If you’re in the market for a small dog breed with lots of personality, you may want to consider a long-haired Chihuahua.
These adorable pups are known for their big personalities and even bigger ears, and they make great companions for those who don’t have a lot of space or who simply love lap dogs.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the long-haired Chihuahua plus give you tips on caring for one so you can decide if this is the right dog for you.
Long-haired Chihuahuas originated in Mexico.
They are believed to be descendants of the Techichi, a small dog kept by the Aztecs. The Techichi were considered sacred and they kept owners warm during cold nights.
Chihuahuas were brought to the United States in the late 1800s. They quickly became popular as a toy breed and were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904.
Eyes: very big and round. The color of their eyes can range from dark brown to light brown, and sometimes even hazel.
Size: they typically weigh 3 – 6 lbs and stand 5 – 8 inches tall at the shoulder
Ears: large, erect ears with feathering. Sometimes one or both ears can be floppy
Coat: a long, silky coat that can be straight or slightly wavy. Their coat is soft to the touch and requires regular grooming to keep it looking healthy and shiny.
Colors: Chihuahuas come in a wide range of colors and markings. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 9 standard colors for Chihuahuas and 6 markings.
Standard colors recognized by the AKC:
- Black and tan
- Blue and tan
- Chocolate and tan
- Fawn and white
Standard markings recognized by the AKC:
- Black brindling
- Black mask
- Black sabling
- Spotted on white
- White markings
- Merle markings
Long-haired Chihuahuas are known for their big personalities despite their small size.
They’re incredibly loyal and adore snuggling up in your lap. They often form a strong bond with one person and will become your constant shadow, following you wherever you go.
People often describe them as lively, alert, and bold.
But they can also be stubborn as heck when they want to be. Some may be timid or shy, too.
And barking – yes, these dogs love to bark!
If you don’t mind some talking, they make awesome guard dogs, ready to notify you of anything out of the ordinary.
Chihuahuas can be easily injured due to their small size, so it is important to teach children to be careful around them. Some get nervous around fast-moving little ones.
They also tend to be wary of strangers and might bark or seem reactive towards unfamiliar people or animals.
Early socialization is key to raising a friendly, well-behaved long coat.
Overall, long-haired Chihuahuas are fantastic companions, but they’re best suited for owners who appreciate their uniqueness.
Health and Lifespan
Common Health Issues
Long-haired Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Here are some common health problems that you should be aware of:
- Hypoglycemia: This affects many toy breeds, including Chihuahuas. It occurs when the dog’s blood sugar levels drop too low, which can cause weakness, lethargy, seizures, and even death. To prevent hypoglycemia, you should feed your Chihuahua small, frequent meals throughout the day.
- Patellar Luxation: This common orthopedic problem occurs when the kneecap (patella) slips out of place. It can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis. Surgery may be necessary to correct severe cases of patellar luxation.
- Collapsed Trachea: This is a condition where the trachea (windpipe) collapses, which can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. If your Chihuahua coughs or has breathing troubles, seek immediate veterinary attention. This is different from reverse sneezing, which is harmless.
- Dental Problems: Chihuahuas often face dental problems like gum disease and tooth loss. To prevent these issues, make sure to brush their teeth regularly and provide dental chews.
- Eye Problems: Chihuahuas are susceptible to eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eyes. Be vigilant for signs such as redness or unusual discharge, and address any issues promptly.
Long-haired Chihuahuas have a relatively long lifespan compared to other breeds.
On average, they live for 12-20 years.
However, various factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, and healthcare, can influence their longevity.
To ensure that your Chihuahua lives a long and healthy life, ensure they get a balanced diet, daily exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups.
Spike, the oldest Chihuahua on record, lived a remarkable 23 years!
Care and Maintenance
When it comes to chow time for these lively little guys, think high-quality and protein-packed.
Your long-haired Chihuahua’s metabolism is fast like lightning, so they need fuel that packs a punch.
Feeding long-haired Chihuahuas 3-4 small meals a day is often recommended to help prevent hypoglycemia. This helps keep their blood sugar levels more consistent throughout the day.
Opt for top-notch dog food with plenty of protein and steer clear of those sneaky fillers and by-products.
Those puppy eyes can make it hard to resist giving them treats. But too many treats or overfeeding, and your Chihuahua might start to show it on the scale.
These little ones are prone to packing on the pounds.
Tip: keep tabs on your Chihuahua’s weight. Overfeeding or underfeeding can stir up some health troubles.
When it comes to these pint-sized powerhouses, they’ve got energy to burn.
Long-haired Chihuahuas are like little dynamo balls, always brimming with excitement, and they need their regular exercise fix to stay in tip-top shape.
Daily walks or some playful sessions should be marked on your Chihuahua’s calendar to keep their spirits high and their tails wagging.
But wait, there’s a catch – balance is key.
Chihuahuas, being on the petite side, can be susceptible to joint problems.
So, while exercise is a must, don’t go overboard.
Regular brushing is the name of the game here – aim for at least a few times a week to prevent mats and tangles.
You’ll want a slicker brush and a comb to keep things smooth and shiny.
Bath time should roll around every 1 to 6 weeks.
Make sure to use a dog-specific shampoo to keep their coat in top condition.
Don’t forget those ears!
Regular ear cleaning is essential to prevent ear infections and wax buildup.
Lastly, keep those nails trimmed so they don’t cause discomfort if they get too long.
With proper grooming, your long-haired Chihuahua will be a little fluffball of elegance.
Tips: opt for a grinder instead of traditional nail clippers. And if you really want to turn nail time into a treat, spread some peanut butter on a lick mat to keep your pup happily occupied.
Long-haired Chihuahuas shed moderately year-round and it’s important to note that they are not hypoallergenic.
No worries, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to tackle that pesky shedding.
Set up regular brushing sessions with your Chihuahua and invest in a good de-shedding shampoo to reduce shedding.
With a bit of grooming and some home TLC, you can enjoy the company of your long-haired Chihuahua without your living space turning into a furry wonderland.
Tip: keep the vacuum handy, stock up on lint rollers, and consider adding an air purifier to your arsenal to keep those stray hairs at bay.
When it comes to needing space, long-haired Chihuahuas are the champs of adaptability.
These pint-sized pups are right at home in cozy living spaces, like apartments.
And here’s the secret sauce for keeping them happy in close quarters – puzzles and interactive toys.
These little gems can be enjoyed without needing a mansion, giving your Chihuahua a mental workout that can be just as tiring as a physical one!
Tip: check out these boredom-busting games that are perfect for indoor play.
Socialization is the name of the game for long-haired Chihuahuas.
These little pups can get a tad skittish about the world if they’re not introduced properly.
When you’re tiny, everything else looks big and intimidating.
So, what’s the secret sauce to nurturing a confident and well-adjusted Chihuahua?
It’s all about exposure.
Right from the get-go, let them mingle with different people, animals, and various places.
Show them that the world isn’t as spooky as it might seem.
Training your long-haired Chihuahua is absolutely doable, thanks to their smarts, but brace yourself for a bit of stubbornness and independence.
Patience and consistency are key when it comes to Chihuahua training, and it’s best to kickstart it as early as you can, using positive reinforcement with treats and praise.
These brainy little fellas catch on fast, so early training sets the stage for good habits.
Now, if you’re eyeing an older pup, fret not.
We adopted our Chihuahua when he was already 2 years old, clueless about his name and any commands.
He’s now a pro at loads of tricks.
So, rest easy, these crafty pups can still pick up new tricks and adapt like champs.
Pros and Cons of Long-Haired Chihuahuas
Like any dog breed, Chihuahuas come with their own set of pros and cons.
If you are considering getting a long-haired Chihuahua, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind.
- Beautiful Appearance: Long-haired Chihuahuas are undeniably beautiful. Their long, silky coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a stunning addition to any household.
- Cuddly and Soft: If you love snuggling with your furry friend, a long-haired Chihuahua is perfect for you. Their soft, fluffy coats make them a joy to pet and cuddle with.
- Climate Adaptation: With their ample fur, long-haired Chihuahuas aren’t as susceptible to chilly weather as their short-haired counterparts. Those luxurious coats offer extra warmth and protection from the elements.
- Easy to Train: These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and can learn a variety of commands and tricks.
- Grooming: Long-haired Chihuahuas require regular grooming to keep their coats looking their best. This can be time-consuming and expensive if you choose to take them to a professional groomer. If their coats are not properly cared for, long-haired Chihuahuas can develop tangles and mats.
- Fragile: Long-haired Chihuahuas are petite and delicate, which makes them susceptible to injuries. Rough play or accidental falls can easily harm them, so families with young children should exercise caution.
- High Energy: Despite their size, long-haired Chihuahuas are brimming with energy. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay content. Without these outlets, they may resort to destructive behaviors or become vocal or whiny.
- Health Vulnerabilities: Long-haired Chihuahuas are predisposed to several health issues, including dental problems, eye issues, and tracheal collapse. They may also suffer from joint problems like patellar luxation as they age.
- Long lifespan: While a lengthy lifespan can be viewed as a positive, it also entails a long-term commitment. Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years, so potential owners should be prepared for a substantial and lasting investment of time and care.
Finding a Long-Haired Chihuahua
If you are interested in getting a long-haired Chihuahua, there are two main ways to obtain one: adoption or purchasing from a breeder.
Here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best for you.
Adopting a long-haired Chihuahua can be a wonderful way to provide a loving home for a dog in need.
Many animal shelters and rescue organizations have Chihuahuas available for adoption.
When considering adoption, it’s essential to keep a few factors in mind:
- Adoption Fees: The cost of adoption can vary depending on the organization, but it often includes expenses like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and other medical care. It’s important to be aware of these fees when planning to adopt.
- Temperament: Spending time with the dog before adopting is crucial to ensure their temperament aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. This interaction can help determine if the dog is a good fit for your family.
- History: Inquire with the organization about any available information on the dog’s background. This may include details like whether the dog was previously house-trained or if they have any pre-existing medical conditions. While you may not always have extensive information about the dog’s past, any available insights can be valuable.
Petfinder is a fantastic resource to find an adoptable Chihuahua near you.
Some top Chihuahua rescues are:
- Second Chance Chi – Salt Lake City, UT
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transport – many states
- Ay Chihuahua Rescue – Austin, TX
If you decide to purchase a long-haired Chihuahua from a breeder, consider these factors:
- Reputation: Conduct thorough research to identify a reputable breeder. Look for breeders with a track record of prioritizing the health and overall welfare of their dogs. Visiting the breeder in person can help assess their reputation.
- Health: Make sure the breeder has had the dog’s health checked by a veterinarian and can provide documentation of any necessary vaccinations and tests.
- Cost: Acquiring a dog from a breeder is more costly than adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization, so be prepared to pay a higher price.
Preparing to Bring Home a Chihuahua
Bringing home a new dog is an exciting time, but it’s important to be prepared to make the transition as smooth as possible for both you and your new furry friend. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your new Chihuahua.
- Chihuahua-Proof Your Home: Just as you would baby-proof your home, remove any potential hazards that could be harmful to your Chihuahua. This includes small objects, toxic plants, chemicals, and accessible cords.
- Designate a Safe Space: Create a designated area within your home where your Chihuahua can eat, sleep, and play. Add a comfy bed, food and water dishes, and some toys.
- Gather Necessary Supplies: Before bringing your Chihuahua home, make sure you have all the essential supplies ready. These include high-quality dog food, food and water dishes, a leash and harness, poop bags, an identification tag, a dog bed, a crate, and a dog car seat.
- Grooming Tools: Long-haired Chihuahuas need regular grooming. Invest in the proper tools, including a brush, nail clippers, dog shampoo, and ear cleaner.
- Dog-Proof Your Yard: If you have outdoor space, ensure it’s securely fenced to prevent your Chihuahua from wandering off. Check for any gaps or openings in the fence that they could squeeze through.
- Potty Area and Schedule: Designate a specific area for your pup to use the bathroom, whether it’s a pee pad or a section of your yard. Maintain a consistent potty schedule and reward them for successful bathroom trips.
- Vet Visit: Schedule a veterinary check-up shortly after bringing your Chihuahua home. This establishes their health baseline and ensures they are up to date on vaccinations and preventive care.
- Socialization: Gradually introduce your Chihuahua to different people, animals, and environments to promote socialization and build their confidence.
If you’re looking for a small, affectionate dog with a big personality, a long-haired Chihuahua might be the perfect fit for you.
This comprehensive guide has covered everything from their charming appearance and spirited temperament to the essential aspects of caring for them.
We’ve also provided insights into the upsides and downsides of having these energetic bundles of joy in your life, and where to find your very own Chihuahua.
One of the most important things to remember about long-haired Chihuahuas is that they require regular grooming to keep their coat looking healthy and shiny.
With proper grooming and care, these pups can live long, healthy lives and make great companions for years to come.
How Much Does a Long-haired Chihuahua Cost?
On average, you can expect to pay between $500 to $2500 for a long-haired Chihuahua puppy. The cost can vary depending on the breeder, color, and pedigree. Adopting a Chihuahua will cost less.
Are Long-Haired Chihuahuas Hypoallergenic?
No, long-haired Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic. They shed moderately, and their long hair can trap dander and other allergens, which can trigger allergies in some people.
Do Long-Haired Chihuahuas Need Haircuts?
Long-haired Chihuahuas don’t necessarily need haircuts, they do require more upkeep than short-haired Chihuahuas. They may require trimming around their legs and paws to prevent overgrowth of fur in those areas.
Their long hair can become tangled and matted, so they need regular brushing.
What Is the Difference Between a Short-Haired Chihuahua and a Long-Haired Chihuahua?
Short-haired Chihuahuas have a short, smooth coat that is low maintenance. Long-haired Chihuahuas have a longer, flowing coat that requires more grooming.
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