Chihuahuas date back to as far as the 1500s, when Christopher Columbus the Spanish explorer brought back the dog to Europe. It was later introduced to North America in the 18th century, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 1904. The chihuahua originated from the Mexican state of Chihuahua; they say the original breed 'Techichi' was bred with the Chinese Crested dog, thus giving it its current name. Find out about newborn chihuahua puppies care, to ensure that you are well-informed about how to take care of your little pet in the right way.
How to Care for Newborn Chihuahua Puppies
Being the smallest dog in the world, they're the most delicate of newly born pups, and must be handled with utmost care and attention. If you take up the responsibility of caring for a chihuahua on your own, then here's what you need to do in terms of pet care and grooming.
Puppies need a lot of sleep during that initial stage of their puppy life, so avoid disturbing them while they snooze.
Keep the puppy's bedding area clean and waste free. If he/she soils it, change it frequently to maintain hygiene. Keep an observing eye on the puppy's relieving behavior. If he/she doesn't urinate/defecate regularly, gently rub the perineum to promote flow.
Maintain a temperature of about 75-80Â° in the room, since chihuahua pups are born with a temperature of about 94 degrees. As they grow, they will come to maintain the normal heat temperature in their body, of about 101Â°. Avoid cold drafts or the room temperature from dropping, as this isn't good during their initial stage of growth.
Keep the pup far away from any high surfaced areas. Don't place them on tables, beds or the couch (without supervision). They remain with their eyes shut and are prone to fall off heights and injure themselves. Keep them on a flat surface like the cool dog beds for summer floor (warm), or in their bedding itself.
Make sure your puppy is getting all the nutrients he/she needs, by supplying them with puppy formula. This is done by injecting 1 or 2 cc of formula (be sure to but a pet formula that is designed and well-suited for your kind of pup) from a medicinal syringe (avoid using a bottle, since this is too large for the Chihuahua's oral cavity to accommodate). The owner takes up the responsibility of making sure the pup gets fed puppy formula, since many mothers abandon them or cannot tend to all pups of the litter simultaneously. The right nutrients can prevent a lot of dog health problems, so make sure to give it as and when required, as per the instructions on the package/by the vet. You can then exclude the puppy formula from its diet once it reaches its eighth week, where a mix of the formula with dried puppy food in mush form, should be given when it hits its fourth week.
The puppies need to be fed every three hours over the course of a day, making sure to feed it about eight times a day, from sunrise to sunset.
Chihuahua dogs have a small hollow spot on their skulls that is soft, and can cause death if pressure is applied to it. This is called 'molera' and can be, like I said, quite fatal when subject to injuries or a bad fall.
Brush the puppy regularly, to remove loose hair and tangled clumps, if he/she has pretty long hair. If it is short in length, brush him/her to remove hair that is shedding (ideally once a week).
Conceal electrical chords and any other objects that can prove to be harmful to the chihuahua by covering wires with tape, or placing these items far from their reach. Supply the pups with a good collection of rubber toys, to gnaw at when they're teething or restless.
They have small teeth that can easily bring on plaque build up, causing heart problems and tooth loss if not taken care of. Rub his/her teeth with dog toothpaste using your finger, then move on later to a toothbrush after the chihuahua grows used to this practice.
Socialize the puppy with other people and puppies, to work on their social behavior. Also get him/her vaccinated (rabies vaccine/distemper combo vaccination) frequently before introducing your dog to others, in case of bites/nips.
If during the course of your care routine, the puppy shows signs of sickness, like diarrhea or loss of appetite, immediately consult a vet about what went wrong, and how to rectify it.
Training Your Chihuahua Puppy
Chihuahuas grow up into stubborn dogs, where you'd need a truckload of patience during its training period. Not to worry, as time passes, it'll be easier to train him/her and deal with their behavior. Practice the following training tips and techniques while they're young. Remember that these commands need to be enforced everyday, so that your chihuahua understands them better when constantly repeated.
Calling a chihuahua by his/her name, makes them immediately come over to you. It is important to attach a leash to your dog at all times when outdoors. You can let them off the leash, once they are more familiar with you calling out his/her name, so that it registers when he/she is on their own. Call out in a calming voice, and never in an aggressive tone - this makes him/her stay far away from you to avoid falling into trouble. When your dog comes to you from a distance, bring out a hidden treat to show you're happy with their response; they associate acts with treats and make a habit out of doing as you command.
If your chihuahua gets onto the couch or bed and you want him/her to get off, voice out the command 'off' and then lift and put him/her down on your own at first. As time elapses, they will associate the move you make to put them down, with the command, and connect the two acts. The puppy then, will automatically get off the area on its own in the future.
This dog training command makes Chihuahuas lie flat down on their stomachs, after you've taught him/her first how to sit (see below). Give treats on ground level, repeating the word 'down' to make him/her understand the motion of laying down when handed the treat and hearing the command at the same time.
Holding a treat above his head, a little far back that is, automatically motions the dog to take on the seating position. By placing the doggy treat way back high over his/her head, it reflexively makes the chihuahua sit down for support, without having to lose balance. As the puppy gets into position, say the word 'sit' and hand him/her the treat. With time, your dog, like the other commands, will associate the act and connect it to what you are saying, therefore obeying as the training period continues.
Slowly bring your puppy down to his/her sitting position and hold up your hand saying 'stay' up close to the dog. Move one step away and then come back and hand him/her a treat when the dog remains still. Repeat this everyday and move an extra step back every other time you do it. Your dog will eventually obey the command when spoken to. If he/she runs to you when you're far away, repeat the training act, without losing your cool over the incident.
When you find your puppy in the act of chewing up furniture, shoes or cushions - correct him/her on the spot by pointing out what he/she has done. Don't scold him/her with the 'no' command hours later when you spot the damage, since they will not understand why you're correcting them, due to the long lapse in time. Catching them in the act makes them remember that the 'no' command means that they aren't supposed to repeat that very act again in the future. Also when saying 'no', don't yell it out, but word it out sternly instead.