Long Haired Chihuahua
The first thought that comes to mind when most people think of Chihuahuas is the short haired dog made famous by Taco Bell Commercials. The long haired Chihuahua is an often forgotten member of the Chihuahua breed yet these petite dogs, with soft flowing hair are beloved by many for their beauty, playfulness and loyalty, and have entire clubs devoted to them.
Aside from their coat, there is little difference between the two types of Chihuahuas. Each shares a similar genetic history. The original Chihuahuas, found in the ruins of an ancient Mayan fortress, were long haired, with the short, or “smooth”, haired varieties being bred later. In 1952 the Chihuahua club of America voted that Chihuahuas be grouped into their two current varieties.
The long haired Chihuahua, though significantly different in appearance from its short haired sibling, maintains most of the same traits. They are playful, stubborn, loyal and sensitive.
Those considering a purchase should be aware that Chihuahuas and children are usually a bad mix. The breed is often extremely sensitive to being handled and the additional stress that children can add to the home. On some occasions, this has resulted in the dogs growing aggressive towards the children and even biting them. Although there are many examples of the contrary, each animal should be taken on a case by case basis, examining both the dog’s current behavior and history, if possible.
The long haired Chihuahua retains all of their counterpart’s loyalty. They have been known to follow their masters around all day, taking breaks only to eat and drink. This behavior does occasionally turn into a problem, though, as the dogs have been known to become jealous of people or animals spending time with their owners.
Allergies and Shedding
Although many people worry that their long haired Chihuahua might shed more or might be more likely to aggravate allergies than smooth hairs, this is not true. Long Haired Chihuahuas actually shed less than their short hairs with neither being particularly troublesome. Regular combing and bathing should be enough to control any excess hair the dogs might produce.
For those that worry that their long haired Chihuahua might cause symptoms in people allergic to dogs, rest assured that they should be safe in most cases. Chihuahuas of both varieties produce very little dander, the cause of dog allergies, and generally create no reaction.
Although long haired and smooth haired Chihuahuas are classed differently, they are judged identically by the American Kennel Club (AKC), except in regards to their coats. According to AKC breed standards, a long haired Chihuahua should have a soft, long coat that is “Straight or slightly wavy.” Disqualification occurs if portions of the coat are thinned “To the point of bareness. “
Choosing a Long or Smooth Haired Chihuahua
The choice between these two varieties lies purely in preference. They are both priced approximately the same and possess the same characteristics and usual temperament. The only difference besides one of pure aesthetics is that they may be slightly less sensitive to cold climates.