If you're looking for a miniature companion with a big heart, the deer-head chihuahua may be the perfect fit. These toy dogs are known for their feisty, loyal personalities. They got their name because their faces resemble those of young deer, and these adorable dogs tempt you with adoption at first glance. Small but mighty, deer-head chihuahuas have grown in popularity but may not be right for every household.
Reaching anywhere from 5 to 8 inches in height and about 6 pounds at most, deer-head chihuahuas live around 14 to 16 years, making them one of the longer-lived dog breeds. Deer-head chihuahuas have long muzzles, a sloping forehead, and large eyes.
Deer-head chihuahuas are quite easy to train. Like all dogs, they enjoy positive reinforcement and pleasing their owners. However, they can be stubborn and are best trained by someone who knows them well, as they form strong bonds with their owners. It is best to start training when your deer-head chihuahua is young.
This medium-energy dog breed requires regular opportunities for exercise. Although they don't need a large yard, these chihuahuas needs enough room to feel free while being closely monitored by their owners.
Deer-head Chihuahuas are very intelligent animals that need plenty of intellectual stimulation in order to be content. Make sure to offer engaging toys or longer walks in new places.
These dogs are extremely loyal to their owners, which can, at times, result in displays of ferocity toward strangers—usually in the form of excessive barking. However, this breed isn't known to display physical aggression toward strangers.
In fact, deer-head chihuahuas are usually reserved around strangers until they feel they can trust someone. This breed has been known to be temperamental at times, which is why deer-head chihuahuas are recommended for households with older children and adults.
While they aren't famous for their social skills, deer-head chihuahuas do enjoy the company of other toy dog breeds, particularly other chihuahuas. The most common social issue with the deer-head chihuahua is the desire to be "top dog."
You can socialize your deer-head chihuahua from a young age by modeling normal social interaction with other dogs. Chihuahuas are also generally known to get along well with cats. However, keep in mind that every animal interaction is a bit different, depending on lots of factors, including the personalities of your dog and the animals they are with.
This breed does shed lightly throughout the year, and more so in the warmer seasons or if they are experiencing allergies. If you have a good grooming routine, you can expect to brush a deer-head chihuahua daily with a slicker brush (if your chihuahua has an undercoat) or a bristle brush (if your chihuahua has no undercoat).
Bathe your dog every two to three weeks and use de-shedding spray to help keep hair off your floor. Make sure you're feeding your deer-head chihuahua high-quality food, and consider adding nutritional supplements to help with the shedding.
"The bark is bigger than the bite" could have been written about the deer-head chihuahua. Be prepared for your dog to bark at everything. Deer-headed chihuahuas have a bark that owners commonly describe as loud, shrill, and yappy. In spite of this, the breed is considered suitable for shared living situations simply because of its size.
As long as you don't have neighbors complaining about the barking, a deer-head chihuahua will make a great apartment dog. Keep in mind that barking, like any behavior, can usually be corrected with consistent training.
The most common health problems the deer-head chihuahua experiences are obesity, patellar luxation (knee dislocation), teeth and gum problems, and hypoglycemia. You can help prevent these issues by making sure your dog leads a healthy lifestyle with plenty of movement and a balanced diet.
Since patellar luxation is a symptom of arthritis in older dogs, it is unlikely your dog will avoid it forever. However, a healthy diet and exercise help delay the onset of age-related conditions.
The deer-head chihuahua is a subspecies of the chihuahua breed and is closely related to other chihuahuas, including the apple-head chihuahua, the pear-head chihuahua, and the teacup chihuahua.
Deer-head chihuahuas come in several colors, including fawn, black, chocolate, red, cream, tan, and blue. Fawn is the most common and further adds to their deer-like appearance.
Deer-head chihuahuas are believed to have originated in the Aztec Empire around the 1500s, making them one of the oldest dog breeds in the world still alive today. They only ever have brown eyes. A feral pack of chihuahuas roamed wild in Phoenix, Arizona, as recently as 2014.
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