Dogs come in different ‘packages,’ from extra-large to small and down to tiny packages. And, if you want one that comes in ‘handy,’ you’d never go wrong with a Chihuahua dog breed. There are six (6) types of Chihuahua, but for now, we shall focus our attention on the long-haired Chihuahua.
We will tell you everything that you want to know about the smallest dog in the world so you can decide if this tiny one is a good match for you and your loved ones.
1. History of the Chihuahua Breed
The history of Chihuahua can be traced back as far as the ancient civilization. Back then, the Toltec civilization in Mexico preferred the larger breed called the Techichi. The Toltecs were then conquered by the Aztecs and took an interest in the Techichi dog breed. The Aztecs refined the breed into a smaller and lighter version, which we now know as the Chihuahua.
During that time though, (15th century), it was believed that the Chihuahua dogs were raised and sold as a food delicacy.
2. The Birth of the Long-haired Chihuahua
When the short-coated was established in the US, Canada, and Europe, breeding programs were set up to come up with a new variety – a Chihuahua with long hair. This was achieved by breeding the short-coated Chihuahua with small breeds with a long coat like the Pomeranian, Papillon, Pekingese, and Yorkshire Terrier.
When the gene (of the long-haired dog breeds) was introduced to the bloodline of short-coated Chihuahua, there was no longer a need for outside breeding because it already guarantees that a litter will have a pup with long hair. Over time, the long-haired Chihuahua became popular among dog lovers. Now, both the short and long-coated Chihuahua is considered to be genetical of the same breed.
3. Result of Crossing Short and Long-haired Chihuahuas
Did you know that short-coated Chihuahua mom and pop can produce long-coated Chihuahua puppies? This is because the short-haired Chihuahua also carries the genes of the long-coated Chihuahua. So, if you plan on breeding two (2) short-coated Chihuahua, don’t be surprised if long-haired Chihuahua puppies pop up in the litter. Although the short-haired gene is more dominant, the long-haired gene can still supersede.
4. The Crowning Glory of a Long-haired Chihuahua
If you’ve seen Tinkerbell (the Chihuahua dog of Paris Hilton) before, you may be wondering what makes her different from the Chihuahua with a long coat. Tinkerbell looks similar in a lot of ways except that she did not sport long hair. That said, the long-haired Chihuahua has more fur than the other types of Chihuahua.
The long-coated Chihuahua could either have a slight wave on its coat, or the coat could also be flat. The coat color can be cream, white, brown, blue, red, black, or a combination of two (2) or three (3) colors.
But did you know that it takes a while before the Chihuahua’s coat grows long? Unlike other small breeds of dogs that get their long and thick coat at a young age, it is not the same as the Chihuahua.
It will take about fourteen (14) to twenty-four (24) months before the coat grows long. And, when that time comes, a majority of them will have two (2) layers of coat – the down undercoat and the long topcoat. Some will sport a long coat but only with a single layer, meaning that there is no undercoat.
I bet you also didn’t know that the male long-haired Chihuahuas have more hair than the females. They also have fluffier coats around the neck and the entire body. So, if you see two long-coated Chihuahuas side-by-side, and one seems to have a fuller and fluffier coat than the other, chances are it is a male long-haired Chihuahua.
Grooming Requirements for Long-coated Chihuahua:
Did you know that it won’t take much of your time to groom a long-coated Chihuahua? Once or twice a week is enough to avoid it having a bad hair day.
A comb and a brush are the only tools you need for grooming because you do not have to trim its coat. This is because the hair only grows up to a certain length.
It’s good for your little dog to check their paw pads for the matting issue. With a long-haired Chihuahua, hairs can grow out between paw pads and, if not addressed right away, matting can cause discomfort and traction issues.
Do They Shed a Lot?
If you worry about shedding, the long-haired Chihuahua is a great choice because although it does shed all-year-round, the amount of hair is minimal. You’d notice that shedding gets heavier during springtime and at the start of autumn.
For the females, you’d also notice blowing of the coat at the start of the heat cycle and after giving birth as a result of hormone fluctuations.
What About the Size, Is the Long-haired Bigger Than the Short-haired?
Regardless of coat length, the weight of the long-haired Chihuahua ranges from five (5) to six (6) pounds while the average height is six (6) to ten (10) inches, which is pretty standard for all types of Chihuahua.
5. Long Coat Does Not Equate to Cold-tolerant
Did you know that all the six (6) types of Chihuahua are cold intolerant? That said, regardless of coat length, all Chihuahuas are supposed to stay indoors. Some people have the misconception that the long-coated Chihuahua can stay outdoors since it has a longer coat that acts as protection. That simply is not true.
In fact, its long hair is not enough to provide sufficient protection from the dipping temperature or from the scoring heat of summer.
Should Chihuahuas Sleep With You?
Because of their small size, Chihuahuas feel cold almost all of the time, it is a good idea to allow your long-haired Chihuahua to sleep on your bed for extra warmth and comfort.
6. Long-haired Chihuahua Temperament
Small they may be, but these dogs are big in personality. If you get this breed, you will see how loyal, smart, comical, and protective it will be. They are extremely variable though: some are lively or calm-tempered, bold or shy, confident or edgy or stubborn or eager on pleasing its owners. No matter what kind you have, your Chihuahua will love you unconditionally and is happiest laying around and sitting on your lap.
However, this devotion and love for you may be too much to handle as your dog won’t like being left alone. They can get destructive and rowdy if left for long hours.
Separation anxiety combined with the difficulty to housebreak makes the long-haired Chihuahua suited for someone who can give it the attention and care it demands from its human family.
Are long-haired Chihuahuas Good Pets?
Yes, they can be good pets but treat them with respect. They may be small but they can also be aggressive. Some say that the long-coated Chihuahuas are more aggressive. That simply is not true, coat length has nothing to do with temperament.
Chihuahuas have a reputation for nipping at rowdy children and snapping at strangers because they tend to suffer from small dog syndrome. This is the only way it knows how to protect its small body.
The behaviors may include any of the following:
Unfortunately, it can be pretty challenging to correct these behaviors in a small dog such as a long-coated Chihuahua. The best thing to do is to socialize your dog at a very young age. Introduce your Chihuahua puppy to various situations like public places where there are plenty of noisy children and doggie parks.
Do long-haired Chihuahuas Bark a Lot?
This dog breed is known for barking. It has a very expressive personality that wants to be heard all the time. If you haven’t heard one bark yet, you’d be surprised that in spite of its diminutive size, its voice can be pretty loud.
7. Medical Issues and Longevity of a Long-haired Chihuahua
The biggest concern about the breed is its predisposition to suffer from Patellar Luxation. This medical condition potentially affects the dog’s mobility because the knee joints do not move the way they should be. In time, this can lead to osteoarthritis.
Another concern is the long-coated Chihuahua’s inclination for developing hypoglycemia (low sugar level). This develops because of the breed’s small muscle mass.
The other issues you have to watch out for are dental problems resulting from soft bone structure, heart murmur, and hydrocephalus, to name a few.
Of course, with the right care and regular visits to the vet, your little dog will live a happy and healthy life.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Long-haired Chihuahua?
Despite the possible health problems we mentioned, the Chihuahua with long hair can live between twelve (12) to twenty (20) years.
8. Points to Consider When Exercising a Long-haired Chihuahua
Chihuahua is indeed an active dog but thirty (30) minutes of a nice walk in the neighborhood is enough for this little one.
When you are walking your Chihuahua, be sure to use a harness rather than a dog collar. This is because of its small and delicate neck. This breed is very prone to injury. One bad pull of the collar can lead to tracheal collapse.
9. The Nutrition for a Long-haired Chihuahua
Small dogs are better off eating small servings but more frequently. The timing and frequency vary according to age.
- For puppies three (3) months and below: We recommend free-feeding. But make sure to check the freshness of the food the entire day.
- For puppies aged three months to adulthood: Three (3) times a day is highly suggested. You can split 1/4 to 1/2 cup into three servings each day. You may also give healthy snacks in between.
10. The Long-haired Chihuahua Loves to Burrow
You probably didn’t know that small dog breeds love to burrow. These dogs are no different. It is not surprising to see a Chihuahua jump onto beds and crawl under the pillows or bed covers. If you get this little one, be sure to check the covers before diving into your bed to avoid getting your long-coated Chihuahua injured.
You’d also notice that your Chihuahua has a habit of raising one of its paws. It does not mean it is injured, rather, it is a body language that signifies a submissive gesture.
Why Does Your Long-Haired Chihuahua Shiver?
While this breed has a reputation as a shaky and shivering dog, but did you know that the case could either be emotional or physiological?
Your dog shivers because it is fearful of something. This usually happens if the dog is not properly socialized, like coming across other animals or when in a strange environment.
It also shivers because a Chihuahua has a higher rate of metabolism; thus, it burns off body heat faster.
Aside from high metabolism, this breed is not as robust. Its tiny body frame lacks body fat, making it harder to adjust to cold weather. So, each time you see a Chihuahua all dressed up, it’s not just a fashion statement but more out of necessity. That said, we highly suggest that you let your long-haired Chihuahua wear a sweater for comfort.
Cost of Owning a Long-haired Chihuahua
Issues like the breeder’s name, litter size, and color dictate the price, but the average is $800.00. An adoption is a good option if you have a limited budget.
On average, monthly upkeeps can be $87.00, which includes essentials like food and vet visits. You can incur more expenses for insurance and pet boarding services.
If you are looking for a dog that comes in small packages, the Chihuahua could be your best bet. It is a small dog that comes with an attitude. It demands attention, and you’d better give it unless you are ready for some ‘trouble.’ With proper training and early socialization, you should be able to take your long-haired Chihuahua anywhere you go. Don’t forget that its body has a harder time adjusting to the cold weather due to its small size. Thus, bundling up this little fellow becomes very important.