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A small dog with a huge personality, the Chihuahua is known to be the national symbol of Mexico. Charming and sassy “purse dogs,” they are one of the oldest breeds of the Americas, with roots that can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of the pre-Columbian era.
See the fact file below for more information on the Chihuahua or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Chihuahua worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Just like any other breed, Chihuahuas have ambiguous origins, but there are two theories of how these dogs came to be. Some believe they are the descendants of a Central or South American dog known as the Techichi of the Toltec civilization.
- Toltec carvings of the 9th century CE portray a dog that looks like a Chihuahua, with the same large ears and round head. These dogs were known as Techichi, having an unknown purpose in the Toltec civilization.
- The Techichi dogs lived in temples and were used in rituals when the Aztecs took over the Toltecs. The Aztecs thought that these dogs possessed supernatural abilities, including having visions of the future, healing the sick, and safely accompanying the souls of the dead to the afterlife. It was part of their tradition to kill and burn a red Tachichi along with the remains of the dead. The Tachichi were disregarded and faded into the unknown as soon as the Spanish defeated the Aztecs.
- The second theory suggests that the Chihuahuas were small, hairless dogs of China and were imported to Mexico by Spanish traders and were then crossbred with small native dogs.
- In the 1850s, Short-haired Chihuahuas were first seen in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, from which these dogs got their name.
- Americans who visited Mexico took home these little dogs and started introducing them to the public in the latter parts of the 19th century.
- In 1904, Midget was the first Chihuahua to be registered in the American Kennel Club.
- Long-haired Chihuahuas were assumed to be the results of crosses with Papilons or Pomeranians.
- Dance King and Latin music bandleader Xavier Cugat popularized the breed in the 1930s and 1940s.
- The typical Chihuahua only reaches a height of 5 to 8 inches, weighing no more than 6 pounds, thus making them the smallest breed of dogs.
- Teacup Chihuahuas, another variety of the same breed, do not weigh more than 4 pounds.
- Chihuahuas have two shapes of head. The Apple head variety has a well-rounded “apple dome” skull, with or without molera, “buggy eyes”, and shorter necks.The Deer head Chihuahua, on the other hand, has a flatter head, thinner skull, elongated nose, wide eyes, and longer legs.
- These dogs in general have large, upright ears that become more erect when alert. They have lean and broad shoulders, providing them good balance and soundness. Their tails are slightly long, usually in a loop with its tip touching the back.
- Two varieties of Chihuahua are recognized by the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom and the American Kennel Club: the long coat and the smooth coat. Long-haired Chihuahuas shed less and require no trimming and minimal grooming. Short-haired Chihuahuas have velvety to a whiskery feel coat textures.
- Chihuahuas range in any color combination, from solid to marked or splashed, which can be black to solid white, spotted, sabled, or a variety of other colors and patterns. Common coat colors include fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black. The merle pattern, however, is not traditionally accepted as part of the breed standards.
- Sassy and confident, Chihuahuas are described as a breed that possesses terrier-like qualities. Despite their alert and suspicious nature, these “purse dogs” crave affection and companionship too.
- They are known to be unfriendly towards other dogs, so early socialization is necessary. They are too aggressive for their size and can cause a problem if they encounter a large hostile dog.
- They are easily scared or angered to attack, thus Chihuahuas are not the best dogs for toddlers. They are frail and sensitive breeds and young children may have the tendency to accidentally hurt the dog while playing.
- Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal to single owners, but they are also willing to make friends with strangers if properly introduced.
- They shiver quickly and love to burrow themselves in pillows, clothes hampers, and blankets. They are usually seen under the covers or at the bottom of the bed, deep in the dark and safety of what they think of as their den.
HEALTH AND CARE
- Patellar Luxation. Also referred to as “slipped stifles,” this condition is common to small dogs, caused when the patella is not properly lined up. This problem results in lameness in the leg or an abnormal walk, usually a skip or a hop.
- Hypoglycemia. Also known as low blood sugar, this disease can plague all toy breed puppies. A puppy with hypoglycemia may become listless, tremble or shiver, and may collapse and fall into a coma, and die if not brought to a veterinarian.
- Heart Murmurs. This condition results from a disturbance in the blood flow through the chambers of the heart, usually graded on their loudness.
- Pulmonic Stenosis. This heart condition is caused by an obstructed pulmonic valve, resulting in an irregular blood flow through the heart.
- This problem leads to an enlarged heart and soon, heart failure.
- Collapsed Trachea. This is a genetic condition where fast inhalation of air results in a flattened trachea, thus making it hard for air to reach the lungs.
- Hydrocephalus. A congenital defect, obstruction, or trauma during birth causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to build up in the brain.
- Chihuahuas with hydrocephalus have swollen or enlarged heads.
- Open Fontanel. Chihuahuas with this condition are born with a soft spot on top of their head which should be handled with care – an accidental blow to the head can cause their death.
- Shivering. A common Chihuahua health problem, shivering or trembling still have no scientific basis as to why they plague this breed, but it usually happens when the dog is excited, stressed, or cold.
- A long-lived breed, the Chihuahua’s life span can reach up to 18 years.
- Owners should provide their Chihuahuas a sweater or coat when going outdoors in cold or wet weather since these breeds are prone to shivering when they are cold, excited, or scared.
- These dogs should not be left unattended in open yards. They could be preyed upon by a hawk, other birds of prey, larger dogs, or coyotes.
- Chihuahuas starred in the 2008 film Beverly Hills Chihuahua, including a white short-haired named Chloe, a mixed-colored named Papi, and other Chihuahua warriors.
- Ren and Stimpy, a Nickelodeon’s show, highlights a Chihuahua named Ren Höek.
- The movie Legally Blonde also features a Chihuahua named Bruiser, owned by protagonist Elle Woods. Gidget played the roles of Bruiser’s mother in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog, Cartoon Network’s animated series, includes a Chihuahua named Shirley the Medium.
- A Chihuahua named Pedro was also seen in the Walt Disney animated film Lady and the Tramp.
- Isabella, in Disney’s animated show Phineas and Ferb, owns a Chihuahua named Pinky.
- The Secret Life of Pets features a Chihuahua named Pepe.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Chihuahua across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Chihuahua worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a small dog with a huge personality, the Chihuahua which is known to be the national symbol of Mexico. Charming and sassy “purse dogs,” they are one of the oldest breeds of the Americas, with roots that can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of the pre-Columbian era.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Chihuahua Facts
- Small But Mighty
- Breed Standards
- Feisty Facts
- Chi’s Life Story
- Two Heads
- Other Small Dogs
- Bring Home a Chi
- Chihuahua-Sitting 101
- All About Its History
- Adopt a Chi
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Link will appear as Chihuahua Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.