Have you ever seen a hairless Chihuahua? They are the same breed as coated Chihuahuas. But they have a rare genetic defect that causes them to be hairless. While they do look a bit different, they still have the same personality and other traits of regular, coated Chihuahuas.
While this condition is pretty rare, hairless spots are pretty common in a short-coated Chihuahua as well. So when some people are talking about a hairless Chihuahua, it is more likely that they are talking about a short-coated one with hairless spots.
As the smallest of all dog breeds, the short-haired Chihuahua has a short, fine, smooth coat. It comes in all colors from amber to black. Short-haired Chihuahuas are petite, compact dogs. They only reach a size of 5 to 8 inches tall and weigh around 6 pounds.
Chihuahua history and origins
The Chihuahua’s origins are unknown, as they are for many breeds, however there are two assumptions as to how he came to be. The first is that he is descended from the Techichi, a Central or South American dog.
When we examine the evidence of the Chihuahua’s origins in Central and South America, we are reminded of the Toltec civilization. Toltec carvings from the 9th century C.E. show a dog that looks like a Chihuahua, with the same large ears and round head. Techichi were the name given to these dogs, and their role in Toltec civilisation is unknown.
The Aztecs assimilated the Techichi into their society after conquering the Toltecs. Many of the dogs were utilized in Aztec rituals and resided in temples. The Aztecs thought the Techichi possessed mysterious abilities, such as the ability to see into the future, heal the sick, and safely guide the spirits of the deceased to the underworld. It was common practice to kill a red Techichi and bury him alongside the corpse. Food and pelts were also obtained from the Techichi by the Aztecs. In the late 1500s, the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, and the Techichi vanished.
Small hairless dogs from China were introduced to Mexico by Spanish traders and bred with small native dogs, according to the second theory.
The modern Chi
Regardless of which theory is correct, the modern Chihuahua was discovered in the 1850s in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, from whence he gets his name. The small dogs were carried back to the United States by American travelers to Mexico. In 1890, they were first shown, and in 1904, a Chihuahua named Midget became the first of his breed to be registered with the American Kennel Club.
Crosses with Papillons or Pomeranians are likely to have resulted in the longhaired type. The popularity of the breed skyrocketed in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was linked to Xavier Cugat, the dance king and Latin music bandleader.
The Chihuahua has been one of the most popular breeds recognized with the AKC since the 1960s. They are currently ranked 11th of of 155 breeds and variations recognized by the AKC.
Chihuahuas are very affectionate dogs anyway. So the short-haired Chihuahua has a particular tendency to develop a close bond with his owners. He is particularly curious, intelligent and alert towards you. When not adequately socialized as puppies, short-haired Chihuahuas can dislike strangers and bark nervously.
So the sooner they get used to new surroundings the more comfortable they will feel later. In general, they prefer to hang around with dogs of the same breed.
Chihuahuas are often compared to terriers because of their boldness and confidence. His wariness of strangers and vigilant nature make him an ideal watchdog. He’s a sensitive individual who feeds on affection and company.
Chihuahuas frequently form attachments to a single person, yet they are usually willing to make new pals if appropriately introduced. However, expect them to be a little reserved at first. If they aren’t properly socialized as puppies, Chihuahuas can be fearful.
Chihuahuas, like all dogs, require early socialization – exposure to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they are young. Your Chihuahua puppy will grow up to be a well-rounded dog if he or she is socialized.
Are they good family dogs?
It’s crucial to remember to socialize your Chihuahua with children, adults, and other animals, regardless of your family circumstances. Chihuahuas are wary of strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs, but they must learn to interact with people in a friendly manner. It’s also crucial to note that Chihuahuas forget they’re small and will defend themselves against a larger aggressive dog; as a result, the Chihuahua requires constant monitoring in unfamiliar circumstances, on walks, and in the yard.
Many Chihuahuas enjoy being around children, but the mix of a small dog and a little child can be catastrophic. If a Chihuahua isn’t held properly, he can jump out of a child’s hands and damage himself, and he won’t hesitate to protect himself if he’s being mistreated. For fear of the dog being damaged, many breeders refuse to sell puppies to families with toddlers. Chihuahuas thrive in homes with older children who are quiet and know how to engage with them.
Make it a rule that young children can only pet or hold the Chihuahua while seated on the floor. Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side. Teach your youngster to never approach a sleeping or eating dog, or to try to steal the dog’s food. A child should never be left alone with a dog.
If introduced at a young age, Chihuahuas get along well with other family pets, including cats. The fearless Chihuahua will frequently boss about larger dogs, which may or may not cause difficulties. It’s fairly uncommon for the tiniest dog to be the boss.
The Health of a Hairless Chihuahua
The health of a hairless Chihuahua is pretty much the same as the one of a regular Chihuahua. Except for some genetic abnormalities that can lead to neurological problems such as epilepsy. In addition to that, they can also be more likely to lose teeth at a younger age. So make sure to take good care of his pearl whites.
In general, these little puppies are a healthy breed. Chihuahuas can live to be at least 10 years old and up to 18 years old, though they may develop health problems as they become older.
Folic acid, heart disease, patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, and epilepsy are among the potential health risks to be cautious of. Earwax build-up and flaky skin are also common in Chihuahuas. According to the CCA, make sure your Chihuahua breeder does all OFA-recommended health tests before bringing home a puppy. If you’re planning to adopt a Chihuahua, make sure you get all of the medical information you can.
Molera, a little hole the size of a pencil eraser in the top of the skull, is a typical occurrence in Chihuahuas. Historically, this was an indication of breed purity. Size, heredity, and skeletal form all influence whether a Chi preserves its soft spot.
Most common health problems
Patellar Luxation, sometimes known as “slipped stifles” in little dogs, is a common condition. It is caused by a misalignment of the patella, which is made up of three parts: the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf). This results in limb lameness or an irregular gait, similar to a skip or a hop. It’s a condition that’s present from birth. However, the actual misalignment or luxation doesn’t necessarily happen right away.
Patellar luxation causes friction, which can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint condition. There are four grades of patellar luxation, ranging from grade I, which is a little luxation that causes brief joint lameness, to grade IV, which is a severe luxation that prevents the patella from being realigned manually. The dog will appear bowlegged as a result of this. If it does come this far, chances are that your dog will need surgery.
All toy breed puppies are susceptible to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is manageable in the early stages, but if not addressed, it can be fatal.
Because this condition might be misdiagnosed as viral hepatitis or encephalitis by veterinarians, it is critical for breeders and parents of toy breed puppies to know the signs and symptoms.
Hypoglycemia causes a puppy to slow down and become listless, as well as shaking or shivering. Put some honey on his mouth and take him to the vet right away. He’ll eventually collapse, go into convulsions, slip into a coma, and die if the condition is allowed to continue.
It’s a medical emergency if your Chihuahua is limp and has grayish-blue gums and tongue. When toy puppies don’t have enough fat reserves to supply enough glucose under stressful situations or when they don’t feed consistently, hypoglycemia develops.
A disturbance in the blood flow through the chambers of the heart causes heart murmurs. They’re a sign that there could be a heart ailment or condition that needs to be checked and treated.
The loudness of heart murmurs is graded on a scale of one to five, with one being very quiet and five being very loud. If illness is present, as determined by x-rays and an echocardiography, the dog may need medicine, a particular diet, and a decrease in the amount of exercise he receives.
This congenital heart condition arises when the pulmonic valve is faulty and causes a blockage, preventing blood from flowing normally through the heart. As a result, the heart has to work harder and may expand, resulting in heart failure. The severity of the condition determines the course of treatment.
There is little or no obstruction in mild cases, and no treatment is required. Surgery is advised if the dog is seriously afflicted by the condition, however the procedure varies depending on the location of the obstruction.
Tracheal Collapse is another significant health danger for little dogs. The trachea (also known as the windpipe) is a circular cartilage group that helps mammals to breathe. If these get weakened, they may collapse, narrowing the space available. Due to the development of dry, harsh coughing and gagging, your dog’s breathing becomes more difficult.
Tight collar and genetic disposition from over-breeding are two major causes of tracheal collapse. Tracheal collapse can occur if the trachea is frequently compressed by a tight collar.
Pharyngeal Gag Reflex
When they experience a rapid and powerful inhale of air through their nostrils, some dogs have a pharyngeal gag reaction, often known as reverse sneezing. Chihuahuas that have experienced reverse sneezing have been described as sounding as if they are attempting to sneeze.
Reverse sneezing can be caused by a variety of things, including tooth infections, nasal irritation, and environmental irritants like smoke and pollen. An inflamed larynx or palate, which can produce spasms in those areas, is another cause of this health concern.
In this condition the thyroid gland produces an exceptionally little amount of hormones. A common sign of this illness is infertility. Some of the more noticeable symptoms include obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyes, low energy levels, and irregular heat cycles. The skin gets thick and black, and the dog’s fur becomes harsh and brittle, falling off. Hypothyroidism is treated by giving the dog daily medication for the remainder of his life. Thankfully, a dog who receives daily thyroid medication can have a long and happy life.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain as a result of a congenital abnormality, obstruction, or birth trauma, putting pressure on the brain. The head appears bloated or inflated, but an ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis if necessary.
Although there is no cure for hydrocephalus, steroids can help reduce fluid pressure in moderate cases. Fluid can also be diverted from the brain to the abdomen via a shunt. Puppies with severe illnesses generally die before they reach the age of four months, which is a good reason to wait until then to get a Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas are born with a soft region on the top of their heads called an open fontanel. The soft spot usually closes, much like a baby’s, but it may not close completely in some cases. Treat these dogs with caution. They can be killed by a single hit to the skull.
Chihuahuas are known for their shivering. It’s unclear why they shiver or tremble, although it frequently happens when they’re aroused, stressed, or chilly.
That’s right, you read that correctly. Canines, too, can develop epilepsy and seizures. The frequency of a seizure and epilepsy differs significantly. Epilepsy is diagnosed if the seizures persists.
Caring for a hairless Chihuahua
Caring for a hairless dog is mainly different due to the differences in grooming. All Chihuahuas, with or without hair, will require training and exercise to stay healthy and well behaved.
Training is especially important for these small dogs, because they are so prone to developing “small dog syndrome”. As tiny and innocent as your dog may seem to you, he sees himself as this giant creature that needs to protect it’s owner. That’s why socializing is so important.
As your dog is a pretty unusual one, many unknown people may feel tempted to approach the two of you and even touch your Chihuahua’s smooth head. While you may be cool with it, chances are that he won’t be. So try to get him used to being around strangers. And warn them as well, before they get bitten.
And even though your dog is a tiny one, they still need a bit of exercise. Daily walks through the dog park after applying your SPF will be a must!
Grooming a hairless Chihuahua
Don’t think that you won’t have to do any grooming because your dog does not have any hair. Even though they don’t shed, they will still require some TLC.
Their skin is exceptionally sensitive to sun damage. Even though this might seem weird to you, the best option would be to use SPF when going outside in the sun. That’s the best way to prevent dog skin cancer, which these hairless breeds are all prone to.
While you don’t have to worry about washing their coat, you still have to wash their skin from time to time. Chihuahuas are generally speaking a clean dog breed, so a wet cloth can do the job pretty good. Make also sure to clean the space between their skin wrinkles. Excessive moisture that builds up there can lead to skin infections.
Now to the part that many dog owners skip — brushing your dog’s teeth. It would be ideal if you did this task once every day, but once to twice a week is also fine. Better than nothing, right?
Clipping the nails of your dog can be a tricky task for many dog owners. So if you don’t feel comfortable with this, rather leave it to a professional dog groomer.
Positive reinforcement is excellent for a feisty, bright dog like a Chihuahua, and they’ll need frequent, persistent obedience training. Some people believe that it’s better to suggest rather than insist that a Chihuahua do anything, and while Chihuahuas appreciate being rewarded with goodies and praise, they’ll desire variation and only have patience for short training sessions. To be ahead of the game, train them on an empty stomach and realize that it will take time, but it will be worthwhile in the end.
Chihuahuas are notoriously difficult to housetrain for the reasons stated above. Chihuahuas are little and sly, so you’ll probably find them toileting in concealed locations unless you’re really careful.
Use a kennel or gates to keep the dog out of the no-go areas, and take frequent excursions outside to potty to avoid the carpet becoming a favorite pee site. Treats and praise should be plentiful when they go where you want them to!
Crate training, in addition to housetraining, is a gentle technique to keep your Chihuahua from getting into things he shouldn’t. Chihuahuas, like any dogs, can be destructive as puppies. They may not cause as much harm as a Lab puppy, but those tiny teeth may leave a lasting impression. If your Chihuahua is crate trained from a young age, he will be more accepting of confinement.
However, never leave your Chihuahua in a kennel all day. It’s not a jail, and he shouldn’t stay in it for more than a few hours at a time unless he’s sleeping. Chihuahuas are people dogs who should not be confined to a crate or kennel for the rest of their lives.
You’ll soon discover that your Chihuahua can learn whatever you can teach him if you use positive reinforcement strategies like food rewards, praise, and play.
Exercise and activity
The Chihuahua can adapt to as much activity as you are willing to allow, within reasonable limits. Chihuahuas tend to have bursts of energy in which they play excitedly, but they don’t need a lot of exercise – an hour a day should be enough. It is recommended that Chihuahuas wear a harness instead of a collar due to their sensitive windpipes.
These dogs are ideal for people living in cities as Chihuahuas don’t need huge green fields to run around. They will be perfectly fine with a good walk through the dog park. But don’t forget about their sassy nature while you are there. Chihuahuas aren’t to keen about unknown dogs approaching them.
The ideal lifestyle of a hairless Chihuahua is pretty much the same as with a regular one. With one exception — you will need to apply SPF on your dog’s skin. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen yourself, because skin cancer can happen to anyone, humans or canines.
The perfect dog for a small urban space, even if they need to have outside access to move around and use the bathroom frequently.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism. So they burn a lot of energy, but because of their small stomachs they have to eat little and often. Small breed food has been specially formulated with adequate levels of essential nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit the small mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
Chihuahuas are surprisingly smart and should definitely be treated like a “real dog” when training, as they really enjoy working with their owners. Chihuahuas have even been spotted in the main ring at Crufts, where they competed in Heelwork to Music!
When training your Chihuahua, just remember to use the smallest treats as rewards.
While the Chihuahua can get along with anyone in the family, they are generally too small for young children and unable to cope with impetuous games.
While many dogs are traditionally considered child-friendly, all dogs and children must be taught to get along, respect one another, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together, and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did you know already?
- The Chihuahua is famous for being the smallest dog in the world.
- Chihuahuas shiver a lot, but that doesn’t always mean they are cold, they also do when excited or scared!
- In terms of the size of the brain compared to the body, the Chihuahua has the largest brain of any breed of dog.
Other hairless dog breeds
Only ten hairless dog breeds exist in the world. While some are fully hairless, others have hair in some locations. All of them are completely different dog breeds originating from different parts of the world.
Let’s take a look at all of the amazing canines that have no hair and see why their hairless coats aren’t the only thing that sets them apart.
And don’t forget, no matter which hairless breed you choose — all of them will need some extra sun protection.
American Hairless Terrier
The American Kennel Club has recognized the American Hairless Terrier as one of the few hairless dog breeds. The American Hairless Terrier was created in Louisiana in the 1970s specifically for allergy sufferers.
These are Rat Terriers, but they don’t have any hair. They’re a natural variety of the Rat Terrier that doesn’t require purposeful breeding. However, it wasn’t until a litter in Louisiana gave birth to a hairless Rat Terrier that these dogs were bred.
Although they appear to be little, they can grow up to 16 inches in length. They frequently sport brows and whiskers, as well as V-shaped, erect ears. Extra caution is required with these dogs, as they are susceptible to sunburns and do not tolerate the cold well.
The AKC has recognized the Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog. They’re actually classified as a non-sporting dog. They are dog breeds from Mexico that date back over 3,500 years.
The ancient Aztecs used these hairless dogs as pets and guard dogs. The Xoloitzcuintli is also available in a coated version, similar to other hairless breeds. The hairless dog, on the other hand, is far more well-known and well-known.
Dogs with a short and smooth coat, on the other hand, are known as coated-dogs. The Mexican Hairless Dog is also available in three different sizes. These canines are available in a variety of sizes, including toy, miniature, and standard. Despite its features, the Xolo can fit into any home.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a dog breed recognized by the FCI that originated in Peru. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is available in three sizes and a coated form, similar to the Xoloitzcuintli. They aren’t fully hairless, despite their “hairless” name.
They’re even known for their mohawk haircuts. In addition, their tails are covered in hair. The Peruvian Inca Orchid’s skin can be extremely sensitive and delicate. To keep them healthy, they require proper maintenance.
Furthermore, the skin is frequently a solid hue with markings, however this varies every dog. They are still excellent sighthounds, comparable to Greyhounds. They’re hunting dogs who assist their owners in spotting or tracking down game.
The Chinese Crested, to be fair, has more hair than all of the other “hairless” dogs on this list combined. They have a lot of hair on their heads, possibly even more than dogs. They will also have hair on their feet, despite the fact that the rest of their bodies are hairless.
The powderpuff gene is a recessive gene that affects the Crestie’s fur variety. As a result, both are likely to be found in the same litter. Hairless Chinese Cresteds, on the other hand, have delicate skin and are susceptible to the same skin problems as we do.
For instance, they may develop sunburns, rashes, and even blackheads or acne as a result of their exposure to the sun. Apart from the coat, the two versions are nearly identical. They share a temperament and demeanor that is quite similar.
Ecuadorian Hairless Dog
The Ecuadorian Hairless, as the name suggests, is a hairless dog native to Ecuador’s Santa Elena Peninsula. Even now, of all hairless dog breeds, the Ecuadorian is one of the rarest and most distinctive.
With very little hair, they can grow up to 18 inches tall. In fact, the top of the head usually has a small quantity of fur, and that’s it. But the lack of premolar teeth makes this hairless dog even more odd.
Most dogs have roughly 16 of these teeth, as a point of comparison. The Ecuadorian Hairless dog is also a Peruvian Hairless descendent. It’s only natural, given that the two countries are neighbors and have comparable characteristics.
Argentine Pila Dog
In both appearance and disposition, the Argentine Pila dog is identical to the Hairless Khala. They are excellent companion dogs and are available in three sizes. These canines can range in size from 10 to 18 inches in length.
With a shorter back and an elevated curled tail, their frame resembles that of a Miniature Pinscher. They’re incredibly agile dogs, able to run, jump, and climb trees with little effort thanks to their distinctive body form.
The Pila dog comes in coated varieties, just like many other hairless dogs. Their fur will resemble that of a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. They were not purposefully bred for since they were considered “impure” dogs.
Bolivian Hairless Dog
The Hairless Khala, commonly known as the Bolivian Hairless, is a rare hairless dog breed from Bolivia. In reality, there are two options. The Khala Medio is a stubby, little dog, but the Khala Grande is a larger sighthound-type Khala.
Bolivian Hairless Dogs are savage canines. To put it another way, they weren’t bred for a specific job or social role. Rather, these dogs are thought to have evolved into hunting and companion dogs by natural selection.
Even on the continent of South America, it’s impossible to find these dogs nowadays. In Mexico and Central America, however, there are only a few. They are nearly non-existent in North America because they haven’t been recognized by any major kennel clubs.
The Jonangi is the last remaining hairless Indian dog breed. The Jonangi is a talented multi-purpose dog that hails from India’s Andhra Pradesh state. They’re not only superb hunters, but they’re also fantastic duck herders.
Unfortunately, duck farming in India has fallen dramatically in recent decades, leaving many of these canines without a job and abandoned. As a result, many of them became stray canines who gradually learned to survive in the absence of humans.
They had to learn new abilities, such as an effective fishing strategy, after living on their own for so long. Local farmers were dissatisfied with their transformation into fish-hunting dogs, and they eventually drove them to extinction.
Is the Hairless Chihuahua the right dog for you?
Now that you know so much about the hairless Chihuahua you can make up your mind and decide if this is the right breed for you.
Some owners may believe that a hairless dog requires significantly less grooming, but this is not always the case. Even though they have far less fur to brush (if any at all), their skin still requires a lot of attention.
Hairless dogs’ skin, interestingly, requires similar care to that of people, including regular baths to keep the skin clean and free of filth, moisturising lotions to prevent dryness, and sun creams to prevent sunburn. Even hairless dog breeds are susceptible to dog acne. However, do not use any human-use creams on your dog because they may include ingredients that irritate their skin or are poisonous. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations on the best creams for your hairless dog.
It’s also worth noting that dogs without fur are quite sensitive to the cold and damp, so you’ll want to invest in a decent wardrobe of raincoats and dog coats to keep them warm and dry on walks.
Therefore, only bring a hairless dog into your life if you are willing to meet all of their needs. The personality of your hairless Chi will be the same as with a regular Chihuahua. In other words — they will be a handful. Both literally and metaphorically speaking.
But once you and your beautiful bald dog get to know each other, we have no doubt in our mind that the two of you will be BFFs.
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