticated through selec-tive breeding. People bred to obtain the qualities they desired for certain usefulMexican OriginsThere are people who insist the Chihuahua is a native Mexican breed becauseancient relics of small doglike creatures were found in the archeological remainsof the Mayans, the Toltecs, and the Aztecs. The National Museum in MexicoCity houses some interesting sculptures. One is of a small dog with large ears,kissing her master. Another sculpture depicts a woman and a child; the woman1806_037946 ch02. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 18 Chapter 2The Chihuahua’s History19is carrying a small, erect-eared dog, supposedly a Chihuahua, under one arm.However, Mayan history is very obscure, and some of these early statues bear lit-tle or no resemblance to the modern-day Chihuahua.Toltec CivilizationSketchy information is available about the Toltec culture, which existed aroundthe ninth century in what is now Mexico. Many believe the modern-dayChihuahua is a direct descendant of a dog called the Techichi, depicted in thestone carvings of the monastery of Huejotzingo. The small dogs pictured therebear a more striking resemblance to our present-day Chihuahua.According to a theory that first appeared in print in 1904, the Techichi wascrossed with a wild breed called the Perro Chihuahueno. This breed originallylived in the wild mountains of Chihuahua, where it foraged on anything edible.The dogs supposedly lived in holes in the ground; had round heads, shortpointed noses, large erect ears, slender legs, and long toenails; and were wild anduntrainable.Aztec CultureThe statues from the Aztec era bearan even more striking resemblance toour current dogs. The Aztecs con-quered the Toltecs, and their civiliza-tion flourished for two centuries,from about 1300 to 1520. A smalldog was particularly revered by theAztecs and became the prized posses-sion of the rich. It is said that theselittle dogs were so treasured by roy-alty that some families had severalhundred. The little dogs supposedlyled a life of luxury and were pam-pered and cared for by slaves; theywere even fed a special diet. Duringthat period, the blue Chihuahua wasconsidered especially sacred. Eventoday, a blue Chihuahua is unusual.The little dogs were even buriedwith their wealthy owners because itwas believed that the sins of theAmong the Aztecs, Chihuahuas guided theirbeloved masters saf ely through the underworld.06_037946 ch02. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 19 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua20interred would be transmitted to the dog, thus ensuring a safe resting place forthe master. It was also believed that the little dog would see her master safelyalong the journey through the underworld, guiding the deceased through allkinds of dangerous places in the afterlife.Mediterranean RootsSome people believe the Chihuahua originated in the Mediterranean region andthen became established on the island of Malta. A small dog with the moleratrait, found only in the Chihuahua, inhabited that island. From there, the breedwas supposed to have been introduced to European countries by sailors in trad-ing ships.Small dogs resembling Chihuahuas can be found in many paintings byEuropean masters. The most noted work is a fresco painted by Sandro Botticelli,circa 1482, located in the Sistine Chapel. The painting is one of a series depict-ing the life of Moses and clearly shows a small, round-headed, smooth-coatedlittle dog with long nails, large eyes, and large ears that closely resembles a mod-ern-day Chihuahua. Because this painting was done before Columbus arrived inthe New World, it leads one to reconsider the theory that the Chihuahua is anative Mexican dog.Popular and f amous, Chihuahuas are widely beloved today.06_037946 ch02. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 20 Chapter 2The Chihuahua’s History21Because of the evidence in these early European paintings, others believe theChihuahua was introduced to Mexico by the Spanish invaders. However, fromthe time of the Spanish conquest to the mid-1800s, little is known of theChihuahua. The Aztec’s magnificent civilization was destroyed by the Spanish,along with all information pertaining to the Chihuahua.With all these theories, you can pick and choose what to believe about theorigin of the Chihuahua.The Chihuahua Comes to the United StatesAlthough it is true that Chihuahua-like remains have been found in some parts ofMexico, the real reason many people believe the Chihuahua is of Mexican originis because the breed became popular along the border of Mexico and the UnitedStates. Americans first became very interested in the breed around the 1850s.What Is the AKC?The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the oldest and largest pure-bred dog registry in the United States. Its main function is torecord the pedigrees of dogs of the breeds it recognizes. WhileAKC registration papers are a guarantee that a dog is pure-bred, they are absolutely not a guarantee of the quality of thedog—as the AKC itself will tell you.The AKC makes the rules for all the canine sporting events itsanctions and approves judges for those events. It is alsoinvolved in various public education programs and legislativeefforts regarding dog ownership. More recently, the AKC hashelped establish a foundation to study canine health issues anda program to register microchip numbers for companion ani-mal owners. The AKC has no individual members—its membersare national and local breed clubs and clubs dedicated to vari-ous competitive sports.06_037946 ch02. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 21 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua22When the breed was introduced to the United States, the dogs were not calledChihuahuas. They were usually referred to as Arizona Dogs or Texas Dogs, becausethey were often found along the U.S.-Mexican border. Later, many Americantourists, fascinated by these tiny animals, purchased the dogs from residents ofMexico, and the dogs became known as Mexican Chihuahuas. Chihuahua is thelargest northern state in Mexico, where many remains of small dogs resembling thebreed were found. In Mexico, the breed is called Chihuahueno.In 1888, James Watson bought his first Chihuahua for $3 from a Mexicanman. The Chihuahua was extremely tiny and did not survive for more than ayear. Sometime later, Watson was able to buy several other Chihuahuas inArizona, Texas, and Mexico. He spoke of the Chihuahua as being smart and veryaffectionate. Watson said that unless the dog had a molera in the middle of thetop skull, it was not purebred. Basically, the Chihuahuas he described in hiswriting are recognizable as the Chihuahuas of today.The first Chihuahua registered with the AKC was named Midget. He wasborn July 18, 1903, and was owned by H. Raynor of El Paso, Texas. There werefive Chihuahuas registered that year.By 2005, not surprisingly, the Chihuahua was the eleventh most popular dogregistered by the AKC, with 23,575 dogs registered. She was the tenth most pop-ular in 2004 with 24,853 registered.06_037946 ch02. qxp 7/24/06 2: 34 PM Page 22 Chapter 3Why Choose aChihuahua?Dtake from the environment and by paying very close attention to human bodylanguage. Dogs notice every little thing you say and do.They’re born with a sort of canine compass, or some very special skills thatguide them throughout their life. These have been refined over generations ofbreeding to sustain and protect them from danger.Once you know how dogs view the world, you’ll be in a better position todecide if you really want to have a dog. Can you live with a dog, and especiallya Chihuahua, who is capable of outsmarting you? Think about it.ogs are amazing creatures. Even when you think you know exactly howa dog might react to a certain situation, he’ll surprise you. Perhaps it’sbecause dogs lack the verbal skills that people have and rely instead on cues theyAre You Ready?Are you ready to add a dog to your life? This is a very big decision. The averagelife span of a Chihuahua is 12 to 17 years, and some have even lived a few yearslonger. Once you make up your mind to have a dog, he is your responsibility forthe rest of his life, regardless of what he does. Your dog will be relying on you tofeed, exercise, love, heal, and dress him. Well, clothes are optional, but it’s notlike he can go out and get a job and hire his own cook, housekeeper, personaltrainer, and chauffeur. You are his main squeeze.When you have a dog, it’s practically like having a child because it’s a com-mitment of your time, money, and energy. Hopefully, you’re not thinking about2307_037946 ch03. qxp 7/24/06 2: 35 PM Page 23 Part IThe World ofthe Chihuahua24getting a dog on the spur of the moment. If so, you’ll be living with yourimpulse for a long time. Thousands of dogs are abandoned every year becausetheir owners no longer want the responsibility.Give this decision a lot of thought and consider how a dog will change yourlife. First ask yourself how much experience you have with dogs and if you knowhow to care for one. If you haven’t been the one who is totally responsiblebefore, you’ll need to spend time learning what to do—which takes time. You’llneed to take your dog to training classes, talk to other dog owners, and readbooks and magazines about dogs.Time, Money, EnergyIf you have owned a dog before and know the basics, do you have enough timeto spend with a dog now? Don’t forget that you are the center of your dog’s uni-verse and that he needs your attention and affection. Today, many people worklong hours and may not feel like playing with a dog, let alone taking him to atraining class or out for a walk, or giving him a bath. Plus, there’s the cleanup.The Chihuahua may be small but he’s just as capable of making a mess andchewing up your best pair of shoes as a larger dog is.Can you realistically afford to keep a dog? Will his expenses fit within yourbudget, and do you really want to allocate your discretionary income to caringfor a dog? After you pay the breeder or donate ...

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