What You Need To Know About The Hairless Chihuahua
The Hairless Chihuahua is in many ways something of a misnomer. It's not that these dogs don't exist, but simply they are not a breed of their own, not are they in any sense as subspecies or even a type, of the Chihuahua breed.
Is It A Hairless Chihuahua Or Isn't It?
To make matters even more confusing, a dog that is often confused with, and sometimes referred to as a Mexican Hairless Chihuahua, isn't a Chihuahua at all. The proper name for this type of dog is simply the Mexican Hairless, and the breed in question is the Xoloitzcuintli, not the Chihuahua. It got the name Chihuahua from the state in Mexico, which only has tended to confuse it with the true Chihuahua. If you find Xoloitzcuintli to be somewhat of a tongue-twister, Xolo will suffice (pronounced "show-low"). Still, people continue to call the Mexican Hairless a hairless chihuahua, or a Mexican hairless chihuahua. And then there is the Chinese Crested, a breed which is thought to be the ancestor of the Mexican Chihuahua. It was the Spanish Conquistadors who introduced a small version of the Chinese Crested into Mexico and South America.
What we have then, is the Mexican Chihuahua, and the Mexican Hairless, two different breeds. The Mexican Hairless is a much larger dog than is the Chihuahua, but it is the toy variety which is often mistaken for the Chihuahua. If you do happen to come across genuine hairless Chihuahuas, they are either Chihuahuas which have lost their coats due to a skin disorder, or have a genetic defect (alopecia) which results in hairlessness and thought to be a result of over breeding in the attempt to produce a Chihuahua having a coat of a specific color. The hairless Chihuahua then, would be a type, and not exactly a natural type, of the breed. The hairless Chihuahua is usually not considered as fit to be a show dog.
Whether hairless or not, the Chihuahua is an interesting breed. It is the smallest of the dog breeds. Movie goes in the 1940's may remember MGM musicals in which the band leader Xavier Cugat was featured. His trademark was his pet Chihuahua which he kept in his coat pocket while directing the orchestra. The breed is considered to be extremely intelligent, though with a stubborn streak.
Although, because of its diminutive size, it is somewhat fragile, it is a fearless little dog, and can be quite aggressive. It is usually loyal to its owner to the point of being overly protective at times. This trait can make it a poor choice to have around small children, but when properly trained and attended to, the Chihuahua can make a fine family pet. Another trait they have is one golden retriever owners are familiar with. They are very sensitive to harsh words or reprimands and can nurse the pain of hurt feelings for quite some time. If abused, the memory will linger for a long time as well. Unlike the Golden retriever, the Chihuahua is not always quick to forgive.
While the Hairless Chihuahua, Mexican or otherwise, is an easy keeper, it does need regular exercise, both of the mental and physical variety or it will tend to get bored, overweight, or both. A bored Chihuahua can sometime become aggressive. If you are an apartment dweller, don't think that with such a small dog, you can just leave it alone and give it the run of the place. The Chihuahua craves attention and needs lots of it, and a good walk out of doors every day is a good way to give it some of both. During the winter months in northern climates, a fleecy Chihuahua coat for the little guy to wear outside would not be a bad idea. This is a fine little dog with some interesting traits, and for most people, it makes a very good pet.