The long haired Chihuahua is an ancient dog breed which has a big heart and is fiercely loyal to people and protectors of their pack.
Unbothered by the fact that they are the smallest dog in the world, these vivacious little dogs take the world in their stride.
Chihuahuas come in all different shapes and colors, but, this article specifically focuses on the long haired Chi.
What are the differences between a smooth coat and long coat Chihuahua? What is it like to own one and what do you need to know before buying this dog?
|Long Haired Chihuahua Profile|
|Size||6-9″ in height|
|Lifespan||15 – 20 years|
|Suitable For||Adult only houses|
|Color Variations||Black, brown, tan, red, blue, white and cream|
|Temperament||Loyal, loving, mischievous, tenacious and playful|
|Other Names||Long Haired Chi|
Long Haired Chihuahua Overview
Named after the state of Chihuahua (in Mexico), this little dog is the smallest in the world.
These dogs date back as far as 100 AD, although their ancestors the Techichi dog, dates back even further, being depicted in cave paintings as far back as 300 BC.
It is thought that Chihuahuas were bred for two purposes:
- To hunt rats and other small animals
- As a common delicacy in the 15th Century
Chihuahuas were first seen in America in the late 1800s when they moved up from Mexico.
Ever growing in popularity, these little dogs became a fashion accessory after being seen in the 2001 movie Legally Blonde – Elle Woods had a Chihuahua called Bruiser Woods.
There are two types of Chihuahua, the Apple headed and the Deer headed (more on this later).
The Chihuahua is recognized by the American Kennel Club in the toy dog breed category.
Long haired Chihuahuas are not recognized as a distinct dog breed, as they are grouped in with their shorter haired cousins.
Long Haired Chihuahua Puppies
Due to their popularity, and fashion status, Long Haired Chihuahuas are the unfortunate favorite of backyard breeders.
Backyard breeders (or puppy mills), are typically amateur or professional breeders who priotize breeding puppies for profit as opposed to pedigree, health and adherence to breed standards.
A purebred Long Haired Chihuahua puppy should cost between $500 to $1,500 USD. Your puppy should grow at approximately the following rate:
If your puppy does not grow at the typical rate, do not immediately worry. Long Haired Chihuahuas come in different shapes and sizes; so it is okay if they don’t conform to the suggested rate above, as long as they match the breed standard.
If your dog is severely over weight or under weight it is important to seek medical advice from a veterinarian where appropriate.
|Ease of Care|
The Long Haired Chihuahua dog is known for their loving and loyal nature. They are protective of their owners, loving them with every fibre of their being and are happiest when perched on their owner’s lap.
This devotion to their owns means they do not do well with being left alone for long periods of time, becoming quite rowdy and potentially destructive.
This, combined with the fact that they are notoriously difficult to housebreak, means they are best suited to homes who can give them the attention that they crave.
Because of their long hair, this dog is known for the way they carry themselves, gliding through rooms as the picture of poise and grace.
These fun-loving dogs are a great match for city living, thriving in smaller spaces. However, this being said they do not do so well with younger children.
Is This Dog Good With Children?
These dogs weigh only 6 lb, so it would not take a lot of force or pressure to accidentally injure these dogs. Consequently, these dogs do better in houses with teenagers and up, where play should be supervised.
Although they love to play, these dogs do have a short temper, and do not do well with rough play, which may result in barking at or nipping children.
Is This Dog Good With Other Pets?
In general Chihuahuas are gentle and loving pets. When it comes to other animals, they have a very strong preference – other Chihuahuas!
If socialized from a young age they can get on with other pets, with older Chihuahuas preferring to live with other Chihuahuas.
If you are going to keep your dog with other pets, is important to remember that Chihuahua’s have quite the jealous streak if they feel they are not getting enough attention.
Does This Dog Suffer With Small Dog Syndrome?
Due to a Long Haired Chihuahuas small size, and protective nature, this dog may develop Small Dog Syndrome. This is a series of behaviors including:
All of these behaviors would be corrected in larger dogs, but, are not in smaller dogs due to their size. Many of these behaviors seen together can make the dog difficult to live with.
To stop this from developing, set consistent boundaries for your dog and be sure to socialize them well.
A Chihuahua Care Guide (Feeding, Exercising, Grooming & Training)
Food and Diet Requirements
|Daily Food Consumption|
|Cups of Kibble|
Instead of eating one large meal a day, Chihuahuas should eat three or four smaller meals, this is the same for a Long Haired Chihuahua too.
Chihuahuas have a very fine bone structure, especially on their lower jaw, and so it is important to make sure they chew their food to maintain this structure.
When selecting a food for your dog, it is important to ensure you choose a food with low salt content.
High salt content foods will quickly dehydrate your tiny dog, resulting in a sick dog. Choosing food tailored to small dogs will help to eliminate this issue.
Try to pick grain free foods, as dog’s stomachs are not designed to process large quantities of wheat or barley.
For Chihuahuas that love to chew you may want to consider giving dental sticks. Or you could try a raw lamb or beef bone for 15 minutes a day – not only does this keep their little jaws busy, but, it is a very nutritious snack that acts as a natural toothbrush.
Exercising a Chihuahua
|Daily Exercise Requirements|
|Minutes||20 to 30 minutes|
A Long Haired Chihuahua will love to be active and is always up for playing.
Their little legs mean they may be fully exercised from just following their human around all day, but, this is no substitute for a walk.
Try to walk your dog for around half an hour each day, split into two smaller walks.
When walking your dog, be sure to use a harness (as opposed to a collar) as too much pressure on the neck can case tracheal collapse.
It is also advisable to keep your Chihuahua on a leash whilst out walking, these dogs have a strong urge to chase, which once it has kicked in, can make re-call very difficult.
The Long Haired Chihuahua loves to play games like hide and seek, as finding their owner and getting love and attention can be very exciting for these dogs.
Don’t let their small size and cute face fool you, the Long Haired Chihuahua is a very smart and stubborn dog.
Without correct training and boundaries, these dogs will run riot in your home.
Before bringing your dog home, sit down with all members of the family and establish your dog’s personal boundaries:
- Will your dog be allowed on the furniture, including the beds in the bedrooms?
- Where will your pup sleep at night, will they be allowed in the bedroom or do they sleep in the kitchen?
- What time will your pup be fed, and how many times a day?
Most dogs do well with routine and consistency, dogs that do not have these boundaries may develop small dog syndrome.
Try using a clicker with your dog to utilize your dog’s natural intelligence. Long haired Chihuahuas are naturally playful and curious, so using a clicker is a sure-fire way to capture your dog’s attention.
On top of this, Chihuahua’s thrive on touch, so be sure to use this to praise your dog as well using verbal cues and food rewards.
The biggest concern with the Long Haired Chihuahua is the propensity to develop Patellar Luxation.
This is a condition that impacts the ability to move the knee joint correctly, resulting in other conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Depending on the severity of the condition, it can either be treated through medication or in more extreme cases, surgery.
Due to their smaller size, these dogs are at risk of developing hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar.
This condition may develop because you dog does not have enough muscle mass in their small body to hold enough energy.
Consequently, this condition can be managed by feeding your dog smaller meals frequently throughout the day, and by purchasing a dog food specifically tailored to smaller dogs.
As previously mentioned, chihuahuas have a very soft bone structure, including their lower jaw, so their teeth need regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian.
There is also potential that a Long haired could develop any of the following conditions:
- Pulmonic Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
Despite this, Long Haired Chihuahuas are known for living long happy and healthy lives, with a typical lifespan of between 15 and 20 years.
Long Haired Chihuahua Appearance: Coat, Color and Grooming
The Chihuahua is a small dog, weighing around 6lb.
They have large, triangular ears, a short muzzle and bright, intelligent eyes. Their legs and tail are proportional to their body.
When it comes to head shape, you can get two types:
- Apple headed
- Deer headed
Apple headed Chihuahuas
Apple headed Chihuahuas are the type of Chihuahua seen on the breed standard. Their muzzles meet their forehead at a 90-degree angle creating that classic L shape.
This results in their eyes bugling out of their head slightly to create that classic chihuahua face.
Deer headed Chihuahuas
Deer headed Chihuahuas have a slightly longer snout, and a softer angle where their muzzle meets their forehead, around 45 degrees.
This type of Chihuahua is not recognised by the AKC but is no less prestigious.
The Long Haired Chihuahua can be black, brown, tan, red, blue, white and cream. They can also have bi or even tri colored coats.
Grooming a Long Haired Chihuahua
When handling young Chihuahuas, it is important to take care around their molera (i.e. soft spot). This is the equivalent of a fontanelle in young child.
This essentially means that in their first few weeks of life, their skull may be soft, but it should harden with time. Care should be taken while handling these fragile puppies.
It is important that their long hair is brushed regularly (at least twice a week) to avoid matting.
Try using a metal slicker brush or comb to brush through their long hair.
A strange trait that is relatively unique to this breed is that they tend to shed their hair in clumps as opposed to individual hairs. This makes them relatively easy to clean up after, as all the hair is in one small hairball.
Chihuahuas do not need a lot of bathing (as this can dry out their skin), try not to bathe them unless they are particularly dirty, or flea ridden. When bathing, be sure not to get any water in their ears.
If you are looking for a little dog with a big heart, the Long Haired Chihuahua could be the one for you.
They need lots of attention (in the forms of fuss, positive praise, exercise and grooming) so make sure you have a lot of time to dedicate to your canine companion.
This may not be the dog for you if you are away from home a lot or if you have young children at home.
If you like the sound of a Chihuahua, but, aren’t 100%, consider getting a Chihuahua mix. These mixed breed dogs combine the best of both worlds.
Perhaps the sassiness of the Chihuahua combined with the comedy of the Pug to create the Pughuahua? Or the playful nature of the Dachshund to create the Chiweenie?
Do you have a cheeky Chihuahua at home? Are you thinking about getting one? Feel free to let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment in the comments section below.